My interest in foreign films started when my German teacher showed the class Run Lola Run. From then on I was hooked and developed an interest in foreign films which further developed when I moved schools for sixth form. At this school I went to European Cinema club which showed foreign films once a week. Some of those films I then brought and have watched over and over again. If you want something a bit different to view try some of my recommendations below.

 

Amelie

Language – French

Date of release –  2001

Amelie is a very popular french film starring the awesome Audrey Tautou and if you are going to watch any film this is the one to watch. Amelie is an only child brought up by eccentric parents. Part of her upbringing means she doesn’t have any friends and doesn’t really play with other children. Therefore she uses her imagination to fill up her time. When her mother dies in a freak accident her dad withdraws further from society. When she is 18 she leaves home and works in the Cafe des 2 Moulins taking pleasure in life’s little things such as touching fruit at the local market.

One day after the death of Princess Diana, Amelie decides to set out on a mission to make people happy. On this mission, she finds an album of full of unwanted photos taken by strangers in a photo booth (yes it is a little werid but bear with!). Amelie goes around Paris trying to find the owner who she happens to also fancy and the owner fancy her. It is an lovely independent film although a little strange- you have to go along with it!

 

Lola facing Mannie

Run Lola Run

Language – German

Date of release – 1999

When Lola’s boyfriend, Manni burgles a store and leaves 100,000 deutsche marks on the train, she has just 20 minutes to find 100,000 deutsche marks or he loses his life. Lola starts running across the town to try and find the money. This fast paced film gets interesting when it is split into three and each run start’s the same but there a different scenario develops and ends differently.

 

Dora laying down on Josue's lap

Central Station

Language – Portuguese

Release date – 1998

This film follows Dora, a retired schoolteacher working at Rio de Janerio’s Central Station writing letters for illiterate customers. One day, whilst working, a woman visits Dora and pay’s her to write letters with her son Josué. The letters are to Josué’s father who she hopes to see soon. The woman is killed outside the station by the bus and Josué is made homeless. Dora takes him back to the flat as she doesn’t want to leave him on the streets. She then tries to traffic him but steals him back. Dora then embarks on a journey with Josué to find his father’s house to reunite him. A film I have watched many times and the scenes of Brazil through the journey are really breathtaking.

 

Blue is the Warmest Colour

Language – French

Date of release – 2013

This coming of age film follows Adelé who is still at school studying with the aim of becoming a teacher. Adelé is unsure about her sexuality identity and it doesn’t help that her classmates are always gossiping about boys. She goes out with a boy but isn’t interested. One day in town she passes by a girl with blue hair (called Emma) and is instantly attracted. She confides in her openly gay friend Valentin and he takes her to a gay bar. Here she bumps into the blue haired girl and strikes up a friendship. The rest of the film follows Adelé and Emma through their relationship.

 

Image of the girls from Girlhood

Girlhood

Language – French

Date of release – 2014

Another coming of age film this story focuses on Marieme a girl living on a poor estate outside Paris. Her mother works all hours as a cleaner therefore her abusive older brother is left in charge of her and her two younger sisters. Marieme struggles at school and is recommended for vocational study which she does not want. Outside of school she meets a gang of three girls who befriend her. Marieme gets caught up in this gang world and the film portrays it through her eyes.

 

Caramel Film cover

Caramel

Language – Lebanese Arabic

Release date – 2007

Revolving around five women – Layale, Nisrine, Rima, Rose and Jamale. The woman know each other because they either work or visit the salon. This film focuses on the lives of each against the backdrop of warfare.

What films do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below!

Marnie and Desi in the red convertible

Again a little later than planned but I have come down with this virus which seems to be going around, however lets get straight in. This week see’s Hannah off to Poughkeepsie with Marnie and Desi, Hannah is only going to help Marnie’s cover up. Marnie and Desi pick’s Hannah up in this convertable car which looks like something that is out of Grease. It is so funny when the car pulls away and Marnie just sticks her hands in her air and shouts yey and you can see Hannah is just thinking ‘oh boy’.

