All films are foreign, even if they don’t know it yet.

This is a Substack with a completely banal idea: Foreign film is cool and the world is a more interesting place if we watch more of it.

It’s also a Substack trying to solve a problem. How do you find good recommendations for old and new films? How are you supposed to know what’s good and worthy of your time? Worse, depending on where you’re located, international cinema can be hard to find in a local movie theater and tends to receive limited press coverage.

This blog is meant to rectify that problem by offering some recommendations. I’ll recommend two films per week (Mondays and Thursdays), offer a little bit about the film and why I think it’s worth watching and (hopefully) some interesting thoughts which you’re free to reject and disagree with in the comments. Indeed, I welcome disagreement!  If you absolutely find yourself transported by one of the films, I’ll offer a couple additional films in the “Down The Rabbit Hole” which showcase other great work from a particular place or director. Note: A Criterion Channel subscription is recommended, but not required.

Who Is This For: I assume you’re an interested person who wants to learn more about international cinema. I don’t assume you’re an expert—though I’m sure some of you are. Indeed, the whole purpose is to become a more sensitive film viewer. Selfishly, that’s my goal as well. Lastly, I assume a film will intrigue you when it’s challenging. There’s nothing wrong with (cinematic) explosions, but they’ll be kept to a minimum. Plot and character make compelling stories, to my mind, and films which completely sacrifice one for the other tend to underwhelm me. But what do I know? 

My Best Advice: Take a look at the recommendations and watch one or two.  If you hate them, no need to continue to subscribe.  If you like them, think about staying around for a bit.

What’s The Guiding Principle: Great films from across the world, both old and new, which intrigue.

Who Am I: Why do I have the right to recommend any film at all?  In truth, I don’t. I have no claim to authority outside of the fact that I like to watch films and continue to seek out new and old films. I have seen a bunch of weird films over the course of my life, though it’s a been a pretty un-systematic, if not completely random, adventure. As a result, the list unfurling before all our eyes makes no claims to comprehensiveness.  Put simply, I have no profound knowledge, only curiosity and the belief that the best way to explore is by, well, exploring…or in this case watching. 

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