pop culture imports september 20

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

Film festival season is in full swing, but so is extreme weather — which makes it the perfect time to throw on some foreign films. What better thing to do when weathering autumn storms than to watch Hirokazu Kore-eda‘s After the Storm, just as the Japanese auteur scores another festival circuit hit with his new film Shoplifters? On the other hand, if you’re looking for fluffier fare, there’s also a You’ve Got Mail-inspired Bollywood rom-com, a live-action adaptation of the popular fantasy anime Bleach, and a South African body-swapping comedy.

So, get over the film festival envy and turn on those subtitles.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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The Cannes Film Festival is more than just a festival. They also have a large film market where distributors try to market and sell their films to international territories. I started off my day on Thursday by attending a buyers screening. At Cannes, press are allowed admission to some of the buyers screenings, but only at the last minute with space permitting.

The 75 seat theater was filled for Gareth EdwardsMonsters, an independent sci-fi thriller which gained some high praise at SXSW. We got some of the last remaining seats. I went in with very low expectations, and was blown away.

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