This week we see more of Shoshanna through Elijah. Shoshanna and Elijah go to a mixer by two of Shoshanna’s ex best friends. These girls Ziva and Rachel run a successful denim company Jabba Jeans and are moving into the t-shirt industry. They co-founded Jabba Jeans on a holiday to Aruba which we learn Shoshanna was meant to go on but cancelled six hours before to go and do something with Jessa. Shoshanna tries to cosy up to the girls but it is clear that they want nothing to do with her. This hurts her and Jessa doesn’t help saying that those girls are like ‘Khloe Kardashian and Bethennie Frankel, if those women weren’t amazing and total revolutionaries.’

The massive bust between Shoshanna and Jessa in the street! It was unfair for Shoshanna to blame Jessa for her mistakes. Yes Jessa has made mistakes and can be a bad influence but ultimately it is Shoshanna that made those decisions. This scene empathesises Shoshanna growing up by cutting ties with Jessa but simultaneously throwing her toys out of her pram.

Meanwhile in Poughkeepsie Hannah goes into a antiques shop and starts talking to the owner. The woman talks about her life story – being a model in New York city and then falling onto the tracks and surviving. Hannah points to this pretty tea set in the window and the woman gives it to her for free. It all seems a bit werid and I didn’t really understand the point of the scene.

Later on is

Picture of Hannah and Pau-l Louis

I appreciate this is a late review, but I have been extremely busy coupled with illness and painting my bathroom! However, it is the last season of GIRLS! Me alongside many other viewers will be sad to miss our favourite 4. Here is my review of the first episode.

In short, this episode sees Hannah being published, her going off to write about her experience at a Surf retreat in Long Island, Marnie going through a divorce and is trying to make it work with Ray. Finall,yRay after being found that he cannot stay at Marnie’s finds that Jessa and Adam have taken over the flat so shack’s up with Shoshanna instead.

I am glad to see that Hannah seems to have landed on her feet job wise (she never really was cut out to being a school teacher!), what I was shocked about was she seems to have gained some sought of fashion style. I loved her yellow mustard jacket (which I really couldn’t pull off myself!) and those black sunglasses! A real laugh out loud moment was when Elijah casually asks Hannah if he could borrow her room for her weekend to hold a small orgy. Marnie’s face when Hannah is completely fine with it is such a picture. Even more funny is that Elijah is holding the orgy to get himself noticed in the acting world, Marnie asks ‘why don’t you just take an acting class’ and he responds with ‘I am just going to fuck my way to the top’.

I appreciate that GIRLS is a programme that wants to show females making bold choices and liberating themselves but there were so many unnecessarily naked scenes in this programme that it felt like Lena Dunham is making a point for making a point’s sake. No one needed to see her bathing her vagina in the sunlight. No-one needed to see Jessa and Adam eating yogurt naked in the sitting room.

Marnie in her bedroom talking to Ray in bed

I think everyone was sad that Marnie started kissing Dezi. Dezi is such a tool! Marnie interests me a lot as a character and I feel has learned a lot about herself in New York in the way that she is not as perfect as she thought she was. At the moment she wants Ray to move home as her ‘online therapist’ suggested (of course Marnie has an online therapist) but that has pushed Ray to live with Shoshanna It will be interesting how her relationship with Ray turns out this series.

When Hannah was at the Surf retreat she falls for the instructor Paul-Louis, after her faking injuring her arm to get out of surfing, and a crazy night out (an absolute must see because her dancing is hilarious) and trying to have sex in a bunk bed. She spends the day with him. Paul-Louis opens up her mind to the fact that some of the best plans are sometimes the ones that you haven’t made yourself.  Hannah, completely smitten, is willing to leave New York behind for him, however is in a open relationship and has different ideas. This upsets Hannah. The irony that Hannah who is (or tries to be) very liberal and open minded about everything but prefers her relationships to be monogamous.

