The recent Reel Anime Film Festival at Rialto proved to me once again that just as translated books offer alternative ways of telling stories, foreign movies can take you light-years away from Hollywood formulas.
In the brochure, Summer Wars looked like a standard teen love story. Meh. King of Thorn – dystopian sci-fi. Meh-be. In the theatre, both of them took my preconceptions, ripped them to shreds, stomped on them, set them on fire and then threw them out the window.
King of Thorn, in particular, is a truly outstanding piece of cinema. If I say it is a fantasy/horror/science-fiction/action-adventure retelling of Sleeping Beauty, set in the near future, this will still fail to capture any of its magic. My movie-watching buddy said it had completely altered his perceptions of everything in the universe.
And that’s the very best thing about these movies – that they take our pre-conceived ideas, shake them around, turn them upside down and hand them back to us, bigger, better and brighter than before.
To shake up your world: search the catalogue for international films, by typing feature films and a country into the search box, like this:
Then sit back and brace yourself …