For this week’s Thursday Movie Picks, run by Wandering through the Shelves, we’ve been asked to list three to five films that are not in the English language.
I previously posted a top 10 list of films not in the English language earlier this year. For today’s post I’m making my selection from films that I’ve watched this year.
Ponyo (2008; Japan)
Ponyo is a whimsical tale heavily inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ with elements borrowed from Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ and nods to Japanese superstition. Ponyo is a fish who dreams of being human and who forms a friendship with a special boy, Sōsuke. [Read my full review.]
Run Lola Run (1998; Germany)
Directed by Tom Tykwer, this film is genuinely like nothing I have ever seen before. At just shy of 1h 22m it’s a short film that gives you a glimpse – just 20 minutes, in fact – into the lives of Lola and her boyfriend, Manni, who must return some missing cash to a crime lord boss [Read my full review.]
Timbuktu (2014; Mauritania)
Set around 2012 and inspired by the real-life occupation of Timbuktu, Mali by Ansar Dine (a militant Islamist group), Timbuktu feels in some ways more of a fly-on-the-wall documentary than a feature film: you feel as though you are observing ordinary people as they go about their day-to-day lives as there is a naturalness — a realness — to the cast. [Read my full review.]