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A foreign affair

International titles to look for in 2012

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Scarlet Road (Australia):This Australian documentary tells the story of Rachel Wotton, a Sydney-based sex worker and advocate who caters to an overlooked segment of the population: the disabled. The film aims to make us think differently about what sex is. It’s something that even the synopsis accomplishes.

A Boy and His Samurai (Japan): According to the Film Society of Lincoln Center: “The tale of a boy, a samurai, time travel, pastries, chef vs. yakuza battles, absent fathers and single mothers.” Writer-director Yoshihiro Nakamura’s last film, Fish Story, about how music ends up saving the world from an asteroid, was fantastic, and I expect nothing less from this one, especially since it won the audience award at the 2011 New York Asian Film Festival.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Japan/USA): Sushi is the world’s most beautiful, luxurious food and 85-year-old Jiro Ono is the best in the world at making it. As this documentary shows, that’s a lot to live up to for his eldest son, Yoshikazu, who will one day take over Sukiyabashi Jiro, the world-famous restaurant that boasts almost as many Michelin Stars (three out of three) as it does seats (10), and takes over a year to snag a reservation.

Wu Xia (Dragon) (China): Despite being purchased by the Weinstein Co. following its Cannes premiere last year, nothing has really happened with this film besides a series of ever-worsening title changes. Essentially A History of Violence set in the Qing Dynasty, it stars Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tang Wei.

The We and the I (France):After the unfortunate 3-D mess that was The Green Hornet, French director Michel Gondry looks to regain the fighting form he was in when he made Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep. Very little is known about his latest project except that it appears to be a sci-fi film about a group of school kids who accidentally find themselves in the future and discover a machine that keeps people young. Also, it may or may not star Ellen Page and may or may not have been shot entirely on a school bus.

The Story of Film (U.K.): You won’t find this in theaters, but hopefully, this extensively researched, 15-hour documentary series from Northern Ireland film historian and BAFTA-nominated documentarian Mark Cousins will eventually make its way here somehow. The series traces the history of film – a surprisingly zeitgeisty topic these days, thanks to Hugo – from its inception to its current problems and all of the goodness (and badness) in between. The Telegraph called this the “cinema event of the year,” so someone make the goods already!

(Visit For Reels blog at orlandoweekly.com for a companion to this piece.)

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