What's that you say, Mildly Xenophobic Film Fan? If you wanted to read while people make incomprehensible noises for two hours, you'd plop down on the least sticky Metromover seat and take a couple of laps with the latest Life & Style?
Well, get off at the Omni Terminal and take one of several mostly insect-free bus lines to the Miami International Film Festival, where surprises and delights await even the most fickle and/or squinty of eyeballs. Behold: six foreign films at MIFF 2013 for people who don't usually like foreign films.
Whether you want to step out of your comfort zone, impress a potential lover, or just want to celebrate that Hooked on Phonics worked for you, below you'll find a selection of great movies that will suit your unique needs.
Saturday, March 9 at 6:30pm
A Spanish comedy. A lovable loser named Modesto (who can see ghosts, by the way) gets a job at a school where five students died before they could graduate back in the 1980s. Their ghosts can only be freed from an eternity of acid washed jeans and infant-sized cell phones if Modesto can give them the graduation they never had. It's a funny one, but also contains a powerful message about the need to combat the rising high school ghost drop out rate.
Thesis on a Homicide
Saturday, March 9 at 4pm
North American preimiere of an Argentinian thriller. When a law professor notices that his exciting charmer of a student's paper about a hypothetical murder has a bit too much in common with an actual killing, the professor begins to think that his student is a crazy killer. But the jerks from the police and the university refuse to believe the professor, so it's up to him to try to pin the murder on his student.
Yo, Teach! How about dishing out some extra credit instead? Everyone says students don't care about their schoolwork anymore and when one finally shows a little initiative, he gets the cops on his ass for the trouble? Whatever, it's a taut and wild ride, as well as a cautionary tale about how a "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" essay can go horribly wrong. Don't let it happen to you.
Saturday, March 2 at 10pm
Monday, March 4 at 9:30pm
North American premiere of a French comedy. Diane Kruger is in love with her boyfriend (sadly, not played by nor based on you) but her family is cursed: all of their first marriages fall apart while the second marriages last. So she comes up with A Perfect Plan to quickly marry and divorce some other dude first and -- wouldn't you know it -- things go hilariously wrong.
This is the difference between beautiful people in the movies and the rest of us; our Perfect Plans involve maybe getting out of bed eventually to see if there's any of that pizza left, and when they go wrong, it's usually more depressing than hilarious. So escape your miserable life for a while with the gorgeous, farcical people of France. The pizza will still be there waiting when you get back from the theater, unless your roommate gets to it first in an unexpected twist that has you laughing like a guy in an asylum who has been there longer than any of the staff.
Friday, March 8 at 9:45pm
Saturday, March 9 at 7pm
This one won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2012 and is director Matteo Garrone's follow up to his mafia flick, Gomorrah, one of the great recent Foreign Films for People Who Don't Usually Like Foreign Films. This one's a satire of reality television culture, in which an Italian fishmonger chases fame and fortune by joining the cast of a Big Brother show. You know it's a satire and not a documentary because he goes for the glory in a role on television instead of in a sex tape.
Not only is this a fun and unexpectedly emotionally resonant film, but when's the last time you got to see a movie about a fishmonger that didn't get it all wrong? Most popular representations of the fishmonger are a disaster of misconceptions, from the facts about the fish all the way down to the mongering itself. Not this film.
Tuesday, March 5 at 9pm
Wednesday, March 6 at 9:30pm
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The sole survivor of an Icelandic shipwreck makes it to shore, but his account of what happens sounds a little unbelievable. Scientists and skeptics try to figure out what really happened as a community becomes divided. Is the survivor lying? Was it a miracle?
The film is supposedly based on a true story, which is something to consider if you show up late somewhere and try to blame it on being in an Icelandic shipwreck; science dudes will call you out on that. Another thing we learned from this one: the Icelandic language does not actually use the word "Bjork" the ways Smurfs use "smurf." Who knew?
The 2013 Miami International Film Festival begins today. To buy tickets for these films or to learn about the more than 100 others in this year's program, visit miamifilmfestival.com.