Foreign films at the library

In The Stacks

Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2003

Move the couch a little closer to the TV and try some foreign films!

• "The Samurai" - Hitman Jef Costello fulfills his contract on a nightclub owner, safe in the knowledge that his intricate alibi will hold. Police arrest him anyway, but have to sit back and wait for him to make a mistake when the key witness, a club pianist named Valerie, can't identify Jef. Puzzled, because he knows she saw him, Jef finds himself obsessing over Valerie and her motives for not revealing him. (French with English subtitles)

• "The Bride wore Black" - Julie has just married the love of her life, but as they leave the church, he is attacked and murdered. In grief, and on the edge of madness, she devises a different death for each man responsible, and sets about killing them. Each murder is more clever and diabolical than the last. Francois Truffaunt created this chillingly macabre movie in homage to Alfred Hitchcock. (French with English subtitles)

• "Ridicule" - Set in the court of Louis XVI, this is the tale of a young lord, desperate to save his hometown, who learns that a sharp wit is armor, defense and the key that opens all doors in the court. Finding himself in a love triangle, he must decide between the older woman who can help him, and the younger one who genuinely loves him. Wickedly funny humor comes across despite the subtitles. (French with English subtitles)

• "Marriage of the Blessed" - From renowned Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf comes the story of a soldier's descent into hell. Haji returns from the Iran-Iraq war shell-shocked, but tries to force himself to reintegrate into "normal" life by returning to his former job as a photojournalist. Unable to reconcile the sacrifices of life he's witnessed on the frontlines with the indifference of the civilian population, he sinks into depression. His fiancée, hoping to help him recover, speeds up plans for their wedding. (Farsi with English subtitles)

• "Gabbeh" - Also by Makhmalbaf; watch his development as a director! This beautiful and romantic film centers on the prize possession of an elderly nomadic couple, a folkloric carpet, from which suddenly emerges a lovely young woman. Trapped in the carpet, she has emerged to tell her story and reveal the mystery of life. (Farsi with English subtitles)

• "The Silence of Neto" - Magic-realism fuses with history to create a portrait of life in Guatamala through the eyes of a young boy becoming a man. Politics dog Neto's heels; though he is young, the 1954 Guatemalan coup is just around the corner, and it will change his world. (Spanish with English subtitles)

• "El Norte" - Two Guatemalan Indian siblings are left alone when soldiers kill their father and take their mother away. Deciding to leave Guatemala for the "promised land" of America, brother and sister make their way to Tijuana, where they endure the treacherous shantytown until they can crawl through rat-infested tunnels to cross the border to the U.S. But even reaching Los Angeles doesn't mean their troubles are over. (Spanish with English subtitles)

• "The Harmonists" - It is 1927, and Harry is an unsuccessful songwriter who's having trouble scraping up enough money to buy food for his parrot. In desperation, he puts an ad in the newspaper for singers, and The Harmonists are born! They become an overnight success in pre-war Gemany, but when it is discovered that three of their members are Jewish and they are banned by the Nazis in 1934, their loyalty to each other is severely tested. (German with English subtitles)

• "Pathfinder" - Vowing revenge on the barbarians who slaughtered his family, Aigin makes his way to other Lapp families. When they hear his story, they are afraid that he may not have hidden his tracks well enough to keep the barbarians away, and decide to escape to the coast. Aigin sees his chance for revenge and stays behind to ambush the invaders, but he is caught by them and forced to lead them to the remaining Lapp families. But Aigin is determined that no more of his people will be killed, and devises a plan to bring the barbarians to their knees. (Lapp with English subtitles)

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