Thursday Movie Picks: Non-English Language Films

A weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves

There's one thing that has helped me improve my English tremendously, watching films in English as opposed to watching them dubbed in Italian like I grew up doing. This is a technique I've been using to learn German too lately and, as this week we are asked to pick foreign language films, I'm going with some great German-language films. 


Alles ist gut (2018) - Review

It follows Janne (Anne Schwarz), a young woman who tries to move on with her life after being raped. While not perfect, the script features a strong and realistic character, a tough woman who is so used on relying on herself. Schwartz's performance is terrific and the film also provides a raw and realistic portrayal of the society we live in where rape victims are (still) blamed for the violence. 

Look Who's Back (2015) - Review

It follows Adolf Hitler (Oliver Masucci) as he suddenly wakes up in 2014, in the park where his former bunker used to be, and is made famous by a freelance video journalist (Fabian Busch) as everyone thinks he's a terrific method actor. The film does have its issues but overall it's a hilarious dark comedy with great social commentary and a great performance from Masucci. 

Never Look Away (2018) - Review

It follows an East Berlin painter, Kurt Barnert (Tom Schillings), as he struggles to express his feelings through art and follows in love with a fashion student (Paula Beer), the daughter of the Nazi gynaecologist (Sebastian Koch) who had Kurt's aunt (Saskia Rosendahl) killed years earlier. The pathetic plot I just wrote doesn't even come close to describing the story nor how powerful the film is. Es ist ein Maisterstück. 

14 comments :

  1. I'm not well versed in current German cinema. I wouldn't say my classic knowledge is great either though I have seen a smattering-M, The Tin Drum, Das Boot, several Murnau films and any Fritz Lang film I can find and a few others. Unfortunately none of that includes your three choices of the day. The third one is the one that intrigued me the most.

    I'm a little stronger with French cinema and I've been working on becoming more familiar with Kurosawa. Turner Classic Movies has been a great help there, this year on the anniversary of his birth they devoted an entire day to his work and I was able to DVR several I hadn't seen. I chose the one I think is among his most obscure and the two French films are ones I've seen within the last year.

    Drunken Angel (1948)-Gangster Toshiro Mifune visits Dr. Takashi Shimura, after an unfortunate incident with a bullet. The doctor, who despises the Yakuza, discovers the young man is suffering from tuberculosis, a disease symbolic of what is happening to the doctor and the community he serves. Facing his own anger and fear, the doctor aligns himself with the gangster's world. This film noir was directed by Akira Kurosawa.

    Le Silence de la Mer (1949)-An elderly Frenchman (Jean-Marie Robain) and his niece (Nicole Stéphane) are forced to give shelter to a Nazi soldier (Howard Vernon) who seemingly loves their country and culture. Though they refuse to speak to him over time they form a strange sort of bond.

    La Notte (1961)-In Milan, Lidia (Jeanne Moreau) suddenly storms out of a fancy party held in honor of her husband, Giovanni (Marcello Mastroianni), to celebrate the publication of his new novel. Distressed at the news that her friend Tommaso (Bernhard Wicki) has a terminal illness, Lidia begins roaming the streets of the city, questioning her marriage to Giovanni. Meanwhile, Giovanni, seemingly oblivious to his crumbling relationship with Lidia, attempts to seduce beautiful young Valentina (Monica Vitti). Written and directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.

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    1. I'm pretty bad with German classics as the 1922 Nosterafu is the only I've seen. I've been meaning to watch more though, especially M.

      I yet again haven't seen any of your picks but La Notte is the one that intrigues me the most. And I also really like that cast.

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  2. Never Look Away was great, I haven't seen your other two picks so I'll add those to my list. I took German in school and have gotten so bad at it in recent years, I'd like to pick it back up.

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  3. I have Never Look Away in my never-ending DVR list as I hope to watch it as soon as I can get the cable box fixed.

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    1. I hope you get to see it because it's terrific!

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  4. I haven't seen any German language films, but all of these films sound interesting! Great list!

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  5. It always amazes me that people can learn a language that way. As for the movies, I haven't seen any of those, but Guess Who's Back sounds nuts.

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    1. I still need to study a bit of grammar and vocabulary but watching films and listening to music really helps me. And yes, Guess Who's Back is nuts, but in a fun and thought-provoking way.

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  6. I really need to watch more foreign films. Look Who's Back sounds really intriguing.

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    1. It really is! But please stay away from the poor Italian remake.

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  7. I could never by choice watch anything dubbed, I'd rather read subtitles. Dubbing for me takes away how the original actors deliver their lines, all the tone and emotion that makes a performance. Anyway all your picks are new to me.

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    1. That is so true. I don't know in other countries but Italian dubbing is terrible. The voices don't really match the actor, there are no emotions, as you said, and the audio quality is just weird. It literally makes my skin crawl when my mom watches a dubbed movie.

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