lingua franca: Cinema

Everybody loves movies. Some love them for the entertainment and some love it as an art form and some love the whole medium for all that it presents. Whatever the reason might be most people have certain reservations against what kind of movies they watch. Some want non stop action-thrillers, some prefer comedy, some rather cuddle up with the so called chick flicks and some others enjoy the rush horror movies give them. But the most common preferences are in language and time. Most people I know prefer recent movies mostly of this decade or at most the last and would happily stick to English language.
I have been championing classics right since the time I fell in love with them especially the great movies which have come from the ‘Golden Age of Hollywood’. Also I am a big fan of foreign language movies i.e. the non English ones from all over the world. This post is about the latter. I say if you haven't watched movies from different parts of the world you cannot truly say you love movies and call yourself a buff.
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There is something magical about movies. They let you delve into different worlds and make you experience the plethora of emotions that we could seldom gain in our real life. And this is done without any bar of language or time. Each part of the world has a different and one or more characteristic styles of filmmaking which sets them apart from the rest. The perspective each filmmaker give on the same subject is quite different and a major part of it obviously rests on where he comes from. For who we are and what we think are influenced by where we live.

Watching exotic films from various parts of the world with audio playing in its native language (I despise dubbed movies) with subtitles appearing at the bottom is one of my favourite things to do in life. They tell me about new places, teach me about native lifestyles, give an insight into people’s mindsets and yet appeal to the basic human in me. Where we are, whatever clothes we wear or language we speak our basic tendencies and nature remains the same. Whatever may be the native tongue the movie speaks it communicates to us the human language.
People complain about that they usually spend too much energy reading the subtitles and being unable to focus on the movie. I agree it is a problem. but only at the first. After a few films it becomes second nature and you don't consciously look at the subtitles. One more thing you need to be prepared for is the diversity of the styles. The Japanese and Koreans may shock you with gore and wild themes, the Chinese may befuddle you with people almost flying, the Indians bedazzle you with the dance and colours, the Iranians with their down to earth storytelling and so on. Whatever they might be, there are something you should never miss if you are a genuine movie lover.
So if you are out there and haven't tasted the magic yet, you could start now. Given below is the list of few selected films which could be pretty nice to start off your foreign language film tryst. They will reel you in and make you fall in love. Also the foreign language film nominations at the Oscars are a good place to start off. The order has been made moving from the right of the world map to the left. Also a random mix to appeal to the enthusiast and also the newbie. If you find some movie interesting do let me know by adding it in the comments.

Japanese: Yojimbo / Batoru Rowaiaru
Korean: Oldboy / Yeopgijeogin geunyeo
German: M / Das Leben der Anderen / Der Untergang
Italian: La vita è bella / Nuovo cinema Paradiso / Ladri di biciclette
French: Du rififi chez les hommes / La science des rêves
Random picks Cidade de Deus / Det sjunde inseglet / Vals Im Bashir / Ying xiong

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