New foreign language movies (Dec 2009 / Jan 2010)

January 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

Dear all,

Over the past month, documentaries and movies in various languages have been recorded from SBS & ABC channels.

These programmes are available through the computers in the Self Study room (Rm 222, Brennan MacCallum building) should you wish to view them.


A Better Tomorrow

The first of three in a series of films by John Woo that tell the tale of two brothers – one a successful counterfeiter and the younger a fledgling graduate of the Hong Kong Police Academy. Winner 1986 Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actor (Chow Yun-Fat) and Best Picture.

Lung Ti, Chow Yun-Fat, Leslie Cheung
(1986)  Hong Kong  Director: John Woo
MA  V,A  Action  110 mins  Repeat

A Better Tomorrow II

The second of three in a classic series of films that helped establish John Woo’s filmmaking career and made Chow Yun-Fat an instant star. Whilst running a restaurant in New York, Ken Gor teams up with police detective Kit and his struggling ex-con brother Ho to avenge his old friend’s daughter’s murder by a Triad gang.

Chow Yun-Fat, Leslie Cheung
(1987)  (Hong Kong/Cantonese, English)  Director: John Woo
MA  V,L,A  Action  110 mins

Kekexili: Mountain Patrol

This moving true story set against the exquisite backdrop of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau has had a profound impact in China, bringing attention to the Kekexili region and the plight of its inhabitants and endangered species. Kekexili, the third least inhabited area in the world, is home to the rare Tibetan antelope. Prized for its wool, the antelope is the target of poachers, and its numbers are dwindling drastically. Local Tibetans form a volunteer patrol, led by Ri Tai, to stop the slaughter.

Zhang Lei, Liang Qi
(2004)  (China/Mandarin)  Director: Lu Chuan
M  Action  95 mins  Repeat

Secrets of the Forbidden City

The extraordinary true story behind the building of the largest palace on earth, the Forbidden City in Beijing. For six centuries the Forbidden City has been at the heart of China. It remains one of mankind’s greatest historic and architectural icons. Now this spectacular film uses the latest discoveries, combined with compelling drama to reveal the secrets of how the Forbidden City was built, by the all-powerful Ming emperor Yongle, who would stop at nothing to achieve his amazing vision. The film explores the incredible logistical and technical effort required to build a palace of 9000 rooms that formed the core of Yongle’s new capital, Beijing. More than a million workers toiled to create the emperor’s dream. And, newly translated ancient texts in fact reveal that Yongle had no real right to call himself emperor, and no right to build a palace of his own. It was raised on the blood of others. This warlord had clawed his way to the top, fought foul, betrayed his own family and killed all in his path, to steal the throne.
(2008)  UK  M  V  Documentary  90 mins  *CC*

The World

Tao, a dancer, and her boyfriend Taisheng, a security guard, come to The World Park – a theme park on the outskirts of Beijing – to build their life together. But they find the environment artificial and isolated, and many of the staff are lonely and disillusioned with life. Winner of Sao Paula Int Film Festival and Toronto Film Critics Assoc Awards in 2005.

Tao Zhao, Taisheng Chen, Jue Jing
(2004)  (China/Mandarin)  Director: Zhang Ke Jia
PG  Drama  145 mins  Repeat



As Mele and husband Chakra go through the trauma of a marriage break-up, a trial is held in the courtyard of the house they share with other families in Mali. Winner of a Lumiere award for best French language film in 2007.

Aïssa Maïga, Tiecoura Traore
(2006)  (France/French, English)  Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
M  V  Drama  125 mins  Repeat  *CC*

Bon Voyage

In tonight’s European Cinema, an actress, a writer, a university researcher and a government official combine in an effort to flee Paris in the shadow of the Nazis’ takeover of the city. Screened at the 2004 French Film Festival, and nominated for 11 Cesar Awards.

Gérard Depardieu, Peter Coyote
(2003)  (France/French)  Director: JEan-Paul Rappeneau
M  V  Drama  120 mins  Repeat

The Overeater

Selena, an obese police superintendent, confides in suspected murderer Elsa, but the murder investigation is more complicated than it first seems. French soccer superstar Eric Cantona gives a tour de force performance as the 350lb policeman.

Eric Cantona, Rachida Brakni
(2003)  (France/French)  Director: Thierry Binisti
M  L,S,A  Drama  95 mins  Repeat

Tell No One

Eight years ago, Doctor Alex Beck’s wife Margot was brutally murdered and a serial killer was charged with her murder. But the discovery of two bodies on the shores of the lake where Margot was killed and mutilated after a midnight swim forces the police to reopen the case, with new evidence casting suspicion on Alex. At the same time, Dr Beck is receiving strange email messages from his presumably dead wife. Winner of four Cesar awards in 2007, including Best Actor and Best Director.

