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Spotlight: The Great Escape

If the constant barrage of bad news has you down, maybe a little escapism can help lighten your mood… Check out these feel-good films from around the world for an uplifting distraction from our current reality.

Hindi movie from 2001: Monsoon Wedding

Monsoon Wedding

Mira Nair
2001 India, USA, Italy

Monsoon Wedding

A stressed father, a bride-to-be with a secret, a smitten event planner, and relatives from around the world create much ado about the preparations for an arranged marriage in India.

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Spotlight: Series for Bingeing

As we all unexpectedly find ourselves with a lot more time on our hands, we wanted to recommend some of our favorite international series. From the Spanish crime drama Money Heist to Hibana, about two Manzai artists navigating Japan’s competitive comedy scene, there’s something for everyone.

Spotlight: Escape into the Past

If you’re feeling the need to escape our present reality, let one of these period films transport you into the past. Whether it’s 19th century India or 1950’s Italy, time travel can make for effective distraction.

Spotlight: Contagion

The threat of a global pandemic has inspired filmmakers for decades. Now that the threat has become our current reality, we look at the representation of the virus outbreak across genres including realist drama, science fiction, historical fantasy, thriller, and horror.

Spotlight: Sisterhood

With the release of Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women, here are films from around the world that tell the stories of sisters. Whether biological or chosen, sisterhood becomes an essential part of a woman’s identity and understanding of the world.

Italian movie from 2016: Indivisible

Indivisible
(Indivisibili)

Daisy and Viola are siamese twin sisters on the verge of turning 18 living in the suburbs of Naples. Isolated from the rest of the world by their father, their life turns upside-down when one of them falls in love for the first time and they discover that they can be separated.

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Spotlight: Recent César Winners

The Césars, the national film awards of France (and the French equivalent of the Academy Awards), will be announced this week. In homage to the highest film honor in France, we review the winners of this prestigious award from the past decade.

Spotlight: Berlinale Silver and Golden Bear Winners

This week marks the start of the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, which boasts the largest public attendance of any film festival worldwide. On this occasion, we look back at the recent winners of the festival’s main awards, the Golden Bear and the Silver Bear.

Persian movie from 2015: Taxi

Taxi

Jafar Panahi
2015 Iran

Taxi
(تاکسی)

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  • Iran • 2015
  • Director Jafar Panahi
  • Cast Jafar Panahi
  • Genre Documentary, Comedy
  • Available on iTunes, VUDU, YouTube, Google Play

An exiled filmmaker posing as a cab driver captures incisive portraits of diverse passengers in present-day Tehran.

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Spotlight: Oscar Nominees for Foreign Language Film

After a groundbreaking year for international films at the Oscars, we look back at past nominees for Best Foreign Language Film. In the words of Bong Joon-ho, “Once you get over the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”

Chinese movie from 2000: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Ang Lee
2000 Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
(卧虎藏龙)

  • ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
  • Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA • 2000
  • Director Ang Lee
  • Cast Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen
  • Genre Adventure, Drama, Action, Romance
  • Available on Microsoft Movies & TV, AMC, Redbox, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Netflix, FlixFling, DIRECTV, Crackle, VUDU

A timeless story of strength, secrets and two warriors who would never surrender.

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Spotlight: 92nd Academy Awards

This week marks the 92nd Academy Awards and 18 international films are nominated, in categories including Best Picture, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, and of course, Best International Feature.

Spotlight: British Academy Film Award Winners

The 2020 BAFTA ceremony takes place on Sunday, February 2nd. The BAFTAs, produced by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, aims to recognize the very best in film of the past year. We look back at past winners of the BAFTA for Best Film NOT in the English Language.

Spotlight: Films from Down Under

Australia Day is January 26th, and a fine occasion to celebrate the cinema of a country that has produced so many great films, directors, and actors. From beloved gems of independent cinema to a franchise which has spanned four decades, here are some of our favorite Aussie movies.

Spotlight: Sundance Film Festival Winners

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the United States, is coming right up (January 23rd – February 2nd). In this week's Spotlight we look back at some of the past winners of World Cinema Grand Jury Prize and World Cinema Audience Award.

English movie from 2013: Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

Maxim Pozdorovkin
2013 Russia, United Kingdom

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
(Показательный процесс: История Pussy Riot)

In response to Putin's re-installment as president of Russia, a group of young, radical-feminist punk rockers entered Moscow’s most venerated cathedral and dared to sing “Mother Mary, Banish Putin!” Now they have become victims of a “show” trial.

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Spotlight: Federico Fellini

January 20th marks the centenary of the birth of Federico Fellini, who had such a profound impact on not only the cinema of Italy, but also the cinema of the entire world. Here is our tribute to the maestro and his prodigious legacy.

Spotlight: Golden Globe Award Winners

On the occasion of 77th Golden Globes Awards ceremony, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, we look back at the winners of the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture in a Foreign Language over the last twelve years.

Spotlight: Our Favorite Films of 2019

Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite and Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory are on many critics’ year-end lists of the best films of 2019, but we wanted to draw your attention to titles you may have missed. Here are some of our favorite films released in the US in 2019 and now available for streaming. Happy viewing!

Spotlight: The Migrant Experience

International Migrants Day is this week (December 18th) and it seems like a good time to remember the importance of protecting migrants and their political rights. These excellent films provide some insight into what migrants across the globe go through in the hope of finding a better life.

Spotlight: Winter Inspiration

As we approach the first day of winter – and the shortest, darkest day of the year – let’s face it, the only good thing about this season is staying inside to watch movies. Check out Snowpiercer, Force Majeure, Winter Sleep, and other movies that make you glad you're indoors.

Norwegian movie from 2014: In Order of Disappearance

In Order of Disappearance

Hans Petter Moland
2014 Norway, Denmark, Sweden

In Order of Disappearance
(Kraftidioten)

Upstanding community leader Nils has just won an award for "Citizen of the Year" when he learns the news that his son has died of a heroin overdose.

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Spotlight: Jean-Luc Godard

Jean-Luc Godard, the legend behind the French New Wave, turns 89 this year on December 3rd! Celebrate his long career and his singular influence with this wide-ranging selection of his work from Breathless (1960) to The Image Book (2018).