Friday, October 8, 2010

Them Fern Films

Irrelevant trivia about me: I am a sucker for foreign movies. That doesn't mean I LIKE all foreign movies, or even most of them, but it means I'm the one that will try those cryptic subtitled movies just to see if there's any gold in them thar hills. When there used to be a Blockbuster, Jack would pick the blow-em-up-shootem-up movie and I would usually go for the unknown. Drove him crazy. But once and a while we'd hit on a winner, that even both of us liked.

I'm listing a few of my faves. They're clean, but view them first to decide their appropriateness for your family before watching with kids.

Here's one I like called The Girl from Paris. It hails from France and has English subtitles. City girl decides she wants to become a farmer so she goes through training and tries her hand at a place in the Alps, raising dairy goats. You might want to fast forward through the pig killing scene. But the movie always touches me, especially how she finds out there is more to actual farming than what you're taught in school, and the interplay of the relationship between her and the former landowner.

A second fave: The Secret of Roan Innish It's in English (heavily accented and therefore all the more wonderful to me), but it's about the Isles. If you're Celtic crazy like I am, or have a tinge of that in you, this movie is as wonderful as having a storyteller weaving an old tale that you want to listen to all the way to the end. Again, hard to define what its charm is...maybe simply everything.

From Germany, Mostly Martha (foreign name Bella Martha), is THE original movie, and can be had in English subtitles. It is TOTALLY worth the trouble. Don't even bother to watch its American spinoff movie No Reservations, which will leave you cold and wanting to gnaw your arm off. The REAL movie, Mostly Martha is THE romantic comedy for foodies. Well, I love it. It's gentle and fun and really worth finding. Leaves you feeling warm.

From France again: The last one is the movie, actually a documentary, called in English To Be and To Have. It is about a career teacher in the French countryside in one of the last one room schools, and shows the progression through his final year teaching. It has English subtitles and always moves me deeply. It's hard to decide what its appeal is, but I periodically come back to it wanting some inspiration. It delivers.

Now...what foreign, or at least not American made, films do you love that I haven't discovered yet? The popcorn's popping :)


Mr. H. said...

Micki and I were just watching the videos and both think we would really like "Mostly Martha." If we get around to watching it I will let you know what we thought.:)

Brian Kaller said...


I only found your blog recently, via Kendra at "New Life on a Homestead." My compliments.

I love films from the 1930s and 40s, and find them particularly relevant to people living through difficult times today. "Our Daily Bread," "The Citadel" and "It Happened One Night," in particular, show vignettes of life during the Depression.

...and I'm glad to meet a fellow lover of The Secret of Roan Inish.

Brian Kaller
County Kildare, Ireland