Faculty Film FavoritesPosted: March 12, 2014
By Rosalinda Hernandez and Hannah Parks
Did you know that Ekstrom Library has over 1500 foreign language films? This collection represents 70 languages, from Albanian to Zulu. We asked some A&S faculty members for their favorite foreign language films, and here’s what they had to say.
Megan McDonough, Department of Humanities/Film Studies
“As with both books and film, it is hard to pick just one as favorite. However, I do love the Hindi film Jodhaa Akbar (2008). This film uses elaborate sets and costumes to bring to life the love story of Hindu princess Jodhaa and Muslim emperor Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar. Like many Bollywood films, Jodhaa Akbar it has big dance numbers, dramatic fights, and famous actors. Yet, this films subtly deals with issues like religion and tolerance. Displaying the beauty of India in bright, rich colors, this is one of my favorite historical fiction films.”
Matthieu Dalle, Department of Classical and Modern Languages
“My favorite foreign film is Pierrot le fou by Jean-Luc Godard (1965). It marks the transition between Godard’s early (“New Wave”) phase and his more experimental, militant phase. And that is precisely why Pierrot le fou is a fascinating film. It retains a (loose) narrative structure and some of the New Wave filmic conventions, but it is eschews linearity and is primarily concerned with the potentialities of cinema.
In Pierrot le fou, Godard shows that not only can cinema encompass literature, poetry, painting, music, etc., cinema IS literature, poetry, painting, music, etc., all at the same time. Pierrot le fou is both universal and intimate: it tells us something about Godard and France in 1965, but it is also a commentary on the human condition.
After seeing Pierrot le fou, French poet Louis Aragon wrote, “art today is Jean-Luc Godard.” Close to fifty years later, I can’t be as categorical; I can’t even amend the statement to proclaim, “art is Pierrot le fou.” It is clear in my mind though that, along with Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and Joan Miro’s Blue I, II and III, Pierrot le fou is the purest work of art of the 20th century.”
If you’d like to further explore our foreign language films, you can visit our Foreign Language Guide. The guide lists all of the foreign language films in our collection, organized by language. You can check out these films at the Media Resources Desk, located in the East Wing of Ekstrom Library.