Thursday Movie Picks #34: Non-English Language Movies – Asian Language Movies Set in East Asia (Non-Horror)

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Thursday Movie Pick by Wandering Through the Shelves goes East now. The quest is: Non-English Language Movies – Asian Language Movies Set in East Asia (Non-Horror). My kind of movies.

I’m a fan of East Asia thriller, and therefore, I must put aside Park Chan-wook’s movies (except for one) also Bong Joon-ho’s (except for one movie); otherwise, I would not be able to pick any.

So, below is my special picks for this theme.

01. Infernal Affairs (2002)

Very much intriguing, but sympathetic. Infernal Affairs, which inspires Scorsese’s The Departed, is a police thriller you cannot miss.

FYI, Hong Kong crime-thriller is hype at that time; and among other intriguing crime movies, Infernal Affairs is on the top.

02. Mother (2009)

Mother (“Madeo” in Korean) is a very uncomfortable thriller. Won Bin was terrific, but Kim Hye-ja’s at her finest here in picturing the love of a mother in a way which I cannot even digest.

FYI, the Korean title itself is a play of word; it might sound like “Mother” or “Murder” at the same time. Clever, Joon-ho.

03. Thirst (2009)

Oldboy might be Park Chan-wook’s most controversial and most notorious work, but I personally love Thirst among all Chan-wook’s wild work.

Thirst revolves around the life of a priest, who was infected by a virus that turned him into a vampire. I love the idea of celibate life, sexuality, and repentance are depicted in this beautifully orchestrated blood-bathing vampire erotic black comedy.

Honorable mentions

If I could, I’d state all my favorite East Asian movies, ranging from:

But, most importantly, this is the ultimately honorable mention, Zhang Yimou’s Hero (2002)

Well, that’s my picks for this week. Hit the comment button, please.

17 responses

  1. Great picks! I haven’t seen any of them but I really want to watch Mother.

    1. Anyway, Bong Joon-ho’s a really talented filmmaker. His films are extremely good, but I alwsys consider Mother as his finest.

  2. yeay, I’ve watched all films in your list 😀
    All of them are amazing, especially Mother.

    1. Great you watched ’em all! Definitely, Mother is among the best.

  3. LOVE Mother! Infernal Affairs is also very good. I’ve been dying to see Thirst – too many movies, not enough time!

    1. Glad you loved them! That happens to me as well. So little time so much to watch

  4. GOD, I need to see Hero…and Thirst…but I LOVE that you mention Mother!

    1. Glad you liked Mother. Hero’s quite style-over-substance, but it also has a deep storytelling, which is kinda sad.
      On another note, Thirst might be more segmented than hero. It might be divisive for its theme and storytelling, but among Park Chan-wook’s movies, this is my personal best.

  5. Brittani Avatar

    I love Thirst. I didn’t pick it because I thought it fell too much into the horror category. But you make a good case for it. It is a bit of a dark comedy. Mother is one I’ve always been meaning to check out.

    1. Well, let’s take it from another pov that it’s a romance 🙂
      Mother is worth to watch. It’s terrific and emotional at the same time.

    2. Yep I agree with Brittani, Thirst is very much in the horror genre.

  6. So much win in this post! You’re three main picks are all fabulous. Really happy to see Thirst, here (even if it breaks the rules). Really love the inclusion of the entire Trilogy of Vengeance. Haven’t seen I’m a Cyborg, though. I’ll have to find that one since I love Chan Wook. Also Tale of Two Sisters and I Saw the Devil are both ridiculously good. Great work!

    1. Thanks, Wendell! Well, I don’t think Thirst is a horror movie, therefore I picked it although it might seem very personal.
      Glad you have penchants for Asian movie 🙂

  7. I have not seen any of these. Hero I have heard of and do wish to see

    1. Oh, you should watch ’em!

  8. I can say that your post has inspired me to seek out some more Asian films. I am so lacking. I listed almost every Asian movie I’ve seen with my picks. Almost.

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