ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Top 5 Best Foreign Films

Updated on April 23, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty has successfully reviewed thousands of books, films, products, and vacation/retirement cities around the world.

Argentine Tango, my favorite dance.
Argentine Tango, my favorite dance. | Source


I have always been fascinated by tango, ever since I first saw it in TV - I was 5 - against the background song Hernando's Hideaway. On my last visit to Victoria BC, there was a tango exhibition and free lessons near the Inner Harbour and we went to watch. I will always be fascinated by this dance.

Tango or Tango, no me dejes nunca, is a mesmerizing documentation of Argentine tango. Written and directed by Carlos Saura, it takes place in Buenos Aires and every scene is fascinating. This included several of young children dancing tango in couples, concentrating, disciplined, and enjoying themselves at once.. Another scene of one gentleman dancing tango with two women is extraordinary.

There is love triangle in the film that includes the director of a production, in Argentina that takes up historical themes of immigration and rebellion, all expressed in tango. The camera work does not concentrate only on the feet and legs, but upon the whole being of the dancers and their passion. A foreign language was no barrier to understanding this film as I watched, entranced.

Les Triplettes de Belleville

Les Triplettes de Belleville is an award-winning French animated feature that I have seen many times. Written and directed by Sylvain Chomet, it was released as The Triplets of Belleville in North America and as Belleville Rendez-vous in the UK. It was produced by companies in France, Belgium, and Canada.

The greater part of this film story is told in pantomime against musical backdrops, reminding me much of Marcel Marceau. The movie was enjoyed by audiences and critics on its release for its retro animation as well. The French sense of humor is evident in many scenes -- Belleville is New York City and every American is as fat as a double-wide hippo. Even the French gift to America, the Statue of Liberty, has become blimp-like. She came here and we made her fat.

The film satires the French as well, especially their enjoyment of the Tour de France and their fondness of frog delicacies. The French Triplets eat nothing but the amphibians, which they catch beneath the bridges and piers of New York every night. The film also features Tour de France radio commentary and a speech by Charles de Gaulle, again very retro. There is a kidnapping and villainy reminiscent of Disney films, and there is a happy ending spurred on by the Triplets themselves. This is a film I should like to view every year.

Three Men and a Cradle

Trois hommes et un couffin (Three Men and a Cradle) is a delightful French language film by Coline Serreau Three young men (Jacques, Pierre and Michel) share a Parisian apartment and play host to many women and parties. (During the movie, we even learn that they have signed a contract never to allow a girl to spend more than one night at their place).

During one of their parties, a friends of Jacques' tells him he has a package of cocaine to deliver, and asks if he can leave it at the apartment. Jacques agrees and he works as a steward, flies away for a one month trip in Japan. He tells his roommates about the package.

However, one of Jacques' girlfriends drops off a baby and Pierre and Michel think that this is the special package. Hilarity ensues when the cocaine package's messenger arrives to pick up t he package and there is only a baby, instead.

House of Flying Daggers

The title of this Chinese period film was taken from a four-character idiom that means "ambush from ten sides." In my Korean martial art, this is actually a drill called "Iron Circle" in which a defender in the center of a circle of 8 - 10 opponents wards off and counter attacks the barrages from the circumference, not knowing who or how many will attack next. The film provides some of that suspense and all of its intensity.

The idiom also represents the name of a famous traditional Chinese musical piece for the instrument known as a pipa.

The song describes the battle between the Chu's General Xiang Yu and the Han military before the formation of the Han Dynasty. A short version of this piece is actually played in the soundtrack of House of Flying Daggers, which names a secret society portrayed in the movie.

House of Flying Daggers is a purposely and vividly colorful Asian action and romance genre film directed by Zhang Yimou, with each sequence presenting a powerful color theme: green, blue, purple, and others.

The movie is of the wuxia genre, much like the popular Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. However, House of Flying Daggers differs in that it is a love story first, only one in which the principal players are all martial arts aficionados and even legends.

The use of brilliant strong color themes is dazzling as a repeated hallmark if director Zhang. A series of scenes in a lovely bamboo forest fill the screen with green. The climactic fight scene occurs completely in a blizzard of white. The actors and blood are greatly highlighted on a whiteout background. The costumes, props, and decorations are replicas of the elements of the stylized Chinese period paintings. It represents is another world to the Westerner and a different set of values. It is all breathtaking.

Kung Fu Hustle

Kung Fu Hustle is a hilarious Hong Kong parody martial arts film. It is directed and written by Stephen Chow, paying exaggerated tribute to the wuxia genre of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It is an exaggerated wuxia movie, more like a cartoon that keeps one's attention. Set in 1930s Shanghai, it is a tale of redemption for Chow as the protagonist, a petty criminal that tries to join the most powerful kung fu gang in town.

Traditional period Chinese music is dramatic and profound against this comic rendition of chop sockey.

The film wonderfully includes the return to the screen of several retired 1970s actors from the Hong Kong action school of film. It is so good in its parody and its use of the Hong Kong "legends" of chop sockey magic - especially a dance scene with knives and an older heroine in curlers - that I like it even better than the excellent Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Interestingly, Kung Fu Hustle became the highest grossing film in the history of Hong Kong and the highest grossing foreign language film in America in 2005.

© 2007 Patty Inglish MS


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)