Latimer: I love watching TV series and movies in other languages. It really immerses you in the story and gives you a sense of that culture.
Having spent so much time watching anime and Asian dramas, I’m used to subtitles. Once you get into the swing of reading them, it becomes like second nature and it doesn’t distract you.
I usually have to go looking for the subtitled dramas or movies, but this week, one found me!
On Irish television I happened across the finale of a German TV miniseries called ‘Generation War’ (in German it’s called ‘Our Mothers, Our Fathers’).
The series is a gritty Second World War series about 5 friends in Germany and their experiences during the war. It’s full of heart-wrenching moments (moments where you are shaking your head wondering how these things happen), and moments where you are screaming for one thing – just one thing to work out for someone…!
Watching this series reminded me of a few of the great foreign language series and movies I’d seen over the years. It resulted in me taking a little trip down memory lane.
This is quite simple a gorgeous, eerie movie; it has that supernatural gothic, dark element that I like. It also has this ambiguous feel to it; is the girl dreaming all this fantastical stuff, or is it real? Full of fairies and demonic creatures – Pan is one scary fawn it must be said! – this is one of those movies I could watch again and again. I still will randomly start humming that theme tune (epic)!
About a true event during the First World War where during Christmas time at the front there was a brief ceasefire, where all the men on all sides came together to celebrate Christmas. It’s in French, German and English. A very sad, but inspiring story.
Moving on from war, to romance… yeah, bit of a drop from drama to mindless fun…
A Korean drama that follows a girl who finds out she’s related to the defunct Korean monarchy. The story is about how a wealthy group in Korea want to re-instate the monarch with her as the Princess. Okay, it follows the typical girly love story, but – hey, that’s soul food to a fan-girl! It’s a fun series!
Hana Yori Dango
Ah, this might well be our (Ridley and I) most favourite Japanese series! As a result of watching this series, Ridley and I knew all about the actor that plays the leading man – Matsumoto Jun (who’s in a band called ARASHI :)). And so, when we were in Tokyo and we saw some Japanese girls holding up a sign which said in English – ‘Foreigners, do you know who are ARASHI?’
Well, Ridley and I looked at each other, ‘Shall we?’.
And so we sidled up to the girls and said; ‘We know of ARASHI’. Then the girls asked us how; Ridley beamed, ‘Hana Yori Dango’. Then all of us, across language barriers smiled and started laughing (ah, fan-girls unite!).
A Norwegian film about… a Troll Hunter. I now have a greater respect for Norwegian folklore about trolls and love saying the Norwegian word for bear (bjørn)!
And finally… Ros na Rún
Okay, this is not technically ‘foreign’ language – it’s Irish – but it is subtitled (sometimes!)!
We have an Irish Language TV channel here called, Teilifís na Gaeilge (TnaG) (basically Irish TV).
When we were getting ready to do our ‘Irish oral and aural exams’ in school, our teacher made us watch Ros na Rún without the subtitles to practice. While I didn’t get the nuances of what was going on, I thought at the time that this was a great series (probably because there was a scandal involving a cute guy and a baby he may or may not have been the father of!).
Stephen Fry also did a cameo in it once (those two auld lads have been in the series for YEARS… and yet, they have not aged).
Plus Ros na Rún also had a cross-over with Cold Case (sort’a)!
“I told you I don’t understand English” – Daniel
“Where is this woman? Did you murder her?” – Lieutenant Stillman
“Do you understand now Daniel?” – Detective Rush
Yup, I think this post has made me want to re-watch some things! I do like me some subtitled stuff 🙂
I wonder what else is going on around the world that I should look into! Suggestions very welcome!