(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)
October has arrived and with it, the spooky season. So it’s time to turn to horror, and if not that, the horror within humanity with our latest batch of the best foreign movies and TV streaming now. First there are two hidden martial arts gems streaming on Netflix, including a gripping Vietnamese action flick starring Veronica Ngo from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Wong Kar-wai‘s Ip Man biographical drama not starring Donnie Yen. Also on our list is J.A. Bayona‘s Spanish-language directorial debut, as well as an ambitious Swedish sci-fi movie and a fascinating Netflix crime procedural experiment.
Let’s fire up those subtitles and let’s get streaming.
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Posted on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 by Angie Han
An English-language remake of Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Orphanage has been in the works for a few years now, but it hit a rough patch in 2009 when would-be director Larry Fessenden exited the project after dealing with casting issues. Happily, it seems his successor Mark Pellington may be having somewhat better luck on that front. According to a new report, producers are eyeing three-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams to play the lead in the film. Read more after the jump.
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What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 40 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!
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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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An English-language remake of Juan Antonio Bayona’s fantastic horror film The Orphanage has been in the works since that film’s release two years ago. At first, we reported that producer Guillermo del Toro had chosen Wendigo director Larry Fessenden to helm the project, but those plans fell apart a few months after they were announced. Now we’ve learned that Mothman Prophecies and Arlington Road director Mark Pellington has been tasked to direct the remake.
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When I first saw The Orphanage at TIFF ’07, the moment the credits rolled I started thinking about the remake. That’s lame, yes, since there was plenty of good stuff to think about in the movie. It wasn’t that I was desperate to see the film remade. But I could see how a remake might do a few things differently, and possibly even better. With Guillermo del Toro as exec producer and the general nature of the film it seemed like one that would immediately hit the remake mill, much like Let the Right One In.
Indeed, that’s what happened, and as of August Wendigo director Larry Fessenden was attached to direct the US version. Now he says he’s off the project. Read More »
The long threatened promised US remake of The Orphanage has found its director and, frankly, I couldn’t be happier. Larry Fessenden is the man, and as well as signing on to helm this picture through production, he’s already co-written the remake script with the original’s producer, Guillermo del Toro.
This is very possibly not going to be a fashionable opinion but I see no reason why they won’t make a better film than J.A. Bayona’s original. I did like the 2007 version but definitely not to the extent of drop-down fainting witnessed in many of peers. And anyway, even if I had found it the best film of the year I’d still passionately support del Toro and Fessenden’s right to rework it. This isn’t Spielberg having a grasp at Harvey.
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Variety have reported on the reteaming of Juan Antonio Bayona and Sergio Sanchez, the director and screenwriter of The Orphanage. They don’t have many concrete details on this new collaboration at this stage but still succeed in making the film seem incredibly exciting. There’s my bias showing.
One of the producers is quoted as saying the film will be a “powerful story, based on true facts, which poses large technical challenges”. Without knowing which true facts that little hint is more of a red herring, but the prospect of the film presenting “large technical challenges” whets my appetite.
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Today I finally found some time to sit down and sift through the 352 official selections of the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. Many hours later, I present to you 65 must see movies at the Toronto International Film Festival. I did the work so that you don’t have to. So why should you care about these films if you’re not making the trip up to Canada in September?
In 1998, Variety acknowledged that the Toronto International Film Festival “is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity.” Roger Ebert has also said that “although Cannes is still larger, Toronto is more useful and more importantâ€¦.”
Toronto is essentially a preview of which Independent to mid-sized film releases might be big in the next five months. The festival is considered a launch pad for many studios to begin “Oscar-buzz” for their films.
How do I know that you should see these movies? Well, in most cases I don’t. I have seen some press screenings of a couple of the films listed below (Valley of Elah, My Kid Could Paint That…) and can personally recommend them. But for the most part, I have no idea. I have cobbled this list from an exhaustive day of research. Some of the films I chose because of the director, writer, or cast. Others because of the plot synopsis.
When a review was available, I read it. If a trailer was available, I watched it. I’ve included films that were recommended to me by trusted friends. Some films that I missed but were highly reviewed at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival (Son of Rambow, The Savages).
I must offer this disclaimer: I tend to be attracted to American, British and Japanese cinema to a fault. I do have a handful of picks outside my comfort realm, but if you’re looking for more “Worldly” selections, you might have to look elsewhere.
It should also be noted that some of the films (especially in the Gala and special presentation sections) will hit theaters within the next two months. Some films even hit theaters days within the festival’s conclusion. I put these movies on the list because they are movies of interest. But you, like me, might want to hold off on some of these flicks until they hit your city next month. For me, there are some films that I won’t be able to resist like Across The Universe and No Country for Old Men. I know they come out sooner rather than later, but I need to see them sooner. I’ve noted the release dates of films that are opening in the next two months, just so you have that information.
I’ll be at the festival for nine and a half days, so chances are, I won’t be able to see all of these films. The reality is, I won’t see even half of these films. I’ll be doing some interviews, so I’ve lowered my goal to around 30 movies, which most people would still consider extreme (that’s at least three movies each day of the festival).
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