Today you get a few foreign films. They’re certainly worth the subtitles! (These aren’t the last of the foreign films, don’t you worry. One more tomorrow, and two in the top ten!)
#20: Wo Hu Cang Long (2000) (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
I saw this movie with my mom in a sparsely attended screening in NW Ohio (not really an art film mecca). But seeing this film, and any other similar films of the genre, on the big screen is the only way to do it. An epic Chinese art film, with beautiful colors and flying martial arts, C.T.H.D. was a memorable film more for the visual artistry than the story it told. I saw other films of similar wonder this decade, such as Ying xiong (2002) (Hero), but since this was the first, it gets the notability. Unfortunately, checking it out on video (even in HD on a big screen) won’t do it the justice it deserves.
#19: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007) (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
The tragic story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, a magazine editor who suffers a stroke and is struck with “locked-in syndrome:” he can see and hear what’s going on around him but is completely paralyzed and seemingly unable to respond. However, it is soon realized that one eye is still active, and after an arduous process, he begins the laborious process of communication. Before he dies, he is able to, with the aid of an assistant, write a book (from which the movie is based) about life locked in. This movie is a poem in film form, full of beautiful images and ruminations on life, death, and fragility. It will help you think about your mortality and the temporality of life. A great philosophical addition to filmdom.