YouTube Saturday – my favourite European films

Yep, it's THAT time of the week again!

Paul has managed to drag me away from my Xbox 360 long enough to put together this week’s YouTube Saturday post. As you might be able to tell from the title, I’ve decided to look across the English Channel this week and give you the lowdown on five of my favourite films that are European in origin and very much not in English, but you know what? You should totally watch them even though they’re subbed and if you don’t watch subtitled films for any other reason other than blindness or illiteracy – then you are an ass. Enjoy.

Das Experiment (2001), was directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and is a German film. The film is an adaptation of a novel, which happens to be based on the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, which originally took place in the US in 1971. It was a psychological experiment that went very wrong. The film is not for the faint of heart, but has some very powerful acting in it and its handling of the subject matter is extremely thought provoking. 2010 saw a US remake put forward – do not bother watching the remake.

Antonia’s Line (1995), was directed by Marleen Gorris and written by her, you may know her more from her much earlier film A Question of Silence. Antonia’s Line is a Dutch film. I saw this one day at university after sneaking into a screening that was being done for one of Paul’s film classes. And you know what? I’m glad that I did. This is a truly moving film that gives a deep consideration of the elements that are truly important to a family and that families come in all shapes and sizes.

Amélie (2001), was directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and is a French film. I would say that this is the film that introduced the world to Audrey Tautou. My favourite romantic film of all time, it dabbles with levels of magical realism along with the comedic and romantic themes that are presented. It’s wonderful to watch and is certainly one of those films that you must see at some point if you claim to have a single romantic bone in your body.

Pan’s Labryinth (2006), was directed by Guillermo del Toro and also written by him, and is a Spanish film. Blurring the line between drama and fantasy, the film takes you through the dark and mysterious world of a young girl trying to escape the cruel and awkward reality that she is trapped in. With a delightful Gothic tone, this film shows that del Toro has a far better understanding of what makes something Gothic when compared to the likes of Tim Burton.

Run Lola Run (1998), was directed by Tom Tykwer and was also written by him. A German film, I watched it several times in the run up to my last lot of German language exams when I was in college. Playing on the concept of trying to fix events in a way that is similar to Groundhog Day, the film is far more stylised and visually gripping than the film with Mr Murray in. If there’s one German film you should ever watch, it’s this.

And that’s all for this week’s YouTube Saturday. If you have any favourite European films that aren’t from England, why not share your thoughts on them (or these films) in the comments below.

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