Thursday, September 12, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks: Non-English Language Movies

For the 37th week of 2019 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We venture into the subject of non-English language films as it’s a subject discussed many times in this series. Yet, I’m going to go into a different route considering there aren’t a lot of women filmmakers explored as much as I’m going with a theme within a theme in this as here are my three picks:

1. Hotel Monterey

Chantal Akerman’s documentary about a hotel in New York City where many of its inhabitants are an odd assortment of people. A film that mixes the documentary style with other forms of experimental filmmaking, Akerman’s film displays the idea of how to tell a story without certain tricks such as sound while keeping the camera gazing through various long shots to explore this hotel that was once unique for its time in the 1970s.

2. The Ascent

The second of two films that Larisa Shepitko made in her lifetime, this World War II film set in the snowy woods of Belarus involving two soldiers split for their regiment as they struggle to get back with them as well as survive the unforgiving cold weather. It’s a strange war film that is more about many of its fallacies as these two men would encounter a woman with three children and German soldiers as the latter are also struggling with their surroundings as well as their own sense of faith about everything they’re doing in this war.

3. La Cienaga

Lucrecia Martel’s 2001 feature-length debut is part of a thematic trilogy set in the Salta area of Argentina explores the life of an upper-class family living in their country home with various relatives as it would lead to chaos. It’s a film that doesn’t have much plot as it’s more about a family trying to deal with boredom as well as growing tension among relatives over class and what is important in life. It is told in a very minimalist yet effective style that makes a great case for why Martel is one of the best filmmakers working today.

© thevoid99 2019


Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

I actually thought about using The Ascent, but decided to go with some other movies.

I also prefer Shepitko's Wings to The Ascent.

Often Off Topic said...

It's honestly embarrassing how little non-English movies I've seen, so I'm really grateful for the recommendations!

Sonia Cerca said...

I love your theme within a theme! I thought of doing it myself but I couldn't come up with much.

Jay said...

Wow, this is such a vast lot to choose from, I wonder how you even narrowed it down? Great picks though.

Brittani Burnham said...

Dang, I haven't seen any of your picks this week. That first one sounds really interesting though.

Chris said...

Haven't seen those three. The Ascent I've been meaning to check out for a while, thanks for reminding me!

Birgit said...

I wonder if I saw the documentary about this hotel. It sounds very familiar so I will say I have seen it and found it captivating. I would like to see The Ascent but the 3rd film does not capture me at all.