Matt's Guide to Enjoying Foreign Films, Part Three

Click here for Part One!
Click here for Part Two!

Alright, no time to waste. Let’s round off this week’s special series of entries with Matt’s Guide to Enjoying Foreign Films, Part Three.

Be open-minded:
Possibly the single most important step to enjoying foreign films is to be open minded. These are movies from different countries, developed by people with different beliefs, ideas and traditions than you. You can react in two ways: 1) Be put off by the strange ideas and concepts set forth by the film and turn it off or 2) Go into the film with an open mind and a willingness to learn and walk away from the experience with a sense of accomplishment. It’s really that simple, and open-mindedness can go a long way when experiencing foreign films.

Keep it balanced with familiarity:
Like anything new, it’s not a good idea to dive headfirst into foreign films with reckless abandon. Start out slow and rent your foreign film with some familiar movies – balance out your haul with a few mindless action flicks. Being a foreign film connoisseur doesn’t always transform you into a beret-wearing snob, and it’s OK to rent both “La Dolce Vita” and “Bad Boys 2” in one night. After all, the point of all of this is to broaden your horizons, and an eclectic taste in film is a virtue.

Have fun!:
Seriously, I know it sounds lame, but it’s true. Breaking into the realm of foreign cinema should be an adventure. Don’t take it too seriously, and don’t get discouraged. Foreign films aren’t for everyone, but anyone can enjoy a subtitled movie if they actively put effort into it. It’s just a bit of reading folks.

To wrap up this series of entries, a list of my favorite foreign films:

8 ½ (Italy, Frederico Fellini, 1963)
Das Boot (Germany, Wolfgang Petersen, 1981)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Taiwan, Ang Lee, 2000)
Metropolis (Germany, Fritz Lang, 1927)
Oldboy (South Korea, Chan-Wook Park, 2003)
Princess Mononoke (Japan, Hayao Miyazaki, 1997)
Run Lola Run (Germany, Tom Tykwer, 1998)
Seven Samurai (Japan, Akira Kurosawa, 1954)

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