All in Foreign

Episode 103 - A Separation

This week, we watch the highest grossing Iranian film ever, and also the first Iranian film to be awarded with an Oscar for the best foreign picture of the year. Realistic tension is the mood sought here, and the actors do an outstanding job realizing this, making for an uncomfortable yet engaging watch throughout. A Separation (2011), directed by Asghar Farhadi.

BONUS EPISODE - Dangal

This week, we watch the highest grossing Indian film ever made. Currently sitting in the top 100 movies of all time, we keep the Aamir Khan train going (star of 3 Idiots and Lagaan) with this epic true-ish story of a father who teaches wrestling to his daughters, and how they made history for women in India. Dangal (2016), directed by Nitesh Tiwari.

Episode 105 - 3 Idiots

This week, we watch the Indian film that broke through to Chinese audiences for the first time, with positive messages on education, pressure, choice, marriage, and suicide. This film successfully tackles very serious topics, while remaining funny for its nearly 3 hour runtime. Aamir Khan steals the show as Rancho. All is well! 3 Idiots (2009), directed by Rajkumar Hirani.

Episode 107 - The Hunt

This week, we watch Mads Mikkelsen earn his Cannes film festival award for his portrayal of a school teacher who has to deal with false accusations made by a young student of his, and the fall out from the towns population who won’t listen to anything they don’t want to hear. Not to be viewed when you want to be in a good mood. The Hunt (2012), directed by Thomas Vinterberg.

Episode 108 - Yojimbo

This week, we watch the film that laid the ground work for the Clint Eastwood spaghetti Westerns, and all the following films that took influence from them. An out-of-work Samurai finds himself in the middle of a violent, two-sided town, where he starts pitting each side against each other for….fun? More of a popcorn film that Kurosawa’s other epic masterpieces, Yojimbo (1961) would be a great starting point for someone looking to get into The Master’s work.

Episode 116 - Children of Heaven

This week, we watch the first Iranian film to be nominated for Best Foreign Picture at the Academy Awards. The quietest children’s movie we’ve ever seen, it’s focus on the simply story of a lost pair of shoes turns out to be a full of lessons on family, poverty, and sacrifice, even in the smallest of things. Children of Heaven (1997), directed by Majid Majidi.

Episode 128 - Ikiru

This week, we watch the tale of a man diagnosed with stomach cancer, which causes him to reflect on his seemingly wasted life. Taking its time to establish moods appropriate for the subject matter, this film makes you think about what it means to be alive, and how to get the most out of life with what short time we have. Ikiru (1952), directed by Akira Kurosawa.

Episode 129 - Ran

This week, we watch the last epic made by the man who is widely regarded as one of the best directors of all time. With thousands of extras, hundreds of horses, full scale battles, and castles built on the side of Mount Fuji, Kurosawa takes his time and lets each shot linger, recreating the paintings he made that were used as storyboards. Ran (1985), directed by Akira Kurosawa.

Episode 187 - The 400 Blows

This week, we watch the wonderful story of a young French boy and his downward spiral.  This timeless and magical film was one of the first of the French New Wave, and the one that brought international attention to the movement.  This film hasn't aged a day.  The relatable story is as relevant as ever, the acting from a cast of mostly children is incredible, and it looks and sounds amazing. The historical importance of this film can not be overstated.  The 400 Blows (1959), directed by Francois Truffaut.

Episode 192 - The Grand Budapest Hotel

This week, we watch the film that is not only largest box office success of Wes Anderson's career so far, but also received a fair number of Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.  The cast is stacked, the shots are symmetrical, the effects are a combination of miniatures, stop motion, projected live action on matte paintings - all of the styles we've come to love from Wes.  Its might not be the film to turn the nay-sayers, but it certainly gives fans a lot to enjoy.  The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), directed by Wes Anderson.

Episode 193 - Amores Perros

This week, we watch the first film of Inarritu's "Trilogy of Death", where three brutal stories are told before and after a car accident.  Filled with extreme, realistic violence (most of it involving dogs), it is good knowing before going in that no animals were hurt during the making of this very effective drama. Amores Perros, directed by Alejandro Inarritu.

Episode 195 - Wild Tales

This week, we watch the film that took the country of Argentina by storm, smashing all of the box-office records, and earning a Best Foreign Picture nomination in the 2015 Oscars.  Comprised of six stories that, according to the director, are "linked by violence, and nothing else", this film lets its characters go far beyond typical socially accepted behavior, and explore what might result if people acted solely on their instincts.  Wild Tales (2014), directed by Damian Szifron.