by Rosalie Lewis
I wish I could say that I immediately started voraciously consuming any and all subtitled cinematic fare, but truthfully I wasn’t lured back to the world of non-English language movies until I stumbled onto Run Lola Run a few years later as a college student. Now that movie changed me, y’all. I dyed my hair a very bright shade of red and made my roommate Lindsey cut it to loosely resemble Franka Potente’s cool as hell tresses. I went around telling everyone to watch it (sorry not sorry) and immediately catapulted it into my top 3 of all time (the other two were Fight Club and Donnie Darko, duh).
When I realized how exciting and unexpected world cinema could be, I never looked back. My next obsession was Pan’s Labyrinth, my first theatrical experience of a subtitled movie, and I of course gobbled up Amelie and City of God shortly thereafter thanks to my local library.
I’m hopeful that Parasite’s unstoppable appeal will raise audience interest in other cinema where reading is fundamental. In case you want a little inspiration in that direction yourself, I’m here to share some of my favorite discoveries. I’d love to know yours!
To start, let’s calibrate to your taste. That’s how to make this feel less like homework and more like an extra helping of dessert.
If you like: Julie and Julia or romantic movies with unconventional plot resolutions
Try: The Lunchbox
If you like: All the President’s Men or Aaron Sorkin at his most upbeat moments
If you like: Pitch Perfect, Sing Street, or movies about rebellious teenage girls
Try: Linda Linda Linda
Cloud Atlas and Sense 8. In this movie, she plays an exchange student living in Japan who gets recruited to join an all-girl rock band as they prepare for a talent show. When she’s not rehearsing, she’s rebuffing the affections of a male classmate and giving advice to her new bandmates. It’s all a super fun time, and the music consists primarily of covers songs by Japanese punk band Blue Hearts, as well as some instrumental tracks by James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins fame.
If you like: Captain Phillips or other movies involving hostages and tense negotiation
Try: A Hijacking
If you like: Enemy by Denis Villeneuve or anything involving doppelgangers and parallel universes
Try: The Double Life of Veronique
Alright. That’s enough to get you started. Check back for future installments of this column where I review or recommend even more subtitled cinema.