Foreign Films You Should Stream: Sweet Bean, Beach Flags, and Cleo from 5 to 7

26 Feb

In addition to having access to thousands of books, one of the best things about having a Hoboken Library Card is having access to Kanopy. Kanopy is a streaming platform that offers tons of great movies and videos to watch. Every month, Hoboken resident cardholders can have access to 10 films for adults from Kanopy and unlimited high quality kid’s movies, TV, and animated story books from Kanopy Kids for free!

What I love about Kanopy is that there is an abundance of indie and foreign films to watch – films that would otherwise be difficult to find. I love watching foreign films in particular, since they provide a glimpse into different locations, stories and cultures. So I, of course, was thrilled that a foreign film won Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. Living in America, with a strong and prolific movie industry, we can sometimes forget that there is so much more out there beyond our borders.

There are all sorts of foreign films on Kanopy, so there is sure to be something for everyone. Here are a few selections:

If you like contemporary dramas…

Sweet Bean
Sweet Bean
Sweet Bean” is a Japanese movie from 2015 directed by Naomi Kawase. It is based on the novel by Durian Sukegawa (the book’s title was translated to “Sweet Bean Paste”). The movie follows the story of Sentaro, a man who runs a dorayaki shop. Dorayaki are a Japanese sweet, made with two small pancakes around a filling of red bean paste. When looking for a new hire, an elderly woman applies for the job, handing him over her own homemade red bean paste. An unlikely friendship forms between them and a young schoolgirl who is a frequent customer of the shop. We discover the pasts that they hide, and by the end of the movie, we’re left with the wonder of being alive. A beautiful, moving film.

If you like animated shorts…

Beach Flags

Beach Flags

Image from Kanopy.com

Beach Flags” is a short animated film from Iran, written and directed by Sarah Saidan. It follows the story of Vida, a young lifeguard, who wants to be the one in her group to be chosen for an international competition in Australia. Vida is clearly the best among her peers, but her status as best is challenged when a newcomer, Sareh, arrives. Vida’s competitive streak is evident, but she discovers there is more to Sareh than meets the eye. A tale of young women, ambition and friendship in a country that restricts their freedoms.

 

If you like classic movies…

Cleo from 5 to 7
Cleo from 5 to 7
Cleo from 5 to 7” is a French New Wave film from 1962 directed by the world-renowned Agnès Varda. The story takes place from 5pm to 7pm on a particular day when Cléo, the title character, is waiting for the results of a medical test that might confirm her fears of a cancer diagnosis. It’s an interesting film with a theme of existentialism and a fascinating look into how women were perceived in 1960’s France.

Sweet Bean and Cleo from 5 to 7 are also available on DVD from BCCLS Libraries.

Written by:
Samantha Evaristo
Circulation Assistant

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