Watching foreign language films could be an acquired taste for some, not unlike eating sushi. Once you’ve gotten over the seemingly counter-intuitive idea of eating fish raw and allow the soft texture to melt in your mouth, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the cold freshness and welcome the brain-stirring sting of the wasabi, as well, appreciate the sweet taste when lightly dipped in soya sauce, balanced by the blandness of the vinegared rice morsel. A delightful exploration.
Film festivals are the best venues for one to have a taste of these international, cinematic delicacies. And as usual, the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this September was a launching pad for films from all over the world, several were subsequently announced as their country’s official entry to the upcoming Oscars Best Foreign Language Film race.
“Shoplifters”, this year’s Palme d’Or winner and Japan’s official entry to the
91st Oscar Best Foreign Language Film race. Photo courtesy of TIFF
The following is the list of TIFF selections that made it to represent their country at the 91st Oscars. Posted also are their premiere status at TIFF. Some of these I’d seen at the Festival and since reviewed (just click on the links). More reviews are forthcoming. The Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019.
El Angel, Argentina, dir. by Luis Ortega, North American (NA) Premiere
Hidden Man, China, dir. by Jiang Wen, International Premiere
Birds of Passage, Columbia, dir. by Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra, Canadian (CA) Premiere
Sergio and Sergei, Cuba, dir. by Ernesto Daranas, NA Premiere
Winter Flies, Czech Republic, dir. by Olmo Omerzu, International Premiere
Never Look Away, Germany, dir. by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, NA Premiere
Sunset, Hungary, dir. by László Nemes, NA Premiere
The Cakemaker, Israel, dir. by Ofir Raul Graizer
Dogman, Italy, dir. by Matteo Garrone, CA Premiere
Shoplifters, Japan, dir. by Hirokazu Kore-eda, CA Premiere
Capernaum, Lebanon, dir. by Nadine Labaki, NA Premiere
Roma, Mexico, dir. by Alfonso Cuarón, CA Premiere (Review forthcoming)
Cold War, Poland, dir. by Pawel Pawlikowski, (Review forthcoming)
Burning, South Korea, dir. by Lee Chang-dong, NA Premiere
Border, Sweden, dir. by Ali Abbasi, NA Premiere
The Wild Pear Tree, Turkey, dir. by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Review forthcoming)
The 91st Academy Awards ceremony will take place Sunday, February 24, 2019.