french italian cinema

movies for polyglots

7. Paris je t’aime (2006) various directors
French | English | Spanish | Mandarin | Arabic

A compilation of shorts that all have to do with Paris. Every short has a different director and a different set of characters, so there is bound to be something for you.

6. Babel (2006) Alejandro González Iñárritu
English | Spanish | Arabic | Japanese | Japanese sign language | Berber

Using the myth of the tower of Babel as a starting point, this movie revolves around miscommunication and the tragedy of becoming isolated as a human being. 

5. Night on Earth (1991) Jim Jarmusch
English | German | Italian | French | Finnish

A delightful movie in 5 instalments, all set in a different place, in a different language. The title says it all, one night on earth (more like one night in Europe but okay). Bonus young Winona Ryder.


4. Rush (2013) Ron Howard
English | French | German | Italian

Although a movie about the rivalry between two Formula 1 drivers may initially not seem your thing, it manages to keep you on the front of your seat for the whole ride. Admittedly most of it is spoken in English but the spot-on casting certainly makes up for it.


3. Biutiful (2010) Alejandro González Iñárritu
Spanish | Chinese | Wolof

A beautiful but inconsolably sad story about a father coming to terms with paternity, mortality and sacrifice in modern Barcelona. The cinematography in itself already makes this film worthwhile. 


2. Plemya (2014)
Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy
Ukrainian sign language

Yes, this movie only contains one language but is nonetheless a must see for language lovers. This movie is entirely in sign language, no spoken word, no translations, no subtitles. Yet it tells a gripping story that is entirely understandable and shows the intricate world of body language. Fair warning: contains very graphic and explicit material, definitely not for the fainthearted.


1. Inglourious Basterds (2009) Quentin Tarantino
English | German | French | Italian


This movie deserves to be number one since it actually highlights language idiosyncrasies in a wonderful and funny way. From a hair raising scene about German accents to a hilarious scene with Americans who think they know Italian, it’s a downright classic.

Foreign Language Films

Hey there, below I thought i’d list some of my favorite foreign language films (films where English is not the primary language), feel free to add some of your favorites! I find watching these films really helpful, as they both improve your listening skills, and introduce you to the culture of the country where your target language is spoken!

Note: all the films listed are ones I have seen, so sorry if there are some classics I may have missed off!

P.S I’m linking the films to their IMDB pages for you to have a look!

Spanish

Volver - Pedro Almodóvar - A really funny and touching film about how the dead continue to influence the lives of those they leave behind

Todo sobre mi madre - Pedro Almódovar - A fascinating look at the role of gender and parents in Spanish life today 

El secreto de sus ojos - Juan José Campanella - A very entertaining thriller, full of suspense with some great acting. Won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009. Spoken in Argentinian Spanish 

Los amantes pasajeros - Pedro Almódovar - An exceedingly funny film from Almódovar, full of wit and laughs 

El laberinto de fauno - Guillermo del toro - A beautiful film, full of gorgeous imagery, set against the backdrop of Franco’s Spain

Como agua para chocolate - Alfonso Arau - A touching love story set in historic Mexico

French

La Haine - Mathieu Kassovitz - A gritty drama about the lives of 3 parisian boys during violent riots

La fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain  -  Jean-Pierre Jeunet - The hilariously touching love story about a young woman in Paris. 

Les Choiristes - Christophe Barratier - The story of a new teacher in a strict boarding school aiming to transform the lives of the students through music. Think French school of Rock 

Jean de Florette - Claude berri - The story of a greedy landowner in ruarl Provence. Way more interesting than it sounds  

Italian

La vita é bella - Robert Begnini - A beautiful drama about war time Italy. Winner of 3 Oscars

Habemus Papam - Nanni Moretti - The story of a newly elected pope, who doesn’t want to be pope, and so ends up running away. Light hearted and thought provoking 

Nuovo Cinema Paradiso - Giuseppe Tornatore - A story of how a filmaker fell in love with the movies as a child. 

German

Good Bye Lenin! - Wolfgang Becker - A funny and touching story set against the backdrop of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and a son’s attempt to prevent his ill mother from finding out about the collapse of communism (have you seen this @languageoclock ?)

ID #93631

Name: Silvia
Age: 19
Country: Italy

My name’s Silvia, I’m 19 and I live in Italy. I’m a foreign languages student, learning French and Russian.

I am passionate about feminism, art, fashion, books, music and cinema. I love travelling and I would love to live abroad one day.

Regarding my tastes: my favourite authors are Donna Tartt and Sylvia Plath; I love Baz Luhrman’s aesthetic, and his films are just so iconic! I’m also really into French cinema and 90s teen dramas. My favourite tv series are Sense8, Skam and The Get Down (Baz Luhrman again).

Preferences: I would prefer someone around my age (18-25), and, since I really need to practice my French, if you are a native speaker it would be the perfect match!

No homophobes and no anti-feminists thank u

I would like to exchange emails before actual letters!