A few days ago, The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s film critic, Carrie Rickey, wrote an article claiming that Americans are watching fewer and fewer foreign films — a fact that seems inconceivable following a year that brought us cinematic gems like Un Prophète and Fish Tank . To remedy this decline in international film viewing, we’ve put together a list of eight upcoming foreign films you’ll want to catch once they find their way to American art houses. Consider it your civic duty to bring a friend.
A woman is kidnapped. The ransom price is set. Alliances are made — then they are broken. In what looks to be a tightly woven thriller with few characters and several plot twists, The Disappearance of Alice Creed is set to be a film both critics and fans can agree on.
Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus (Russia)
Following his 1994 Academy Award-winning original, Nikita Mikhalkov — who is known as Russia’s Spielberg — writes, directs, produces and stars in the sequel. The film, a WWII epic under the Stalin years, is reported to have the highest budget ever for a Russian film. So far, it’s been deemed a flop, but it’s still early in the game. Burnt by the Sun 2 is screening at the Cannes Film Festival later this month.
For a film that deals with a serious issue — arms dealing — director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) has a wacky way of going about it. Micmacs tells the story of what happens when a protagonist with a bullet lodged in his head teams up with a group of lovable misfits to find revenge.
The Housemaid (South Korea)
When a trailer demonstrates this much elegance, control and brutality, one can only hope that the film maintains this level of intensity throughout. A remake of the 1960 South Korean film with the same title, The Housemaid is a timeless tale of power and wealth, lust and desire.
Black Heaven (France)
If virtual-reality games are the future of human experience, Black Heaven is attempting to bring movies out of the past. A hybrid of The Matrix meets The Sims meets a summer vacation gone terribly wrong, Black Heaven looks unconventional to say the least.
Whether we like it or not, the internet is continuing to connect us in unprecedented ways. Chatroom is a surreal, yet increasingly real, depiction of how we relate to each other in the lawless land of the internet, where who you want to be is only limited by your imagination. Problems occur when avatars and pixels become intertwined with real emotions.
If love does live, it probably lives in the hearts of kids who have runaway from their abusive homes to be together. At least, that’s what Kisses appears to be about. It may sound like a sappy 72 minutes worth of your time, but there’s some part of every decent human being who hopes this is true.
Love, Imagined (Canada)
Love triangles don’t always work out for the best. In addition to tackling the complex issue, with attention to detail and a penchant for slow pacing, the actor, director, and writer Xavier Dolan is poised enough to be around for a while. He is only 21, and this is his second film.