Before I get into my hilariously witty and highly informative piece, there a just a few assumptions I have to make for this to work the way I imagine. Yeah yeah, I know generalisations only lead to the stereotypes that we, as 21st-century feminists, are all such big fans of, but give me a chance.
Ergo, I am going to assume that:
- You can read (this will become apparent)
- You support independent print media as you are currently reading this article in the good, old(e) fashioned form, embellished with glossy paper and thus support the arts as a broader category (go you!)
- You don’t mind me being so personal by using the collective ‘you’ (I promise it’s my way of making friends)
- You are most probably in our target age group of 18-25, whether that be in body or in spirit and therefore you want to hear about some cool ways to educate yourselves in the way of the world without the ridiculous price tag on an aeroplane ticket to anywhere whilst doing so in the comfort of your oversized, most prized possession — your bed (as I am writing this from my own asset)
- You are broke and spent your last $13 dollars on getting this magazine (again — go you!)
- You have currently watched every Netflix series and need something else to do
Well my friends, strap yourselves into an imaginary economy class seat, find some cheap wine and a slightly uncomfortable beanbag headrest ‘thingo’ (can be swapped for a normal pillow) and internationalise yourself.
My French teacher, Madame Freeman, believed to the core of her soul that the way to French fluency was through film. I mean, ideally France but we live in the most isolated nation in the world, so this is the next best thing. For a high school student, I could happily compromise with this suggestion.
It is an absolute sure-fire way to delve to the heart of any given culture. Experience the slang, see the scenery, marvel at the food and drinks of the nation’s choice, interact with their hottest celebs, discover the music of the times, get to know their history— you see my point.
It goes beyond all those wonderful cultural-immersed experiences. It is an act of pure unity. I love knowing the fact that a viewer on the other side of the world can sit through a two-hour narrative and share all of the emotions I will experience without knowing me in the slightest.
Film has a specific purpose – to entertain but as a by-product (and one of the better ones at that) of globalisation, it is a most invaluable educational tool. It is an escape. It is a journey. A holiday even, if you have the same crazed level of engagement with your imagination as I do. It’s a saving tool for the real deal in all senses of the phrase. Next time you are scrolling through Instagram, getting all moody about Em Raja’s bikini pics in Santorini while you are in the dead of Aussie winter, press play on an international film. Bite your tongue, because I promise the honey will be all the sweeter when it’s your time to drink Aperol Spritz on the Riva in Split, Croatia. My last piece of advice: embrace subtitles. Evolution favoured you with good eyesight and synapses to interpret, use them.
Caitlin’s Favourite International Films:
Image by Jeremy Yap
2H 11 MIN, FRENCH
Or anything with Min-sik Choi.
LOL: Laughing Out Loud
1H 47MIN, FRENCH
The original, please.
2H 36MIN, GERMAN
Modern History Buffs.
2H 12MIN, KOREAN
Belle de Jour
1H 46MIN, FRENCH
As it is in Heaven
2H 14MIN, SWEDISH
2H 9MIN, FRENCH
I love you, Audrey.
We used to be cool
1H 40MIN, AUSTRIAN
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
1H 41MIN, NEW ZEALAND
Also see Boy because Taika Waititi is a living legend.
The Space Between
Palm Trees in the Snow
2H 43MIN, SPANISH
1H 34MIN, FRENCH/AMERICAN
1H 56MIN, FRENCH/AMERICAN
1H 35 MIN, FRENCH/MALIAN
2H 2MIN, FRENCH
Actually a trilogy and they film with the same people, but years apart in real time.
1H 49MIN, ITALIAN/AMERICAN
Honestly the most crazy adventure in a movie, be prepared for anything.
This article originally appeared in Orenda 5.
Cover Image by Don Ross