Monday, October 17, 2005

Foreign movies

A close Malay friend, Z, was the one who got me started on foreign movies (read non-Hollywood movies). And that was way before I came over to Sydney. Sadly, foreign movies are kindda rare in Singapore, with basically only Cathay, via Orchard Cineleisure, screening some from time to time, and maybe the odd film festival here and there. Nonetheless, they were more than enough for a foreign movie novice like me. And they certainly felt like a breath of fresh air to me then, after living on Hollywood movies from the teens.

Somewhat surprisingly, Z was, and still is, very into Korean movies and to a certain extent, Korean drama serials. Especially those sappy ones. Surprising, on two counts. One, he is Malay (not a racist remark, but one might feel the average Chinese is more likely to be interested in Korean dramas and such than the average Malay). Two, he is a guy (I'm referring to the sappy part here).

Anyway, the only Hollywood movie of the past 5-6 years that has really grabbed my attention is Memento. It was also Z that I watched this movie with. He's kindda like my movie khaki. The rest of the Hollywood movies I've somehow ended up watching really fall by the wayside in terms of quality. Especially after I've been exposed to so many excellent foreign movies over here.

Yes, I've watched tonnes of foreign movies since coming over here. The main reason is SBS (Yes, I am mentioning it again. It is simply my favourite TV station here.) screens a foreign movie every day. Yes, one every day! So I get to pick and choose which I want to watch. On a regular week, I would watch at least three foreign movies. For about two months since I came back in late July, there had been that Ashes Cricket Series going on. It really disrupted my staple of foreign movies. Now, things are back to normal and the flow of foreign movies is back with a vengence.

I've watched foreign movies from many many countries. Starting with Asia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Afghanistan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Iran and Russia. From Europe, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, UK, Greece, Turkey and Sweden. From North America, Canada and Mexico. From South America, Brazil and Argentina. From Africa, Egypt. And of course, from Oceania, Australia and New Zealand. My personal favourites tend to come from Japan and France.

In addition to the wide variety, what I like about watching movies here is they are all uncensored. It certainly is less disruptive and adds to my viewing pleasure. I do admit to feeling mildly shocked by the violence and nudity during my first movies on Aussie TV. But after a while, one just gets used to it, understanding it as part of the story. During my holiday breaks back in Singapore, when I catch movies in local theatres, I actually get much more irritated now by our censors exercising their snipping rights. It really does feel like being treated as an immature child.

The five movies you see on my profile are my all-time favourites (thus far). Indeed, I am in the process of buying their DVDs. They are namely, 重慶深林, Memento, Les enfants du marais, 紅の豚 and Tmavomodrý svet. You can click through to find out more about these five films so I won't bother describing them here.

Other honourable mentions include À la folie... pas du tout, 밀애 (edit: added on 23rd October 2005), Brother, 等候董建华发落, ユリイカ, 風の谷のナウシカ, Himalaya - l'enfance d'un chef, 菊次郎の夏, Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (edit: added on 6th January 2006), 藍色的門, Nebeska udica, Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (edit: added on 29th December 2005), Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Nueve reinas, 千と千尋の神隠し, Pepamintokyandhi, Sur mes lèvres, 텔미썸딩, 天空の城ラピュタ, Un long dimanche de fiançailles, Le violon rouge and 我的父親母親 (edit: added on 8th February 2006). You will notice that many of the Miyazaki animations make my list. Yeah, the recent series being run on SBS is fast converting me into a Miyazaki fan. I suspect more of his work will find their way into my list as the current series continue (till the end of this month). You might also notice that I am a mini Audrey Tautou fan. Anyway, catch these movies if you can ever find them in Singapore (though I doubt it).

I suspect one of the few things I will miss about Australia when I go home for good will be its foreign movies TV channel. I suppose I can overcome that with the foreign movies channel on cable TV, assuming I still have time for my regular dose of movie watching.

Akan Datang: Before and after (and after after)

165 days to go.


Post a Comment

<< Home