Realm Of Randomness

June 26, 2008

Once you go Indie …

Filed under: Movie,Review — Randomizer @ 2:10 am

Hollywood just doesn’t cut it anymore. Ever since watching Pan’s Labyrinth last year, I’ve been feeling the urge to watch more and more foreign films and independent movies. I’ve watched tons of them already, so many of which I’ve absolutely loved, and an equally good number of them that were flat out boring. So here are some good movies to watch, when you’re done with the Hulks and the Batmen( Batmans?) from this Summer… movies that are real, no graphics, no fancy effects, just stories of people and things that happen around them… movies dealing with simple things, complicated people and mostly fantastic acting… movies that perhaps need wine rather than popcorn, that are more for a Sunday afternoon than a Saturday night… movies that give you something to think about instead of an escape from it!

Before introducing the countdown, I just had to say – Avoid watching trailers at all costs, or reading the back of DVDs … these things spoil a good half of the movie, and in some extreme cases possibly even the entire movie itself! Also, Indie flicks don’t guarantee you a happy ending all the time, so if you’re one of those who goes by the ‘I have enough problems in my life already’ philosophy, this list is best left unread!

So here goes..

(10) Martin (Hache): This is a Spanish movie, based in Argentina and Spain. The dialogue is quite witty and the acting is pretty great.

(9) Water: Our very own Indian movie (which we banned and so later had to be entered as a Canadian film!) directed by Deepa Mehta is the story of a young widow in Varanasi. No matter how much we desis cringe at the exoticization of India in western media, there are stories that still need to be told, and this is one of them.

(8) The Diving bell and the Butterfly: Winner of tons of awards this year, this French movie is essentially a story of survival. It’s pretty motivational and you feel grateful for so many things once you’re done watching it. I read the story of this man in Reader’s Digest maybe a decade ago. This was the film adaptation of that true story.

(7) After the Wedding: Nominated for the Oscars for best foreign film but lost out to the ‘Lives of others’, which I will be talking about shortly. This was a Danish film, quite a Bollywood-ish story with all the twists and turns, but nevertheless quite entertaining.

(6) Bella: A sweet Spanish story revolving around two people, set in New York. It’s a nice watch, emotional at times, and very good acting.

(5) Half Nelson: The story of a teacher and one of his students, both with their own problems and pasts, and how they deal with their presents and futures.

(4) The Visitor: One of the few movies that has crossed the 90% barrier on Rotten Tomatoes (which is what I use for Movie ratings), it was the first movie that I cared to actually watch in a movie theater rather than use the DVD player at home. This is the story of a Professor in the US and his experience with an unexpected ‘visitor’… it’s in English, and is a pretty nice movie to watch.

(3) City of God: Wow, this movie was crazy. It’s raw Brazil, with the gangs, the poverty, the drugs and the crime. A must watch foreign film.

(2) The lives of others: Jeez, what a fantastic movie. This was the Oscar winner for the 2007 Best Foreign film award. I highly recommend this one. It’s a German film, set in East Germany, 1984. I’m not giving away anything more.

(1) Nobody Knows: It’s been 5 days since I watched this movie and I just can’t stop thinking about it. This movie is intense and long, so if you are the type who needs actions scenes more than subtleties, this isn’t for you… though I would still strongly suggest trying it out just to see. Set in Tokyo, this Japanese movie is about the lives of 4 children … and that is again all I am willing to give away. The direction is amazing, the scenes are fantastic, and the movie just grips you from start to finish. The actor who played the eldest of the kids won the Best Actor at Cannes in 2004… an award he definitely deserved.

… well, there you go. If you have any suggestions for good Indie or Foreign films, please do add them in the comments! Happy watching!



  1. The Diving Bell and the butterfly gets a thumbs up from me, too. It was so brilliantly shot and it shook me up totally to see a narrative like that, and somewhere in my head the firecrackers exploded for the brilliance in film making that it was.

    While you’re at all things Indie, maybe you could watch Hard Candy(the young girl meets paedophile with a twist and then some), The Reprise (a Norwegian film), The Fall (which I’m sure as an artist and photographer you’ll like for the explosion of colours and the vibrancy), 4 months,3 weeks,2 days(because it’s hard hitting and in a subtle way takes the focus completely off where we as film-goers think it should be). And then of course there is Wong Kar Wai with 2046, In the Mood for Love and his latest offing- My Blueberry Nights. Yes, it’s a crazy crazy indie world out there.

    Comment by purely_narcotic — June 26, 2008 @ 8:17 am | Reply

  2. Hey, thanks for the suggestions! :) Will see if I can pick some of them this weekend

    Comment by Randomizer — June 27, 2008 @ 1:51 am | Reply

  3. Hey!
    I loved the diving bell and the butterfly! Such a moving film.
    With your keen interest in foreign films, im sure you’d enjoy being part of the Culturazzi Club – a club that strives to bring people in arts, cinema, literature, music and theater across the world together on a common platform, where they can share their thoughts, opinions, and interact with each other.

    Feel free to contact us for further interaction :) !

    Comment by Samakshi — June 27, 2008 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

  4. The Tiger and th Snow, and of course Life is Beautiful (both Italian movies..both are Benigni movies infact)

    Comment by Deepak — July 10, 2008 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

  5. Nice Collection! Diving bell’s a gem. You should check out Into the Wild.

    Comment by Ramya — March 12, 2009 @ 8:08 am | Reply

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