56. 100 foreign films (7/100)
*foreign film meaning films of non-English speaking countries.
1. 2010 – Girl With The Dragon Tattoo / Män som hatar kvinnor (2009)
I had no idea what I was in for when I walked into the cinema but went to see it one uneventful weekend with 5minuteguy based on hearsay that it was an excellent film (plus I like dragon tattoos !). Although this is a very engaging thriller with an intriguing & intelligent plot line, I would seriously not recommend recommending watching this with the whole extended family gathered around the TV because this is certainly not the kind of film for the weak stomached (plus they’ll all think you’re very much twisted). It is intense. It is disturbing. And most of all, it is visually violent ! I don’t know how I managed to forget all these elements before putting the DVD in for my relatives to be left totally freaked out >.<. Anyway, last words: if you faint at the sight of blood, rape scenes, and/or weird Swedish sex = avoid, but if you’d like to try some interesting Swedish cinema –> GO FOR IT ! ^.~b
2. 2010 – Girl Who Played With Fire / Flickan som lekte med elden (2009)
Was so excited to see the second installment of the Millenium Trilogy (adapted from Stieg Larsson’s novels I should have mentioned) but unfortunately this was a bit of a letdown. As I have read any of the books, I was curious as to finding out what would happen next with the two characters, and while it was enlightening in terms of discovering more about Lisbeth’s past, you could still feel a void of some sort. It was just not as captivating & memorable as the first !
3. 6th January 2011 – Gainsbourg / Vie héroïque (2010)
On hearing so many good things about this film I went to Rooftop Cinema to watch the screening of this highly acclaimed French film (albeit not with my ideal company and without knowing much about Gainsbourg himself). A very interesting film about the life of Gainsbourg and lots of wonderful moments highlighting his musical career as well as political. I didn’t realise that the many songs that I recognised in the film were by Serge Gainsbourg ! I must say though, for the amount of high-profile women he attracted including the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birken and Juliette Greco — he must have been a very charismatic man !
4. 28th February 2011 – The Host / Coemul (2006)
First to give you an idea about what this movie is about, here is a brief synopsis: a monster emerges from Seoul’s Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim’s loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches. Doesn’t sound too bad right ? But this was an absolutely shockingly bad movie — from the moment an American doctor (or health professional of some sort) ordered his Korean assistant to pour bottles of formaldehyde down the drain as the Korean protested that this was illegal. And it might have been less intolerable (not the chemical dumping !) had the script been less trite and obvious as if to dumb things down for the audience. I guess what disturbs me the most is how this film got such high ratings on IMDB. Where are these stars coming from ? Horrible script, unlikeable characters/poor choice of actors, unoriginal & ill-fitting soundtrack (this stereotypical Asian film classical music with a piano & violin duet). The only thing horrifying about this “horror” film was its quality (purposefully cheesy conclusion :-P).
5. May 2011 – Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest / Luftslottet som sprängdes (2009)
6. 18th May 2011 – How I Ended This Summer / Kak ya provyol etim letom (2010)
7. 21st May 2011 – Incendies (2010)
As someone who was previously ignorant about the Lebanese Civil War, this film was very insightful. Set in the present with several sequences of flashbacks in the 70’s, the film follows the journey of two siblings who are sent on a life-changing mission to unravel the mystery of their mother’s life. Parts of the story are based on Souha Bechara‘s life. I won’t say much more than that other than I reckon that this is one of the better French films I’ve seen in recent times and also, that you should watch it if you get the chance to ! Thoroughly disturbing and intriguing.