Movie watching is certainly one the most elementary leisure activities enjoyed by many like me but despite being an avid movie viewer my movie consumption has always been limited to mainly Bollywood or Hollywood ones.
Till recently, I was blissfully unaware of the depth of this genre known as “world cinema”, in fact to me world cinema has always been synonymous to parallel cinema or something which is vague & esoteric. I had watched only counted number of world cinemas in past & that too very famous ones; based on those movies I had this perception of world cinema being a genre in which you’ll never know when a movie has started & when it ended. But how wrong I was!
My idea of this genre got totally changed after watching the movie “In July”; since then I’ve been exploring more & more in this genre & all I can say about such movies is that they are really those gem of movies which I never knew about but now have fallen in love with. If you’re a casual movie viewer like me (by casual I mean one who goes crazy for Farhan Akhtar in “Rock On”, sobs in “Taare Zameen Par”, gets mushy in “When Harry Met Sally” & can watch “The Pursuit of Happyness” or “Forrest Gump” for the nth time without getting bored), here is a list of 5 world cinemas which I think you may like to watch.
I’m not listing the likes of Akira Kurosawa or Fellini here as I’m sure almost every movie lover knows about them. The world movies listed below are light, fun to watch & can be good beginning for those who are new to this genre:
In July: Original title – Im Juli; A German movie; Year – 2000. Directed by Faith Akin.
In July is a sweet romantic comedy set against the backdrop of a journey from Hamburg to Istanbul. Shy & self-confined Daniel (Moritz Bleibtreu) is a teacher who falls in love with a Turkish girl Melek (idil Uner) so much so that he decides to follow his love up to Istanbul. On his way he picks up a hitchhiker Juli (Christiane Paul) who had a crush on Daniel. What follows is a journey full of ups & downs but nevertheless and enjoyable one. If you are looking for a charming romance but different from the formulaic chick-flicks or bollywoodish fairy tales, I will suggest you to go for this one.
Cinema Paradiso: Original title – Nuovo cinema Paradiso; An Italian movie; Year – 1988. Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.
Cinema Paradiso is a film about a famous filmmaker Salvatore (Jacques Perrin) & his love for cinema since his childhood days. Salvatore has not visited his home since youth but decides to make an immediate trip to his home town when he hears the news of death of Alfredo (Philippe Noiret). Alfredo the owner of a local cinema booth “cinema paradiso” was the one with whom Salvatore spent his childhood days learning how to run a projector, watching movies shown at that local theater, catching up on kissing scenes in the movies which otherwise was banned in that city due to church rules & sharing details of his love Elena (Agnese Nano). As the story moves on, Salvatore realizes how Alfredo has been instrumental in shaping up his life & what price he had paid to become a successful filmmaker in his life. A beautiful story, Cinema Paradiso is one such movie which any movie lover would like to watch.
Amelie: Original title – Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain; A French Movie; Year – 2001. Directed by Jean-Pierre- Junnet.
This movie is the story of a young girl Amelie (Audrey Tautou) who had a very isolated childhood. She sees the whole world in a magical way; is working as a waitress in Paris & decides to help people fix their lives. But very soon she realizes how her own life needs fixing & change. Though the plot sounds simple but you need to watch this movie to realize the aura of Amelie. Audrey is simply adorable in this role & the movie is definitely one of the most charming romantic comedies I would have ever watched.
Persepolis: Original title – Persepolis; Year – 2007. Now this movie definitely needs no introduction, it is based on the bestselling auto biography of Marjane Satrapi and is directed by Satrapi herself along with Vincent Paronnaud.
It’s a story of Marjane, her childhood days in Iran & her struggle against the conservative laws of society. This movie has a charm of its own, such a serious & evolved content but shown in such a simple way. It’s an animated movie & it definitely takes the perception of comic / animated movies to a different level all together. It’s a must watch for anybody & everybody.
Tuya’s Marriage: Original title – Tuya de hun shi; A Mandarin Movie; Year – 2006. Directed by Quanan Wang.
Tuya’s marriage is about a woman Tuya (Quan An Wang) who has a disabled husband & kids to take care of. Tuya has been managing the family occupation but due to back injury she had to give up on that. As a result of financial crisis & her responsibility towards her family, she starts looking for suitors for second marriage with a condition that her second husband would have to take care of her earlier husband as well as kids. A wonderful movie with a very strong storyline which will captivate the audience till the end.
Well, there are many more movies worth watching in this genre but as of now I’ll limit this post to above mentioned 5 movies, do watch these if you are not a world cinema viewer & let me know whether your perception about this genre changed or not after watching.
Note: Release year of these movies may vary from country to country. In India you can either watch these on world movie channels or buy the DVDs or rent them from popular renting libraries.
About Kanupriya Sindhu: Kanupriya is a marketing professional based out of Bangalore. After working for brand / marketing roles in larger corporates, currently she heads the product in a start-up. An avid reader, Kanupriya loves to paint or watch movies during her free time. She has been blogging since 2005 & currently maintains two blogs – Mixed Expressions & Marketing ChitChat, she can be contacted on Twitter and at BlogAdda