Never viewed a film w/sub-titles: Considering Criterion's Insomnia or The Vanishing

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Fieldstadt, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. John Fieldstadt

    John Fieldstadt Stunt Coordinator

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    As the title says, I've never sat through a film with sub-titles before but thanks to my home theater (and the HTF) I've started to expand my horizons when it comes to film.

    On that note I've read a number of reviews and Criterion's Insomnia & The Vanishing have both caught my eye. Does anyone have any input as to which of these two titles would be a good choice for my first "foriegn" film experience? I'm also open to suggestions of other films to check out.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    John, go out and see Amelie![​IMG]
     
  3. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    You have two good choices unless you happen to be looking for a lighthearted romp. There are lots of good recommendations in this thread.
    Regards,
     
  4. Bryant Frazer

    Bryant Frazer Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd recommend against Insomnia, which is a decent film but kinda dry even as Scandinavian cinema goes and thus maybe not the greatest introductory piece. The Vanishing would probably be better, assuming you like being disturbed.

    For a first immersion in the wild world of foreign film, though, it seems more obvious to recommend something a little more Hollywood-like -- like Run Lola Run, a poster child for mainstream crossovers. And dare I ask if you've tried Crouching Tiger?

    -bf-
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  6. John Fieldstadt

    John Fieldstadt Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, I realize that "foriegn" is much too much of a generalization. [​IMG]
    Believe it or not I have not seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and have had no desire to, as martial arts themed films have never held much attraction for me.
    My tastes in films covers a wide range of genres, although I tend to lean towards action/adventure and thrillers (not horror/gore fests!).
    I will check out reviews of the other titles suggested to see if they sound appealing at all. And I will continue to monitor this thread for further input.
    Thanks all!
     
  7. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    Anybody who doesn't watch subtitled films, is being very close-minded in my book. You're missing out on alot of great films that are subtitled. I'm not truely bashing anyone, I just feel people who ignore movies, just because you have to "read" them, is being close-minded.
    The are some truely amazing movies out there!
    Here are some other choice selections
    Abre Los Ojos(Open Your Eyes)
    Princess Mononoke
    Diabolique
    Princess and the Warrior
    Run Lola Run
     
  8. John Fieldstadt

    John Fieldstadt Stunt Coordinator

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    Ken, WOW! Those are some lists on that thread! Definitely something I'll follow-up on.

    As I stated, I'm just getting my feet wet with this.....better late than never....and am looking forward to some new and exciting film experiences. Prior to my involvement in HT my viewing habits were limited to recent films, generally recent comercial hits and not much more. Now I find myself with in interest in viewing classics that I have never seen before (and never had any interest in whatsoever!) and checking out different genres. This thread is just one way for me to get started. Thanks.
     
  9. James D

    James D Second Unit

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    If you like film noir, then by all means check out Criterion's Rififi. This is a great French noir from the 50's.
     
  10. Voon Jiet

    Voon Jiet Stunt Coordinator

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    I have not seen Insomnia, but I own a copy of Criterion's The Vanishing and I highly recommend it. A creepy little flick that I fully endorse unless you are not too keen on disturbing films.
     
  11. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    The first sub-titled film I saw was The Wages of Fear when I was about 10! It was a family visit to the cinema, my father being keen on foreign films. It is a great dramatic film with nail biting scenes of suspense. One of the all time classics and the first foreign sub-titled film to gain a general release in cinemas in the UK. The sub-titles are not a problem because there's not a great deal of dialogue and some is in English.
     
  12. Jeff Swindoll

    Jeff Swindoll Supporting Actor

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    Seven Samauri
    Seventh Seal
    Another recommendation for Riffi, great movie
    1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse
    Better Tomorrow, Hard Boiled, and the Killer (all John Woo)
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    Like someone said before, it all depends on your tastes. You could always rent some of the recommendations (online or locally if anyone carries them) rather than purchase them.
    I enjoyed Insomnia, but have not seen the Vanishing.
    Not subbed, but my fave foreign film would be Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell starring Peter O'Toole [​IMG]. You'd need a region free player capable of PAL conversion however. Cheers.
     
  13. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    John- You may also want to check out "Babette's Feast". It is a delicious tale of a woman who wants to provide a sumptuous gourmet feast to a community of people who, for religious reasons, seem to deprive themselves of all pleasant sensory stimulation. It doesn't sound like a promising premise, but it turns into a beautiful movie.

    I also find it intriguing that you find yourself wanting to expand your horizons regarding what kind of movies you watch. I'm doing the same thing. I can enjoy the latest blockbuster, but I also enjoy the old classics, foreign films, independent films, etc. I'm consciously trying to find less mainstream titles to enjoy. I know that not all of the movies may be memorable and perhaps not even enjoyable and that some may be complete flops, but there will also be the occasional gem that will make all the experimentation worthwhile.

    Enjoy your journey!

    Steve K.
     
  14. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I'm amazed no one's brought up Das Boot!

    Anything by Akira Kurosawa, Life is Beautiful, Grave of the Fireflies, Avalon (Mamoru Oshii) and many many more
     
  15. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    One time I rented the Legend of Bagger Vance DVD, and I recorded it for time-shifting purposes. Through some glitch it recorded in English with English sub-titles. I also did not have enough time to redo the recording, (those damn late fees, ya know), so I wound up having to watch it this way. I found it very annoying. As much as I tried to ignore the sub-titles and just watch the movie, my eyes kept being drawn to them.
     
  16. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Contemporary non-English language movies that have been popular favorites with mainstream US audiences have been:

    Amelie

    Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

    Run Lola Run

    Life is Beautiful

    Il Postino

    Like Water for Chocolate

    Cinema Paradiso

    Regards,
     
  17. Jeff Swindoll

    Jeff Swindoll Supporting Actor

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  18. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    Since we're also talking about recent releases that are subtitled, Brotherhood of the Wolf is in French, and doing very well in mainstream movie theaters here in the states. I enjoyed it much more than I normally enjoy action films.
     
  19. Robb Hudspeth

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    The last outstanding "subtitled" film I saw was Amores perros AKA Love's a Bitch. It's similar to Pulp Fiction in that it has three different stories that interweave with each other. Highly entertaining.
     
  20. Tim RH

    Tim RH Second Unit

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    I have three words for you: RUN LOLA RUN
    It should have you hooked on foreign films.
     

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