The Long Week Closes: Learning a Little French Goes a Long Way March 18, 2017

Any cinephile who cares about world cinema would benefit a great deal from learning a little bit of French. Take a semester or the Rosetta Stone equivalent of that. I promise you, even if you never become fluent, this will be an extremely useful experience. I spent several months learning French through Rosetta Stone a few years ago, and while I’m certainly not fluent and can hardly put a sentence together that’s longer than three words, I’ve gotten the hang of a lot of French pronunciation that previously eluded me. You only need one semester to get that much right. When I hear Americans pronounce French words, it’s immediately apparent to me which ones have studied the language and which ones haven’t. French pronunciation is tricky and unintuitive for most non-Francophones, so there are many rewards that come from even a minimal commitment. (Incidentally, I had to stop studying French once the site’s backlog got out of control [September 2015]. I’m frustrated that I’ve taken such a long break and avidly wish to return to foreign language learning someday.)

All of the movies in this week’s rundown are strictly arthouse. And so far, nine reviews in, Song to Song is less divisive than most Malick films lately.

Song to Song (Malick)

New Releases
Terrence Malick’s Song to Song (United States)
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s After the Storm (Japan)

Taipei Story (Yang)

Cinema of the Past
Edward Yang’s Taipei Story (Taiwan, 1985)
Felipe Cazals’s Canoa: A Shameful Memory (Mexico, 1976)
Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff (United States, 2010)

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