November 18, 2015

Featurette! Lauren Smith + Foreign Films



We’re doing something different today on Featurette! I’ve talked about specific movies and TV shows I love but today, author Lauren Smith and I are teaming up to discuss a movie genre we’re both into and that’s foreign romantic movies.

I went through this stage in college where I really got into foreign films. It started with Amelie, which is probably most people’s first foray into French, or even international cinema, and from there I just kept wanting to watch more. I’ve explored French (Amélie, Love Me If You Dare, A Very Long Engagement, Priceless), Spanish (Open Your Eyes, The Last Kiss), Italian (Malèna, Cinema Paradiso), Filipino (Ngayong Nandito Ka, Kailangan Kita), Korean (My Sassy Girl, Il Mare) and Chinese (In the Mood for Love, Three Times). These are just the first ones to come to mind but I’ve seen a ton more!

(Sidenote: I wish I could say I still watch a lot of foreign movies but I’m so, so behind! I really need to fix this.)

People are sometimes turned off by the idea of reading sub-titles or they worry something may get lost in the translation because they don’t understand the language. And I guess what I’m trying to show is that you can enjoy movies even if it isn’t in your native tongue. That the acting, the images on the screen, the music and the overall tone can convey everything you need to know! Plus, at least with my experience, foreign films tend to be adventurous and off-beat in a way that Hollywood often isn’t.

Because I’ve already talked about my favorite foreign film (it’s Love Me If You Dare and also my first Featurette!), I’m going to welcome Lauren and let her share one of her favorites.

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I agree with Rachel. Foreign films are wonderful; don’t let the subtitles scare you off! When done well, a foreign film with amazing scenery, costumes and acting can sweep you away into the story so deeply that you actually realize by the end of the movie that you were hearing your own native tongue as you read the subtitles. It’s a bit magical when you think about it. A recent foreign film favorite is the La Belle et la Bete (Beauty and the Beast). A tale as old as time, but the story no less captivating and this new French version will leave you breathless. The costumes are lush and the scenery is so tangible that I felt I could crawl through the screen and explore the Beast’s crumbling castle myself.

Another detail that I loved was the Regency period setting. Since I’m a huge historical romance buff, I loved the nod to Jane Austen with the costumes and the settings, yet the story still had a larger than life feel that made me swoon and sigh. The beast is tall, fierce and yet you’re drawn to him. As he prowls the dark corridors of the castle, you understand Belle for fleeing the castle, and then for returning to save the beast.
One of the things that’s unique about French cinema is their cultural approach to sex and violence. In America, we hide sex and promote violence in our films; the French are nearly the opposite. In La Belle et la Bete, I was delighted to see that there was more tension and a build in the plot to convey the possibility of violence, than to actually show it. And of course, there was steamy chemistry, and tantalizing sensual moments that had this romance writer’s heart beating fast.

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I'm definitely adding La Belle et La Bete to my list of movies to watch!
And hopefully you all will too. 



Thank you Lauren for joining me on the blog today! 
Make sure to check out Lauren's
recent romance, Gilded Chain, which features a
character escaping to Paris to pursue her artistic passions.
Find Lauren on Twitter or at laurensmithbooks.com.





Please pray for Paris and the rest of the world. 


1 comment:

  1. I don't watch a lot of foreign films! Unless you count the few I've seen that are Filipino ;) But for the most part, I really don't even know where to start (though this post has given me MANY ideas). I really like the idea of a French Beauty and the Beast - going to have to check it out!

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