When Bong Joon-ho took to the stage at the Golden Globes this year to accept his award for 'best foreign-language film' for smash-hit Parasite, the sentiment of his acceptance speech was clear: "Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films."
Kicking down this border with enthusiasm as we celebrate the theme of curiosity for Cultural Diversity Week, here's five films with incredibly rich story worlds that you can escape into while social distancing.
KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE (1989)
A heartwarming coming of age story set by the seaside, Kiki's Delivery Service follows a young witch named Kiki who has to spend a year alone to hone her craft. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, this classic Studio Ghibli film tackles themes of self-confidence and finding your way in the world. As Kiki attempts to turn her talent into a career, self-care and adulthood are put into perspective; her journey a great reminder to enjoy the little things.
As 2019’s most-nominated and commercially succesful film, Parasite is a pitch-black fairytale that isn't afraid to put viewers between a rock and a hard place. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, this social thriller explores the brutal symbiotic relationship of two families inexplicably linked by greed and class discrimination. With incredible writing, symbolism and moments of satirical horror, you'll quickly find yourself submerged in the story world.
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2000)
Sensual and devastating in equal measure, In The Mood For Love explores the loneliness and yearning of unrequited feelings. A love story about love itself, it follows two people whose spouses are having an affair and the obstructed feelings they develop towards one another. With unforgettable cinematography and iconic use of repetition, director Wong Kar-Wai invites you to quietly peer through the curtains of their fleeting, intimate lives.
THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (1964)
Known by film buffs as the anti-musical of the French New Wave, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a bittersweet film that explores the overwhelming impact of love and loss. Following the young love of Genevieve and Guy who are separated by outside forces like war and responsibility, director Jacques Demy and composer Michel Legrand spares no note in orchestrating their singspiel melodrama.
Set on the margins of Tokyo, Shoplifters tells the story of a colourful family who survive by leaning in on the grey areas of society. After finding a neglected girl whose family life is grim, they decide to take her in; the revelations of their actions tipping events over like dominoes. Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, this crime drama is nuanced and intricate, looking at the imperfections of well-meaning people who make terrible choices.
This blog was written for Cultural Diversity Week, as Collarts encourages curiosity, conversation, and community from 21–29 March.