A few of my favorite foreign films.

Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.
-Bong Joon Ho

In honor of Bong Joon Ho's beautiful movie and his Golden Globe win, here is a list of some of my very favorite foreign films. Perhaps it will inspire you to see more if you have not seen them already. Enjoy!

Side note: I would advise against watching Hollywood remakes of foreign films or the Hollywood version of foreign directors. As they are typically at best mediocre and does not even come close to its original.

Old Boy. Park Chan-Wook.
Quite possibly one of the best revenge films I have ever seen. I also really enjoy his other movies as well.

In the Mood for Love. The Grandmaster. Wong Kar-Wai.
Wong Kar-Wai is on my list of favorite directors of all time. I would recommend In the Mood for Love and The Grandmaster.

Hero. Zhang Yimou.
Hero may be one of the most beautiful kung fu films ever made. But The Grandmaster is close behind...

Remember what I said above regarding Hollywood remakes? Pay attention to the next 3.

After the Wedding. Susanne Bier.
This may be my all time favorite movie. I love the way Susanne Bier tells these very emotional stories. I also enjoy the rest of her movies as they are all very powerful.

Secret in Their Eyes. Juan José Campanella.
I saw this shortly after After the Wedding and was blown away by both films.

Let the Right One In. Tomas Alfredson.
Such a beautiful film with perfect casting.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Niels Arden Oplev. Yes, David Fincher remade it and he had a much bigger budget. Doesn't make it better however. He had perhaps a better opening sequence and much more polished art direction.

Amélie. Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
While I own Amélie, I also enjoyed the rest of Jeunet's collection: Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children, etc.

Ran. Dreams. Akira Kurosawa.
I love how Kurosawa does these epic period Japanese dramas inspired by Shakespeare. I've seen most of his films and they are all very poetic, as you would imagine from a master such as himself.

Amores Perros. Alejandro González Iñárritu.
This was my first Iñárritu film. It's so incredibly beautiful that I went down a rabbit hole of all his films.

Y Tu Mamá También. Roma. Alfonso Cuarón.
I remember shortly after watched Amores Perros I went down the Gael García Bernal rabbit hole as well and watched Y Tu Mamá También. Those 2 movies can really break your heart because they were so emotional. I started watching Roma at home one night and stopped a few minutes in, as it was playing on the big screen in 70mm (how it was shot) at the Castro theatre. I would highly recommend that if you ever get the chance.


12.25.2019. Sir and Star. Olema. California.

This Christmas I was supposed to spend it with Lauren in Santa Fe, but due to circumstances beyond her control, we decided to celebrate her heath here in the Bay Area instead with Deb. Lauren had the brilliant idea of making a reservation for Christmas lunch at Sir and Star. Hilariously, I have tried to dine at Sir and Star a few times when I am up North but they have been closed each time.

What I really loved about this meal aside from its minimalist rustic decor (all the way to the loo) was the very reasonable portions with the great food. They even had a very reasonably priced wine list as well if you are budget conscious. I can see this being a new annual tradition of mine.

Sir and Star
10000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Olema, CA 94950

dinner rolls, rustic rye bread
butter scented with sage, sweetened with our honey
and a spread of devilishly housemate ham

a soup of bolinas butternut squash
etched with a syrup of inverness apples
lavished with curls of crisped leeks

wild and tame mushrooms
chanterelles and local gold: the grand porcini
tumbling over a cheese soufflé's of point reyes toma

wild arugula draped over carpaccio of dates
from the desert plot of a bolinas farmer
crowned with a confetti of pomegranate
served alongside a streak of our yogurt

a tiny tim christmas turkey
with thyme scented sourdough stuffing
laced with sausage of devil's gulch heritage pig
with a mash of marin potatoes, the gift of gravy
and a chutney of wild plums from the point

ice cream of coastal buffalo milk
filling pastry puffs dipped in deep chocolate
finished with a flurry of almond toffee

Then we walked around Inverness after lunch and drove back before it started pouring again.

12.14.2019. Ladytron. The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall. Berkeley, California.

My friend Reuben came into town with his band Ladytron as it was the last show of their tour with the new album. Naturally I got off the couch to see him in the East Bay and to catch up after the show. Fun fact: there was only 1 bar open until 2AM in Berkeley. Sacrilege. But perhaps that is why they are such smarties over there...

The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall
2036 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

11.24.2019 + 12.30.2019. Daeho Kalbijjim & Beef Soup. San Francisco. California.

Daeho is a new Korean favorite comfort of mine. So far, I have been to it twice in 2 months. It took me a bit to try it out due to the long lines there and they do not take reservations. I like going a bit earlier than they open for lunch and get in there right when they open for the first seating. The first time we got the galbi jjim (braised beef prime rib) with oxtail and the second time we got the galbi jjim as they were sold out of the ox tail already. I added vegetables both times as everything is a la carte. The quality of the meat is very high, much like Park's BBQ so the price point is a little higher than your average, but well worth it. You can choose your spice level from 1-4. I typically go between 1-2, and 2 has a nice kick in the flavor. I would say this is better for a group due to the large family style portions. 

Daeho Kalbijjim & Beef Soup
1620 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94115