François Cluzet, Marie-Josée Croze, André Dussolier

(2006) (France/French)  Director: Guillaume Canet

MA  Drama 135 mins
Live and Become

In 1984, the Israeli Secret Service initiated Operation Moses, where thousands of Ethiopian Jews, or Falashas, were covertly airlifted out of war-torn, famine-stricken Ethiopa into Israel. This multi-award winning film tells the story of Schlomo, a Christian boy who pretends to be a Jew in order to escape to Israel. On his arrival Schlomo is adopted by an Israeli couple, but despite their best efforts he remains depressed, and secretly sends letters to his mother still in Ethiopia. His constant struggle with racism in his new country, and his continued pretence of being a Jew, cause him to deeply question his identity.

Sirak M. Sabahat, Yaël Abecassis, Roschdy Zem
(2005)  (France/Hebrew, Amharic, French)  Director: Radu Mihaileanu
M  A,L,V  Drama  150 mins



This Asia Wide Film looks at the plight of two child widows in India who are forced to lead a life of poverty in a temple with other widows. The older widows force the younger into prostitution to earn money for the maintenance of the Ashram. One young widow is given a chance to remarry but realises the father of her beloved is one of her clients. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007.

Sarala, Lisa Ray, John Abraham

(2006)  (Canada/Hindi)  Director: Deepa Mehta

M  Drama  120 mins


Facing Windows

When an elderly Jewish pastry chef loses his memory, his involvement with the young married couple helping him out seems more than a chance meeting. This is a lush, engaging melodrama about a mother at an emotional crossroads that won a score of David de Donatello awards and screened at the 2003 Italian Film Festival.

Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Nigro, Massimo Girotti, Serra Yilmaz
(2002)  (Italy/Italian)  Director: Ferzan Ozpetek
M  L,S,A  Drama  110 mins  Repeat

Her Whole Life Ahead of Her

A philosophy-graduate-turned-telemarketer’s life is turned upside down when she meets an impassioned labour union worker and divulges her company’s unfair practices to him. A coming of age tale confronting the harsh reality of the employment world in contemporary Italy.

Isabella Ragonese, Massimo Ghini, Sabrina Ferilli
(2008)  (Italy/Italian)  Director: Paolo Virzi
M  S,L,D,V,N  Comedy  125 mins

Once You’re Born You Can No Longer Hide

Tonight’s European Cinema tells the story of 10-year-old Sandro of wealthy Italian parentage, who transcends the boundaries of multi-ethnicities when a fateful twist lands him in close quarters with refugees.

Matteo Gadola, Alessio Boni, Michela Cescon
(2005)  (France/Italian)  Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
M  L,A  Drama  125 mins


Shinobi: Heart Under Blade

This is Romeo and Juliet, ninja-style. Revolves around two forbidden lovers caught in the crossfire of their warring families. A unique blend of romance, high-octane action and martial arts.

Yukie Nakama, Joe Odagiri
(2005)  (Japan/Japanese)  Director: Ten Shimoyama
MA  V  Drama  110 mins  Repeat


Joint Security Area

The story of an incident at Panmunjom, the demilitarised zone on the border between the two Koreas, involving a South Korean sergeant accused of shooting a North Korean soldier on guard duty. Major Sophie Jang, born in Geneva of a Korean father and Swiss mother, is entrusted with the investigating the case, and finds herself plunged into an atmosphere of mutual suspicion and hostility.

Lee Young-Ae, Byung-hun Lee
(2000)  (South Korea/Korean, English)  Director: Park Chan-Wook
MA  V  Thriller  115 mins  Repeat



Biographic film about influential flamenco singer El Camarón de la Isla, covering his rise to fame, his drug addiction, and his association with Paco de Lucia. Produced in consultation with his widow. Winner of three Best Actor awards for Óscar Jaenada.

Óscar Jaenada, Verónica Sánchez, Mercè Llorens
(2005)  (Spain/Spanish)  Director: Jaime Chávarri
M  D,L  Biography  120 mins  Repeat

Son of the Bride

A stressed-out restaurant owner who is facing a mid-life crisis ends up in hospital. A series of events and his father’s devotion to his mother make him take a new look at life. Winner of eight awards at the Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards.

Ricardo Darín, Héctor Alterio, Norma Aleandro
(2001)  (Argentina/Spanish)  Director: Juan José Campanella
M  L  Comedy  130 mins  Repeat


Last Life in the Universe

Tonight’s Asia Wide Film is an inventive, authentic, and quietly unsettling exploration of fate bringing people together just as their worlds are falling apart. A suicidal Japanese former gangster and a Thai prostitute find love in Pattaya. Won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Bangkok Film Festival in 2004 and Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival in 2003.

Laila Boonyasak, Thiti Rhumorn
(2003)  (Thailand/Thai, Japanese)  Director: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
M  A,L,V  Romance  110 mins  Repeat


Entry filed under: Movies.

Language resources: French, Japanese O-week 2010 & Welcome!

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