Despite the conventional progression of most of their plots and stories, the American films have been eclipsing all foreign flicks for decades to date. Equipped with vast production budgets and deluxe visuals, the orientation of such films has been gradually getting under our skin that it became our sole definition of top-notch cinema. This, however, has altered our perception of films, which in return had a negative impact on the way we view international productions. Consequently, this had abundant foreign gems fly under our radar, just for being articulated through a different dialect despite their tip-top standards that are on a par with that of the American industry. To right these wrongs, we scope 5 foreign movies that will alter your stereotypical thoughts on non-American cinema with their palpable gist and low-key essence.
1- The Hunt
You might be familiar with Mads Mikkelsen’s villainous impersonations in James Bond’s Casino Royale, Marvel’s Doctor Strange and the televised show Hannibal, but you’ve probably overlooked the zenith of his career: The Hunt. The 2012 Danish picture depicts a thorough character study of a middle-aged teacher, whose life is driven to the edge all because of a little lie that shatters his world, eliciting sorrows and hardships as he turns into an outcast. The film brilliantly utilizes subtlety as a vital element in its framings as well as its storytelling, offering much room for the actors to unleash their finesse, which yielded an impeccable flick that you should add to your watch list.
2- Memories Of Murder
When it comes to Asian cinema, the Koreans are definitely the gurus of the industry in the continent. Contrary to the vividness and the lighthearted nature of their TV shows, the Korean films are rather murky and grim. Nevertheless, they imbibe plenty of compelling aspects that send chills down one’s spine, which culminated in 2003’s Memories Of Murder. Crafted in mysterious atmospheres, the 15-year-old thriller is centered on an unsolved crime that took place in a small Korean county back in the eighties, shedding light on the exertions of two aspiring detectives who took it upon themselves to untangle the perplexities of the case. The film is regarded as one of the best crime productions for its enticing flow, gripping proceedings and riveting conclusion, so make sure you check it out.
3- About Elly
The year 2012 has prompted a huge turn for the better for Iranian art, when director Asghar Farhadi’s A Spearation has clinched the first Oscar award in the history of Iranian Cinema, which has put the ensuing Persian productions on the map. Unfortunately though, audiences have disregarded the tenor of Farhadi’s precedent projects; they weren’t internationally applauded nor recognized with the same fervor despite being just as good as his acclaimed work, as is the case with 2009’s About Elly. Aided by its meticulous layers of drama meets mystery and nail-biting sequences, the film ably exhibits new aspects in the structure of the genre, portraying the jitteriness of its story in the best way possible, which had it veer far from mainstream thrillers.
4- The Intouchables
French cinema has always been known for its gleeful films that highlight the bright side of our traits. Following the steps of 2001’s Amelie, The Intouchables is a poignant voyage through the silver linings of our human selves as it trails the story of an affluent aristocrat who appoints a young man as his caretaker after he becomes paralyzed, which kicks off the comedic yet touching plot of the feature. The film’s story is infused with alacrity that transcends social status and ethnicity, and it comes to light through the sensational deliveries of the two lead characters, which will surely tug on your emotions and immerse you in jubilation.
5- The Experiment
If you’re on the hunt for a heart-pounding psychological thriller, then the German flick The Experiment is your pick! Following the film’s title, the 2001 feature is centered on a bizarre two-week experiment where 20 individuals are recruited and divided into two groups to play prisoners and guards in a simulated prison, and to no one’s surprise, things go terribly awry. The film is enthralling and profound, and will live up to your expectations if you’re a fan of the intense framings of Quentin Tarantino and the quirky articulations of David Fincher. However, make sure you check out the original German production, not the futile American remake that was released in 2010.