13th June 2016

10 Things Teviot: International Film

by Kirsten Murray, Senior Designer

Grab your popocorn / samosas / iwashi senbei / curry fish balls – as we take you on a cinematic journey of our top ten films from across the globe.

1. Shen Foo, Senior Designer

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, 2001



A mega budget Bollywood movie with some hilarious and lots of drama moments. The story is about a rich Indian family facing troubles and misunderstandings over their favourite son’s marriage to a girl who comes from a lower society economic group. The serious issues of class distinction, family and marriage values have brought tension to the movie that leads to lots of weepy moments (prepare to have Kleenex by the side). There’s no lack of coordinated dances and random music, whether it’s pop or classical, the singing voices of legendary Lata Mangeshkar and Sonu Nigam have indeed brought in magical touches to the movie. With famous actors and actress Shah Rukh Khan Kajol, Hrithik Roshan, Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan, this film possibly has the world’s best looking family. Rather than just the usual Bollywood setting itself, the shoot has brought us to United Kingdom and Egypt as well. All in all, what I like about this movie is the special strong bonding between parents and children, husband and wife and among siblings and also primarily some amazing life lessons it gives us that’s lacking in modern life today.


2. Alex Barczuk, Head of Accounts USA

Tsotsi, 2006

South Africa

The movie won an Oscar for best foreign film in 2006 and is one of my favourites as I can relate to the setting and struggles of the people it represents due to growing up in the same city. I love how the movie has such a huge moral message imbedded within its story and how a person can be transformed from being careless, evil and ruthless to someone that has hope and a yearning to improve.

The movie is profound in the way it brings out strong emotions and feelings within, helps you understand what extent people go to in desperate situations and that although Tstosi doesn’t become a better person, there is hope and a yearning for better.


3. Jason Bellini, Creative Artworker

Akira, 1988


Akira is a film adapted from the Manga comic series of the same name by Katsuhiro Otomo. What’s unique about it is the fact that, not only did Katsuhiro Otomo adapt the movie from the Manga comic, he also wrote and illustrated the original comic series. It’s not often you hear of adaptions to film from the original writer themselves.

Akira was released in 1988 and was a huge success, not only in it’s native Japan but also around the world.

I remember being in secondary school when it I first viewed it and it blew me away.

I would sit in class and draw comic strips in the Manga style and always loved recreating the futuristic motorcycle from the show. I couldn’t believe when somebody actually made the bike in real life. I want one!

The film is over 2 hours long, which, for an animated film, was incredible at the time of its release. The quality of animation set the foundations for animated films from then on. You can probably thank Akira for all your Pixar movies!


4. Jo Rolph, Agency Manager

Amélie, 2001



Amélie is a simple and quaint French story about a young girl and her mission to help people around her through love and romance. Beautifully filmed and can’t help but put a smile on your face.


5. David Kemp, Head of Finance

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 1988


Set in pre and post invasion Czechoslovakia during the late 1960s and staring Daniel Day-Lewis and Juliette Binoche, The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a story about the ‘lightness of life’ experienced by the Tomas (Day Lewis) in contrast to the opposing view felt by his wife Tereza (Binoche).

After a chance meeting in the boring village Tereza lives in, their lives become entwined during the invasion and occupancy by the Russians. Tereza has to come to terms with Tomas’ womanising while trying to find her place in a rapidly changing world as the Russian tanks roll into Prague.

Both escape to Switzerland after Tereza is interrogated by the police whilst taking photos of the street demonstrations. There she finds life too boring and staid preferring to return to the ‘land of the weak’.  She is eventually reconciled with Tomas and they move to live a simple country life with a tragic twist.

A great, if lengthy, film which shows the emerging talents of two now world-renowned actors supported by a great cast including Mefisto the pig.


6. Tony Haughey, Senior Artworker

The Host, 2006


This film is a creative feature, which is both funny and sad at the same time. I found the symbolism in it was very now – the little man, the down trodden having to fight for the things that he wants and no-one in positions of power want to help, so he has to help himself.


7. Ryan Johnson, Project Coordinator

Lakshya, 2004


One of my favorite foreign films is Lakshya from India. It’s a war drama that follows the life of a wealthy young man who has no ambition in life. When his girlfriend, who has higher goals than him, dumps him for his career, he begins to wonder what his life’s objective is. The story follows him as he joins and progresses through the Indian army – all in search of this meaning. I love this movie because I believe, as Frankl would suggest, that our greatest search in the life is for meaning and Lakshya shows a wonderful story filled with love, action and sentiment. All in classic Bollywood style.


8. Kirsten Murray, Senior Designer

Princess Mononoke, 1997


What I love about Hayao Miyazaki’s stories are the strong female lead characters he creates. Princess Monoke, meaning spirit or monster, is one such character. Raised by wolves, she’s a fierce warrior presiding over the forest to protect it from human greed and consumption. Not only does this film tell a powerful story, Studio Ghibli’s painterly animation brings the majestic creatures in it to life.


9. Jamie Ker, Creative Artworker

Tell No One, 2006


Based on an American novel but set in France. Margot Beck is the victim of a serial killer, who confesses to seven murders, but denies being responsible for Margot’s death. Eight years later two bodies are found near the location where Margot was dumped, leading to the case being reopened and Margot’s partner Alexandre becoming the prime suspect. At the same time, the mystery increases as Alexandre receives a strange email that seems to show current footage of Margot alive and well. My favourite thriller, and one of the few times the use of a U2 song hasn’t made me feel ill.


10. Emily Ramsay, Senior Designer

Departures, 2008



Graceful. Beautiful. Respectful.

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Kirsten Murray, Senior Designer

10 Things Teviot: International Film