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One of the least-understood and most easily overlooked elements in the Oscar race is the category for Best Foreign Language Film. Although it’s been the object of considerable reporting, discussion and even internal reform by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the field of submissions to the coveted Oscar—this year from no less than 71 countries—is forever a landscape where art, national politics and cultural tendencies sometimes clash and sometimes move in sync. This selection of a portion of the field, a first for the Film Society, proposes a humble means to survey some of the most interesting and distinctive films among this year’s submissions. The collection mixes well-established directors like Baltasar Kormakur and Chen Kaige with rising young filmmakers such as Rodrigo Pla, Aida Begic and Cate Shortland, big-screen epics like Kon-Tiki from Norway and the whimsical Indian comedy Barfi! with the more intimate storytelling of Argentine drama Clandestine Childhood. And who knows? Somewhere in this selection may lie a future Oscar winner! Series programmed by Scott Foundas and Robert Koehler.
Frenzy (1972) | Pers: Anna Massey | Dir: Alfred Hitchcock | Ref: FRE021AB | Photo Credit: [ Universal / The Kobal Collection ] | Editorial use only related to cinema, television and personalities. Not for cover use, advertising or fictional…
Rising Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor gives a spectacular, endlessly inventive performance as a deaf-mute man whose life is a series of comic and tragic misadventures in this enchanting, one-of-a-kind fable produced by the Indian arm of the Walt Disney Company.
Faced with the dire prospect of advanced lymphatic cancer, a tycoon’s executive assistant becomes the unsuspecting object of a web-fuelled hate campaign after an unfortunate public incident.
Bosnian director Aida Begić’s shattering second feature traces the precarious fates of two orphaned siblings struggling to survive in the aftermath of the Balkan wars.
A 12-year-old boy and his family—members of an underground resistance movement fighting against the reigning Military Junta—return to Argentina after years in exile in director Benjamín Ávila’s powerful portrait of childhood innocence at odds with political ideals.
In Kormákur’s low-key rendering of actual events, a humble fisherman finds himself the only survivor when the boat he’s working on capsizes off Iceland’s formidable coast.
Struggling to manage her senile father, a single mother makes a rash, fateful decision that carries profound and possibly life-altering consequences in Plá’s third and most powerful film.
Thor Heyerdahl’s unlikely Pacific odyssey in a hemp boat in 1947, made famous by his own book and documentary, is reframed in grand, spectacular form in this big-screen epic.
Left to fend for themselves after their Nazi parents are taken prisoner by the Allies, five German siblings set off on a perilous journey towards freedom in this most unexpected, visually stunning Holocaust survival tale.