the french dispatch cast movies

Not all directors give their cast homework before shooting a movie. But the famously meticulous Wes Anderson gave his cast of The French Dispatch a required viewing list before production began on his upcoming comedy set in 20th century France.

Anderson gave his actors five movies to watch before shooting The French Dispatch, which means he made his most star-studded cast — which includes the likes of Bill MurrayOwen WilsonTilda SwintonFrances McDormandJeffrey WrightAdrien BrodyBenicio Del ToroLéa Seydoux, and Timothée Chalamet — watch at least 10 hours of movies. And yes, they’re all in French, and they’re all in black-and-white.

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best foreign movies and tv streaming

(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)

With the coronavirus pandemic growing and social distancing in full effect, there’s no better time to dip your toes into some foreign-language movies and TV shows that you’ve been meaning to get around to. Whether that be arthouse classics like the German Expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the second seasons of Netflix’s Kingdom or HBO’s My Brilliant Friend, or that weird furry anime on Netflix, Pop Culture Imports is here for all your streaming needs. And goodness knows we’ll be doing a lot of streaming while we’re in self-quarantine.

Let’s fire up those subtitles and get streaming.

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Super Sentai - Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger

Since we’re all going to be stuck inside our houses for at least a couple weeks, we’ll be relying on every possible outlet for entertainment. But sometimes Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime don’t always have what we’re looking for, especially if you’re looking for some good old-fashioned tokusatsu programming from Japan. That’s where Shout! Factory TV‘s new streaming channel TokuSHOUTsu on Pluto TV comes into play.

For those who don’t know, tokusatsu is a Japanese entertainment genre known for its unique special effects and epic battles between superheroes and kaiju monsters. We’re talking about shows like Super Sentai (which inspired all the iterations of Power Rangers), Ultraman Leo, and Kamen Rider, all of which will be available on Pluto TV starting this week. Read More »

best foreign movies and tv streaming

(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)

Welcome back to your regularly scheduled programming on Pop Culture Imports, in which I dispense with the themes now that Oscar season is over, and I give you some good foreign-language movies and shows to watch while you’re working from home waiting for the coronavirus scare to die down. In fact, there may be no better cure for the closet racism and xenophobia that the coronavirus has inspired than watching a few international films to remind you that there is a world outside your heavily bolted door. And if you’re not going to eat at your local Chinese restaurant, the least you can do is watch an HBO anthology series about food around East and Southeast Asia. In addition to that series, called Food Lore, there is a moving and magnetic German childcare drama, a Spanish-British romantic dramedy, a very bizarre anime series, and more.

Let’s fire up those subtitles and get streaming.

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The Platform Trailer

There are countless science fiction films that serve as provocative allegories about society at large, ranging from Fritz Lang’s classic Metropolis all the way back in 1927 to Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 from 2009 and plenty more in between and beyond. Netflix is bringing us another one from Spain by way of director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia.

The Platform takes place in a vertical prison where inmates are assigned to a level and forced to ration food from a platform that moves between the floors. The top floors get exquisite feasts while the lower levels get less and less as the meal platform comes down to them. Sure, it’s a bit on the nose, but if you watch The Platform trailer, you’ll see that this looks outstanding. Read More »

parasite box office

Parasite keeps on climbing up at the box office. Bong Joon-ho’s dark satirical masterpiece has just crossed the $50 million mark at the U.S. box office, buoyed by its historic four wins at the 2020 Academy Awards. While it’s not likely it will reach the top of the list of highest-grossing foreign-language films at the domestic box office (that honor remains with Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), this latest Parasite box office update puts it on track to pass a couple other foreign films on the domestic charts.

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Parasite donald trump

Even four years into his term, Donald Trump can’t stop obsessing over Hollywood, this time setting his sights on Oscar winner Parasite. At a Colorado rally this week, the president mocked the South Korean movie’s Best Picture win at this year’s Academy Awards, grousing over the lack of love for Gone With the Wind, a four-hour epic that Trump, who has a famously short attention span, has definitely seen. But Parasite‘s U.S. distributor Neon was quick to hit back at Trump, mocking another thing that Trump is famous for: his inability to read.

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peninsula

Train to Busan took the world by storm when the zombie horror hit debuted in 2016, spawning an animated prequel from director Yeon Sang-ho and the inevitable English-language remake. Now it seems like it will spawn a bonafide horror franchise over in South Korea, with Yeon directing a Train to Busan follow-up called Peninsula. But unlike many horror follow-ups, this won’t be a direct sequel.

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parasite storyboards

Bong Joon-ho doesn’t hand his cast a script – he hands them a comic book. Or more accurately, a book full of the film’s storyboards that the Oscar-winning director meticulously draws himself. Bong has been known for storyboarding all of his movies before he ever gets behind the camera, shooting with a level of precision that is rarely seen in filmmakers today. And no film better shows that precision than Bong’s Best Picture-winning film Parasite.

Bong’s Parasite storyboards show the director envisioned every shot from the beginning, allowing him to shoot in a tight 77-day production. We’ll soon get to see exactly what that vision was with the release of a graphic novel compiling the Parasite storyboards drawn by Bong, some of which have already been teased online ahead of the novel’s May debut. And this being the internet, someone has already whipped up a video comparing Bong’s Parasite storyboards and the final product that made it to the screen. See how Parasite went from storyboards to screen in the video below.

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best foreign movies and tv streaming

(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)

We live in a world where Parasite is a Best Picture winner, and where every publication has been quick to recommend dozens of other South Korean films to watch now that audiences have suddenly accepted subtitles.

Well, as the column that has long been advocating for subtitled movies, I’m here to shake things up a bit. I won’t be recommending the best South Korean films to check out if Parasite has piqued your interest in the country’s cinematic offerings (we already have a list for those who want to begin that journey), but giving you a peek behind the curtain into Parasite director Bong Joon-ho’s mind. Bong is an ardent cinephile who has passionately spoken about his favorite films, classic and new, all of which span the globe. So if you want to dig into the films that influenced Bong and his latest masterpiece Parasite, here is where you can stream some of his favorite non-English language films.

Fire up those subtitles, and let’s get streaming.

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