(2001) D: Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Starring Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz.
This charming ditty is endearing and captivating and every bit worth the torture of subtitles.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: The main colors in the film (green, blue and red) are inspired by the paintings of the Brazilian artist Juarez Machado.
THE BICYCLE THIEF
(1947) D: Vittorio De Sica. Starring Lamberto Maggiorani, Lianella Carell, Enzo Staiola.
Unforgettable classic drama about a father who’s lost it all except for the admiration and unconditional love of his son. An all-time classic.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: All of the actors were amateurs.
NUOVO CINEMA PARADISO (“Cinema Paradiso”)
(1989) D: Giuseppe Tornatore. Starring Philippe Noiret, Salvatore Cascio.
A bittersweet look at life in a small Italian town and what movies can do to a soul.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Tornatore’s intention was that this movie should serve as an obituary for traditional movie theatres (like the one on the film) and the movie industry in general. After the movie’s success he never mentioned this again.
LOLA RENNT (Run Lola Run)
(1998) D: Tom Tykwer. Starring Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtrau.
Don’t let the fact that this is a German film dissuade you. If you like fast-paced edits, clever narrative structure, a perfect marriage of sound and image, and breathless performances that raise the stakes, the language doesn’t even matter. This film transcends all language.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: During shooting, Franka Potente could not wash her hair for seven weeks because the red hair color was very sensitive to water and would have got lighter with every washing.
(1985) D: Akira Kurosawa. Starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu.
Extremely powerful and gorgeous Japanese adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Not for the feint of heart, however.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: The entire film is done in long-shot, there isn’t a single close-up.