International Movies to Add to your Queue

It has been a tremendous few decades for international movies. With so many great films to watch and talented directors behind the masterpieces, the list could go on and on. Most recently, “Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon-ho in 2019, has taken the cake and set the new standard for international films. The movie won four Academy Awards and caught the attention of movie-lovers everywhere.

Trevor Tosto, a sophomore in the College of Communication, says he thinks “Parasite” could set the tone for a new rise in the popularity of international films.

“International films have almost always been pushed aside by the American public, including the Academy. With ‘Parasite,’ it finally feels as if international films are finally breaking into American pop culture,” Tosto says.

Tosto is no stranger to international films himself. One of his all-time favorites, “Oldboy,” is a 2003 South Korean movie directed by Park Chan-wook, who, coincidentally, is a close friend of Bong Joon-ho.

“(Oldboy) is the definition of a film experience,” Tosto says. “It’s a crazy, intense, modern retelling of the Greek story of Oedipus. I cannot recommend this film enough and, if you get me talking, I probably won’t shut up about it.”

Tosto did, indeed, shut up about it, but if you haven’t seen it, I definitely would recommend carving some time out of your day to watch it, because Tosto convinced me to do so, and I plan on watching it with some friends in the near future because it sounds very enticing.

Another international movie that has flown under the radar in America is the 1988 animated action film “Akira.” The Japanese film showcases the potential danger of a powerful government. The movie took home the 1992 Silver Scream Award at the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival.

Gary Weisling, a sophomore in the College of Communication, says the movie had a tremendous impact on his political viewpoints.

“When watching ‘Akira’ for the first time, I definitely had the perspective of fearing a government with too much power, but looking back on the film, I realize that even as small and inconspicuous an individual might be, they can still bring about a massive change,” Weisling says.

A final international film that has flown under the radar and is worth the watch is “City of God.” The 2002 film is set in impoverished Rio de Janeiro and stars Brazilian musician and actor Seu Jorge as one of the main characters.

Keaton Berkes, a sophomore in the College of Communication, says he was appreciative of the opportunity to watch the film.

“It was very cool to see how people live in the favelas of Brazil. It was also even cooler that it was based on a real event that happened in the 1970s from the standpoint of a photographer,” he says. Berkes says the movie is a must-watch.

With international films on the rise along with an incredible recent surge of talent, there’s no telling what could happen in the next few years regarding cinematography around the world. One thing’s for certain, though: We’re in for a treat.

This story was written by Tommy Shaffer. He can be reached at d.shaffer@marquette.edu.