These last few months I’ve had more time to explore international titles. I’m an entertainment enthusiast and have always loved watching stories unfold and meeting new characters since I was little. In fact, when I was younger I received a movie on VHS (that was all the rage in then pre-Netflix days) as a gift. I fell in love with how accessible the movie was and watched it over and over and over again. One day I was all set up in my movie spot and pressed play on the Ever After film and nothing happened. I was met with static on screen and the horrible sound of the tape unwinding in the player. It was broken. I had watched this movie so many times that the film could no longer be rewound to begin again. I sat wailing as my mom tried to comfort me and called every store near us hoping they had another copy of Ever After. No luck. It turns out I’m not the only finatic of this film. We ended up finding a replacement and again the tape met the same fate. This happened about a dozen or so times and then I moved on to The Princess Bride. I thought I’d give Ever After a rest and let another VHS fall prey to my rewinding for a bit.



Photo: BHG

Photo: BHG

While the movie age has leveled up quite a bit since then, there’s something special about watching movies because of this experience. I didn’t just click the remote on and settle into my spot. I made a routine and curated a cozy movie environment and recognized the work that went into winding the tape to the spot I wanted to start. Now, I still have this sentimental approach to tv and movies. I feel like that little girl watching Ever After again and again, with each new discovery. The first on screen appearance of the cast, understanding the characters, feeling their emotions, and watching their story progress. There are hints of us in every movie if we take the time to look. Growing up I always loved finding the storylines I could relate to in some capacity and on the other hand catching a glimpse of the thoughts, feelings, and actions I did not. There’s something so reveling yet personal about movies and tv.

Of course when the pandemic hit I knew I was going to spend more time diving into the stories I added to my “watchlist”. So, here I am nearly 5 months later with a whole slew of movie recommendations. In the past I haven’t had enough time to dedicate towards international discoveries. This JUMPED to the top of my watchlist as I found myself with a significant decrease in workload with my job. There are so many wonderful films that have cemented a place in my heart and mind. I find myself smiling and thinking about the storylines and characters I was introduced. I was surprised to look I back on how much I have learned, how I was challenged, and how my thought process has changed these past few months just by watching more international things. I enjoy the glimpse into various cultures, hearing other languages, and seeing places that are thousands of miles and many coastlines away from my home.

At the beginning of the pandemic I was watching mostly Spanish shows/ movies, now I’m watching pretty much only Hindi ones. It’s so cool to have an understanding and diversify the people I follow on Instagram, broaden which celebrities are my household names, and learn about the industry in other countries. I hadn’t realized how Americanized my social media, entertainment, and life is until I had to try and pronounce the names of other titles, Google actors, and research what cultural references were sprinkled in the films. I also hadn’t realized how one-track minded I was and how I accidentally associated celebrities with Hollywood where there are SO many international stars who have never set foot in LA yet are making it big with landing coveting roles in their country’s industry.

The Best International Films + TV Shows I’ve watched:

Films:

Brazillian

Amor.com

French

Wedding Unplanned

Blind Date

French Toast

German

Isi & Ossi

Indian

Love Per Square Foot

Drive

Mubarakan

Fitoor (honestly one of the best movies EVER made. I’m tearing up thinking about the beauty of this film… and Aditya Roy Kapur)

Kapoor & Sons

Kabir Singh

Socha Na Tha

The Zoya Factor

Dil Dhadakne Do

Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2

Bareilly Ki Barfi

Luka Chuppi

Love Aaj Kal

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania

Shaandaar

Khoobsurat

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan

Bajirao Mastani – Telugu

Padmaavat

Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela

Lootera (I cried. It was beautiful)

Saaho (Tamil)

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (not what I was expecting- so much better!)

Meri Pyaari Bindu

OK Jaanu

Ladies vs Ricky Bahl

Band Baaja Baaraat

Raabta

My Brother

My Brother 2

Mexican

Ready To Mingle

Perdona Si Te Llamo Amor

Pakistani

Janaan

Sadqay Tumhare

Humsafar

Peruvian

How To Get Over A Breakup

Polish

365 Days

Russian

See You Soon

Spanish

Palm Trees in the Snow

How To Get Over A Breakup

Despite Everything

Off Course

Solo Química

Perdona Si Te Llamo Amor

Turkish

Hot Sweet Sour

Shows:

Indian

Little Things

Indian Matchmaking

Israli

The Baker & The Beauty (Original)

Spanish

El Gran Hotel

Cable Girls

Valeria

Turkish

Kara, Para, Ask


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