Sunday, March 1, 2009

Foreign Films - Part 2

As winter lingers on and on and on in Toronto, and with the Leafs hopelessly out of the playoffs, sometimes a good foreign film can be just the ticket for a quiet night in. Foreign films fit better in the winter, in my opinion. Who wants to read subtitles in the summer... especially when you're inevitably a few beers in after hitting the pub patio on your way home from work. Anyway, I've been fortunate enough to have seen some really good foreign language films over the last few years and thought I'd periodically post a couple of recommendations. [Note: this post - up to this point - is, word for word, the same post as from the same day last year. Funny how it goes.]

Last year we had a German theme. This March 1st I thought we'd go with an Asian theme:

1. Infernal Affairs - not to be confused with Internal Affairs, the Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia police drama. Infernal Affairs is an excellent, top-notch crime drama. It was remade as the Damon and DiCaprio movie The Departed, which finally won Scorsese his Oscar. This is the better movie.

2. Chungking Express - Wong Kar-Wai might be a genius. I highly recommend this film from the director of In the Mood for Love. This rare, charming, light comedy is a nice break from his more typically heavy material

3. Days of Being Wild / In the Mood for Love / 2046 - This is a very loose trilogy from Wong Kar-Wai. Watch them in order. These are all very stylish, atmospheric and moody. In the Mood for Love is the masterpiece. WKW's movies can be somewhat inaccessible - give in and enjoy the ride even if you aren't always entirely sure what is happening. You will be richly rewarded.

4. House of Flying Daggers - More of a love story than a martial arts movie. If you liked Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon you will like this one.

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