Ten Subtitled Movies Even Lazy People Will Enjoy – Part 2
A lazy sheep thinks its wool heavy. A lazy man thinks a film with subtitles is heavy. There’s no point in denying it. Whether you’re sitting in a field fattening up on grass, or sitting in your lounge, fattening up on junk food, missing all the action because you’re too busy reading the subtitles, your life will end up pretty much the same. At least the former will serve some kind of purpose. Maybe a nice honey-roast lamb shank in red wine sauce with Italian mashed potato. The latter will be resigned to the reduced section of Tesco with no takers. Not even the weird comb-over guy who stalks the checkout girls will want you. Awful, I know.
You could change all that. All you have to do is open your mind and understand that watching a subtitled film doesn’t have to be like reading Tolstoy. It can even be fun. The opposite sex may even like you. What have you got to lose?
If you missed the first part, fear not. All we ask is for you to give these five movies a go. Who knows, you may even enjoy them. Be warned, though, you will have to read just a little bit. Think the opening scrawl to Star Wars. And maybe a few words more. But when you have breath-taking action, surprising acts of brutality and endearing warmth, who cares…right?
A film that sticks its middle digit up at genre conventions, Hukkle is, in a nutshell, an artful and unconventional murder mystery. Set in a Hungarian village, it tells the story of how dysfunctional members of community (the benefit cheat, the unemployable, the decrepit, and the bedridden) die one after another. But behind these seemingly innocuous deaths are a series of murders – and the women that do all the work, while their husbands play, are as guilty as each other.
Filmed in a documentary style, you could easily be mistaken into thinking this was what life in rural Hungary is all about, and if you wanted to visit the small town featured in Gyorgy Palfi’s debut, you certainly wouldn’t require a book to translate. At the centre of this bizarre story is a murder mystery that doesn’t quite work, but the film doesn’t resort to subtitles until the film’s last five minutes, when two songs sung at a wedding celebration put everything in perspective. Engaging but a bit bonkers, this old wives tale is certainly worthy of your attention, and will stay with you longer than those pesky synchronous diaphragmatic flutters.
Order this title on DVD here. Order on Blu-ray here.
It can’t be much fun spending Christmas Eve on your own, but when you’ve only recently lost your husband in a horrific car accident and you’re heavily pregnant, putting a mince pie and a glass of brandy out for Father Christmas isn’t at the top of your to do list. Drinking the entire bottle of Courvoisier probably is.
The last thing Sarah needs is a knock on the door from a mysterious madwoman with no presents but the desire to unwrap only her, in order to take back the baby she lost with the blame firmly pinned on our out of luck heroine. With no receipt and armed with a pair of scissors, the stranger sets about cutting more than ribbons in one of the most brutal horrors in recent memory.
A ruthless, stylish and enjoyably twisted contribution to home-invasion horror – if you dare to look – Inside is a grim movie that ramps up the barbarity and the thrills until an utterly disturbing finale guaranteed to stick in your head, but maybe not your stomach. Hardly one to watch on Christmas Day, but if you’re fed up with your relatives outstaying their welcome, whack this in your DVD player and watch as they flee.
Struggling to maintain a foothold in an entertainments business dominated by rock stars, an elderly Illusionist is forced to take on whatever jobs he can find, including lame assignments at garden parties and gigs in remote bars. Here he meets waitress Alice, a sweet girl hoodwinked by his peculiar charm and mysterious talent. But as Alice grows older, she becomes less dependent on him, and Tatischeff is forced to find one more trick up his sleeve to help him face his own reality.
The Illusionist is one of the most beautiful animations of all time, seducing the audience with subtle humour and endearing warmth. Nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Animated Film category, written by Oscar winner Jacques Tati, and directed by Oscar nominated and BAFTA Award winning Sylvain Chomet (Belleville Rendez-vous), The Illusionist has all the ingredients to cast a spell over those seeking something other than intimidating ogres, rodents rustling up omelettes and pandas good in a punch-up.
Agnes, tortured by cancer, is dying. The last thing she needs is help from her feuding sisters Karin and Maria, more attuned to jealousy, manipulation and selfishness rather than empathy. But this is a film by legendary director Ingmar Bergman, who once again has created a powerful testament to the strength of the soul. It’s another difficult watch, too, with surprising acts of brutality capable of slapping unfathomable horror across your face with startling precision.
Concentrating mainly on the only person really affected by her suffering, her maid Anna, this stylish feature (red is the dominant colour) is helped along in no small way by Academy Award winning cinematographer Sven Nykvist. Able to translate into pictures of bewildering beauty such poetic highs, as well as some horrific lows, he adds wonder to a wonderful character study that rarely breaks into conversation, but will certainly break your heart.
Sometimes it’s nice to get away and enjoy a short break. Two college friends, Marie and Alexa, decide to do just that, staying at the latter’s parents’ isolated home deep in rural France. Tired after a long journey, with formalities over, the two buddies go to bed, only for their sleep to be interrupted by an uninvited visitor, who slaughters Alexa’s family before chaining her up in order to kidnap her. Unknown to the murderer, Marie is upstairs, fully aware of the horrifying events that have just taken place. She knows that she must rescue her best friend, but at what cost?
Similar to Inside (2007) with its vicious assault on the senses and grubby visuals, Switchblade Romance revels in the nastiness of its killer (a superb Philippe Nahon) who likes nothing better than killing for fun. Oh, and a bit of fellatio with severed heads. The violence is as brutal as it can get; the soundtrack nerve-shredding, with some cracking effects and a performance from Marie (Cecile De France) – considering how much suffering she is subjected to – that is breath-taking. The only quibble is its illogical twist ending. Still, if you’re a fan of watching movies with averted eyes, ignore the conclusion and keep a cushion by your side.
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