It's a wonderful feeling, the sense of achievement in completing something. In May I completed two feature script writing projects, my first two in five or six years, and the 30 Countries Project as mentioned at the start of the month. I'm not saying that watching 30 movies from 30 countries in 30 days is on a par with the other achievement but by the time the credits rolled on Esma's Secret on Friday morning I was well and truly pleased with myself.
The concept of the challenge/project was put forth on Letterboxd in late March and whilst there were several dozen participants interested in exploring cinema from around the world only a handful of us seem to have completed it, further proof that I have accomplished something I feel,
I consider myself relatively well watched when it comes to cinema but actually putting a foreign language film in my player had become something that I found excuses not to do, thanks to this challenge I got past that block in style and ended up seeing a lot more than 30 non-English language films in May, more than I had watched in the previous 18 months in fact.
It has been documented in various social mediums that I have been discouraged from watching Eastern European cinema because it is so bleak but the quality of those I discovered last month was so high that I find myself drawn to them instead of my usual easy access Hollywood mindless nonsense. Yes, my relationship with Leah has suffered slightly over these petty disagreements on cinema about abortion and Communist era lifestyle and now I plan to help dismantle your relationships too, here are my Top 10 discoveries of the 30 Countries Project, with my highest recommendation to you.
10. Reprise (2006) Dir. Joachim Trier - Norway
9. Home (2009) Dir. Ursula Meier - Switzerland
8. Cache (2005) Dir. Michael Haneke - Austria
7. Festen (1998) Dir. Thomas Vinterberg - Denmark
6. Sonbahar (2008) Dir. Özcan Alper - Turkey
5. Soldier of Orange (1979) Dir. Paul Verhoeven - The Netherlands
4. Lorna's Silence (2008) Dir. The Dardenne Brothers - Belgium
3. Dogtooth (2010) Dir. Giorgos Lanthimos - Greece
2. Police, Adjective (2009) Dir. Corneliu Porumboiu - Romania
1. Wake In Fright (1972) Dir. Ted Kotcheff - Australia
Right well there you are, feel free to let me know how your loved ones react in the comments or tweet me @bbbgtoby but please don't cite me in any divorce papers that get filed. Thanks.