After Parasite becomes the first foreign language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture, Angus Robertson looks at some wonderful movies that missed out in the past and TV shows that make equally compelling viewing.
Hard to believe it’s taken 90 years, but the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has finally awarded the Best Picture Oscar to a foreign language film.
South Korea’s filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite also scooped awards for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Foreign Film. By all accounts, the film is worth all the plaudits, and currently can be seen at three Edinburgh cinemas.
It’s too late at the Oscars for international greats like Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Sergio Leone, Federico Fellini, Michael Haneke and many others, whose great movies were overlooked. However, there is definitely a change under way in the English-speaking world, with international television series and movies watched as never before.
Amazing international films in recent years have included Roma from Mexico, Amelie from France, The Lives of Others from Germany and fantastic international TV series have included Borgen from Denmark, Trapped from Iceland, Deutschland 83 from Germany, Spiral from France, Grand Hotel from Spain, Umbre from Romania, Prisoners of War from Israel and many more.
Just as soul searching is under way to make sure that the film industry reflects the breadth of talent amongst women filmmakers and black, Asian and minority ethnic movie talent, so too should it reflect the wider world in which we live.
Ninety years is a long time for a non-English language film to win an Oscar for Best Movie. Hopefully it won’t take another 90 years for the next.