Since we're into awards season I thought of indulging my film reviewer persona. A recent article/feature I did for In The Kan ("Top 10 films of 2012 you may have missed") got me thinking about foreign language films and how little exposure they receive by English speaking audiences. Often Hollywood attempts a usually less-than-successful remake of non-English films; a typical example of this is 2010's 'The Tourist' starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. This typical romantic comedy wrapped in an action flick was actually a remake of a french action thriller called Anthony Zimmerman starring Sophie Marceau (though I can't give you an accurate review as the original film still eludes me - and I have no motivation to see the remake).
You might be wondering how I can make general assumptions like this - well i have a very trustworthy instinct about films with the only real surprise being the recent release of Pitch Perfect - a film I wouldn't have batted an eye at, but somehow ended up watching, much to my delight.
To the list then - all these films are good, if not brilliant, and yet I haven't seen all of them yet... see it as a to-watch list.
A privileged social worker is gang raped by three policemen, A look into contemporary Russia.
A former cop, now head of prison security, gets entangled in a web politics and police corruption after a prison riot. (Those who know me already know that for some reason, I really want to see this film)
Nominated in the Best Foreign Language film category in this years Academy Awards.
Currently in cinemas (art-house/nouveau), watch this trailer then see the film - it'll make you smile.
My unofficial #1 - technically released in 2011, but as is usually the case, only reached South Africa in mid Jan 2012.
"A man tries to recreate his long lost love". This is a Hitchcock-style horror film (also reminding me of some recent David Morrell novels) thinly veiled as a psychological thriller. It's difficult to describe this film adequately, you just have to see it for yourself, with friends, and then chat about in the middle of the night because sleep will not come easily.
--> this trailer gives you nothing really, but it's difficult to really quantify the film in trailer form.
What to look out for in 2013
Searching for Sugar Man
Something with a distinctively South African flavour! Nominated in the Best Documentary category of this years Academy Awards:
Dead Man Down
Causing waves all because two names have been reunited - watch to find out.
Most are really getting their panties in a twist over Niel Blomkamp's return to our screens with Elysium (which is NOT really a sequel to District 9 - it's set in the year 2159), and then there's, need I mention, Man of Steel .
There's a number of sequels (as always) to big franchises: Die Hard, Hunger Games, Ironman, Anchorman etc...
But here are some lesser known titles:
- "12 years a slave" (Michael Fassbender again teams up with director Steve McQueen )
- "No" starring Gael Garcia Bernal (this Cuban film also has Oscar buzz)
- "Silver linings playbook"- starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.
- "Upstream Color" - a love story it may be, but I'd watch it.
- "Neighboring Sounds" - another great Brazilian offering - click the title for the trailer - it looks really intriguing... (this was a last minute addition BTW)
- And then finally (to end with another trailer: "The place beyond the Pines" starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper - it looks great, but then it also looks like the unofficial sequel to 2010's impressive "Drive".