(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)
In this week’s Pop Culture Imports, we have Akira Kurosawa‘s masterpiece, Ran, on the Criterion Channel, and a few hidden gems on Netflix including a superb German sexual assault drama, a poignant slice of life anime film, the latest cinematic reunion between Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, and a vibrant animated love letter to Ancient Andean culture.
Fire up the subtitles and let’s dive into the best foreign movies and TV streaming now.
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Penelope Cruz reunites onscreen with spouse Javier Bardem for the first time since 2013’s The Counselor in a new movie this year. But while that movie didn’t give them much screen time together, Everybody Knows puts the duo through the wringer. Cruz and Bardem star in the taut kidnapping thriller from Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi which premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in May. Ahead of the film’s U.S. release this coming February, Focus Features has released the first Everybody Knows trailer.
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Iranian writer and director Asghar Farhadi is a true master of character motivation. He understands that when people talk, they are rarely telling the truth, instead offering a lie wrapped in equivocation. His filmography evinces a nearly single-minded focus on watching how quickly lives can unravel when the falsehoods once which they rest become exposed.
Everybody Knows, Farhadi’s latest work, is the filmmaker distilled into an essence. The lie at the heart of the film, however, is of a different variety than his usual ones. The open secret makes for Farhadi’s fiction of choice here. Everybody Knows could easily bear the subtitle “…but no one acknowledges.” The film’s characters are all aware of an unpleasant truth, one that they have all chosen to ignore, deny or dismiss. Read More »