netflix has brought me some dizzyingly odd and wonderful movies. way back when, i refused to watch foreign films because i had to read the subtitles. i'd lose the visual nature of the film because i'd be reading so slowly. i still have trouble reading the subtitles without losing some meaning, but it's improving. i feel like it started with chinese action movies. a lot easier for me to follow, even with the romantic subplots in crouching tiger or house of flying daggers.
recently, i watched volver. kind of a chick flick, with a dark twist. if penelope cruz weren't in it, i may have liked it less. she was phenomenal. any lesser actress in beauty or joie de vivre couldn't have carried the film, especially in light of some of the darker aspects of her character's life.
last night, i finished watching the lives of others. a german movie about the stasi in 1984 in east germany. the first half or so was pretty tough to watch. the setup for the second, far more satisfying half took a while. the plot wound up being fairly predictable. i'd probably watch it again if given the chance, but alas, netflix wants it back.
i've also been reading sporadically as i have time. just finished the kite runner. yes, i know i'm about a year or two late on that one. presuming the characterizations of afghanis true, i learned an awful lot about their culture, and in turn one of my students. for the same reason i didn't particularly enjoy deliverance the movie after reading deliverance the book, i'm not so sure i'm going to see the film adaptation of hosseini's acclaimed novel. i will however keep a look out for a thousand splendid suns, which i hear is also excellent.
ok, cultured friends. hit me up with some more foreign or random indie flicks i can put in the queue, or books i should pull off my shelf. think classics in the latter regard. i have quite a few that i've never opened up. i think into the wild will be the next one i crack, but it's a short read i'm told. it's getting to be the time to read in the sunshine...