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I am listing out the best Foreign Films of 2008 which I could lay my hand on.The term “Foreign Films” means Non-English films,they might be even Indian films.


I’ve Loved You So Long

Original Title: Il y a longtemps que je t’aime

“I’ve Loved You So Long ” is a very rare film which we find these days,it reminded me of Ingmar Bergman films. “I’ve Loved You So Long ” is a film which is filled with emotions of a depressed sister who is released from jail,feelings of a younger sister who she used to love when she was a child,pain of Juliette Fontaine which she never exudes.The film wonderfully depicts the sense of alienation with in a women,the difficulties of life,the desperate attempts of Léa Fontaine to make her sister feel the love and affection which she has towards her and Juliette’s encouter with every day life by facing the truth that she has lost the most loved one.Director Philippe Claudel makes a remarkable debut by handling and balancing such a sensitive story.

Waltz with Bashir

Original Title: Vals Im Bashir

“Waltz with Bashir” is a animated film about the experiences of a ex-Israeli soldier from the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War.The film is directed in a semi-documentary style which shows conversations and interrogations of various other people.”Waltz with Bashir ” has some good animation but its heart is in the story which depicts the tradey,massacre and evil.Its not as good as “Persepolis” but definitely one of the best film i have seen from a Israeli.

Gomorrah

Original Title: Gomorra

Its been a long time that we have seen good films from Italy.Gomorrah is a film which in which we can find a wonderful marriage between facts and drama.The film is mingled with five stories which depict the illegal activities which took place during a period of time in Italy.The film captures the true essence of mafia,drug business, youth,etc.. in a different way.Its an epic film of the contemporary Italy.Gomorrah also contains the seriousness in it which makes the viewer contemplate about the issues raised in the film.

A Christmas Tale

Original Title: Un conte de Noël

“A Christmas Tale” is a comedy film mixed with drama with a different flavour.This film exhibits the hidden talent of director “Arnaud Desplechin”.The film shows different feelings of different characters,the film flirts with past and present,the plot of the film looks quite simple but its been directed and narrated brilliantly.”A Christmas Tale” is a film which we can watch multiple times without having any complaints.You laugh,you smile,you think.you anticipate and you enjoy when you watch “A Christmas Tale” .

Il Divo

This italian film by Paolo Sorrentino will be called as a masterpiece in the years to come.This biographical film about Italian Prime Minister “Giulio Andreotti” is a wonderful example of story telling.The film hardly gives the true idea of what happened during the tenure of “Giulio Andreotti” but it cleverly reveals many things.

The performance of “Toni Servillo” as Giulio Andreotti is amazing,the character demands a composed acting and Toni Servillo excels in it.The films plot draws its own perimeter but it explores different aspects.The film contains wonderful scenes of trial,the confessions,the voting etc..Its not only a good Biographical film but also a good Trial film.


The Class

Original Title: Entre les murs

The novel is a autobiographical film on François Bégaudeau experiences as a literature teacher.François Bégaudeau himself acted and worked on the screenplay of the film.The film narrates different experiences of a teacher who looks himself as a different human being and the flexibility of being a literature teacher.The beauty of the film lies in its honesty and trying to evolve itself from every scene.”The Class” received the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

The Baader Meinhof Complex

At last after many years we have a good german film to watch.”The Baader Meinhof Complex” is the film about the incidents which took place during the Student Revolution in Germany and about the rise of terrorist group “Red Army Faction”.

The film shows the events which shook the whole country,the situation of the german students,the rise and terror created by “Red Army Faction” and the communist ideology.It can be seen as one of the good films which contains student revolution other being Berenardo Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers”.

Let the Right One In

Original Title: Låt den rätte komma

“Let the Right One In” is a vampire romantic film from Sweden directed by Tomas Alfredson.The relationship shown between the vampire and the boy is very fresh.The director’s depiction of evil in the character of Vampire is intriguing.The director creates fear and sympathy towards the girl vampire who has been 12 years for a long time.

The heart warming story between a boy and a girl has never been represented in such a way and wonderful acting by Lina Leandersson.I was very disappointed when Lina Leandersson lost the “Most Promising Performer” award to Dev Patel of “Slumdog Millionaire”.

Gamyam

English Translation: Destination

“Gamaym ” is a telugu Road film directed by debutant Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi(Krish).Gamyam might not be the best film of 2008 from India but it is a very good telugu film,there might be films which are better than gamyam ,as i did find the chance to watch other language films i am including gamyam as one of best foreign films.

Gamyam had low production values,no big stars and new director with a very good story.The film tells about the journey of two guys Abhiram and Gaali Seenu in search of Abhiram’s love.This is a film which tells about acceptance of true love,social issues of our country and Self Discovery.I am sure “Gamyam ” will win at least one National Award

“Premani Preminchina Prema Premakai Preminchina Premani Premistundi”—Mahakavi SRI SRI

This article is originally published on passionforcinema.com

Amelie is directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet .Amelie is the story of a young women and how she deals with an unexpected accident. The story looks simple and complex. The story might not be the attractive element of the film, but the way the story has been treated by Jean-Pierre Jeunet is wonderful.

Amelie has been brought up very cautiously by her parents due to some misunderstanding and she never had a normal childhood and she is lonely. One day she discovers an old box of a guy who used to live in her apartment and she decides to give him back the old box in order to make him and herself happy and she decides to make everyone happy and in this process she falls in love with a guy.

Amelie is the only film which I watched at least 10 times. It may or may not come under the list of greatest French films which I have seen but it’s definitely the film which I want to watch it repeatedly. The beauty of Cinema is before our eyes. I felt like the perfect visual treat and the best moments which my eyes can capture on the celluloid.

Many scenes in the film made me feel elated and at the same time surprised because of its absolute clarity in it. You just think that we do it and still we don’t recognize it. The minute moments of the film makes us feel close to it. Starting from the titles till the ending credits it’s just a delicious treat.

When the director mentions about the actions which the characters love, perform, hate etc.., they remind us of our daily unusual and unrecognized rituals which we do. The actions like pealing strips of paper, polishing the shoes, puckered fingers, pillow marks, cracking bones, popping bubble wraps, TV shows, dipping the fingers into sacks of grain, cracking the solid layer of cream with spoon, etc…

Amelie is a film which talks about life .It tells the actions which we do every day, infact it reminds the actions which we do. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet tells the story of everyday life, he tells how amelie had suffered in her childhood and how she is lonely in her adolescence. The Photography is very good and the color used is amazing, I wonder if we had the same scenery in our real life. The crazy camera angles just look perfect for ‘Amelie’. Amelie is not just about the young women Amelie but it is much more than that.