Paul-Louis talking to Hannah in the bar

We didn’t see much of Shoshanna this week, throughout Girls she is the one that has had the most growing up to do. From her time at NYU (remember her failing the glacier module so she couldn’t graduate with everyone else!) she was the girl that seemed to be doing everything right but life was working against her. She is very naive. Now that Ray seems to be staying at hers it will be interesting to see how there friendship between them plays out.

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Image of the Paulina and Fran book

 

Paulina and Fran, where do I start with this book? Well if you are a fan of GIRLS (last series on Sky Atlantic FYI) then you will love Paulina and Fran. The plot is typical Paulina is studying Art History (well studying is pushing it since she seems to seduce the staff members so she passes) and spends her time being up her own backside, using people for her own benefit, pondering life and having lots of sex. Cue Fran – studying half, rubbish at technology and has a glittering career in front of her. Paulina bumps into Fran at a party and then go on University trip together to Iceland. The story goes through their relationship between them both through finishing University and beyond.

I was originally attracted to this book by the front cover. The blurb sounded even better – a story of twenty somethings trying to figure out what they are doing in life – those stories are right up my street. I just didn’t enjoy the book however, I found the plot muddled, Paulina is just unbearable as a main character and Fran isn’t much better either and the ending was so disappointing. The book was a typical book about students at University spending their time getting high, having sex and hoping that they will become the next best thing in whatever area they are specialising in . It is a quick read but not the best.

What did you think of the book? Let me know below.

 

 

 

I am very much a 90’s and 00’s child (I was born in 91!). I loved reading back then as much as I do now. So today I thought I would dedicate this post to some of my fave books I remember from the good ol’ days!

Animal Ark Series – Lucy Daniels

Image of a Animal Ark Book

The BabySitters Club – Ann M Martin

The Babysitters Club

Danny the Champion of the World – Roald Dahl

DannyChampionOfTheWorld

Letterland – Richard Carlisle and Lyn Wendon

Letterland ABC

Ballet Shoes – Noel Streatfield

Ballet Shoes

Biff and Chip – Roderick Hunt

Biff and Chip

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

Charlotte's Web

Gemma – Noel Streatfield

Gemma Noel Streatfield

George’s Marvellous Medicine – Roald Dahl

George's Marvellous Medicine

Goosebumps – R.L Stein

Goosebumps

Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Smith

Gullivers Travels

Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling

harry-potter-philosophers-stone

J17 (Just 17) book series

Kipper – Mick Inkpen

Kipper

Look – 360 Ginn Reading Series

Look

Malory Towers – Enid Blyton

Mr and Mrs Men Series – Roger Hargreaves

Little Miss Splendid book

Mucky Moose – Jonathan Allen

Mucky Moose

Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter

Peter Rabbit

Point Horror Series

Point Horror

Point Romance Series

Point Romance

Sheltie the Shetland Pony – Peter Clover

Sheltie the Shetland Pony

Spot – Eric Hill

Spot Book

Stig of the Dump – Clive King

Stig of the Dump

Sweet Valley Series – Francine Pascal

Sweet Valley High

The Sleepover Club

The Sleepover Club

The Bed and Breakfast Star – Jacqueline Wilson

The Bed and Breakfast Star

The Garden Gang – Jayne Fisher

The Garden Gang

The Demon Headmaster – Gillian Cross

The Demon Headmaster

The Lottie Project – Jacqueline Wilson

The Lottie Project Book

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Secret Garden – Francis Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden

The Twins at St Claire’s – Enid Blyton

St Claire's

The Tower in Ho Ho Wood – Enid Blyton

The Tower in Ho-Ho Wood Book

The Worst Witch – Jill Murphy

The Worst Witch

Topsy and Tim- Jean and Gareth Adamson

Topsy and Tim

Two Weeks with the Queen – Morris Gleitzman

Two weeks with the Queen

DK Eyewitness Books

DK Eyewitness Book

A Child’s Garden of Verse – Robert Louis Stevenson

A Child's Garden of Verses

I would love to know your favourites! Leave your’s in the comments below!