6 International movies you should watch

Movies are a great way to escape your troubles. They transport you to the past and the future, or let you stay in the present. Movies allow you to visit foreign countries and get a glimpse of different cultures around the world, and let you enjoy amazing special effects. The beauty of international films, specifically, is that they give you an authentic look at these cultures, all while telling heartwarming, funny and entertaining stories. Below you will find six of my favorite international movies. Most of them can be found on Netflix or on Amazon.

1. The Beauty Inside

This South Korean film will make you laugh, cry and feel all the feels. It centers around a man who has a different body every time he wakes up (he can wake up as either gender). Except for his one friend and his mom who know his secret, he has no relationships with other people. Spoiler alert (minor): this is a love story, but if you’re not into that, you should still watch it. It’s really really good. You can find this movie on Netflix.

2. Amelie

This French film is quirky and funny, and you’ve probably already watched it on Netflix because it’s pretty well known. However, I still included it, for those people who have never heard of it. The movie is about Amelie, who finds a box of old toys inside the wall of her apartment, and decides to find the owner to return his childhood toys to him.

3. Instructions Not Included

This heartwarming film from Mexico is about a man who finds a girl left on his doorstep. While trying to find her mother, the two form a bond that changes them both for the better. This movie might make you cry; it made me cry a lot. However, it was still really funny and worth watching. You can find this movie on Netflix.

4. Whisper of the Heart

This Japanese animated film centers around a middle school girl who reads constantly. She starts to realize that all the books she’s reading have been read by the same person before her. While trying to find the person who’s name is written on all of these books, the girl begins to learn more about herself and what she hopes to achieve in life. While this movie is not on Netflix, you can find it on Amazon. It is also available at stores like Target and Walmart.

5. Life is Beautiful

This World War II era Italian film is about a Jewish-Italian family that gets split apart through concentration camps. Despite the serious theme of the movie, the film is still very comical and lighthearted – plus the little kid is adorable. This film is also unavailable on Netflix, but it is available to stream on Amazon Video.

6. Old Boy

This film is also a South Korean movie, however, it is a completely different genre than “The Beauty Inside.” If you’re into action or thriller movies, this movie is great! On his daughter’s birthday, a man is abducted and imprisoned in a hotel room. After being drugged and hypnotized for 15 years, he is finally let out. However, he still doesn’t know who is responsible for separating him from his daughter. Also, his kidnapper continues to control his life, outside of the hotel room. So, he decides to find this person and get revenge. “Old Boy” can be found on Netflix. Fun fact: this movie has an American remake from 2013.


Getting to know Chelsey Magaoay

Chelsey Magaoay Blaire is a studio art major in her third year at SDSU. In her spare time, she likes to take her Corgi on walks and watch Netflix. Chelsey grew up in Grass Valley, California, where nature, and boredom, were very present. To entertain herself, she did crafts such as playing with yarn and coloring in coloring-books. However, unlike the average kid who simply colored the pictures, Chelsey would add to the backgrounds. Her parents noticed this, and began to buy her sketch books. Since then, Chelsey’s love for drawing and painting has only grown.

Now, Chelsey focuses on portraits and abstract work that involves nature. Nature, along with personal experiences, inspire Chelsey’s artwork. When I asked her what art means to her, she answered, “Art is an escape.” It was an escape then, and it still is now.

Chelsey then shared her favorite pieces that she’s created.

Photo provided by Chelsey Magaoay.

The first piece she chose is from her “Fantasy” project. “Fantasy” is her most recent painting, and was done in her Realm Life drawing class. She said that this class helped her figure out what direction she wants to take in the future.

Photo provided by Chelsey Magaoay.

This is an embroidery piece she made last semester called, “These Hands.” It is an identity piece, as she used to play with yarn as a kid, and a representation of many ideas tangled together.

Photo provided by Chelsey Magaoay.

The last piece Chelsey chose is “Self.” She created this last semester in her digital photography class. “‘Self’ is a representation of everything I comprehend…I’ve learned about being comfortable in my own skin, and I try to reflect some of that confidence in my art work.”

After she graduates, Chelsey hopes to curate her own touring gallery with a team of different artists. She believes that working in a team is part of the experience and helps you learn.

Featured image provided by Chelsey Magaoay. 

National Tell a Fairytale Day

Although many of you may not know, the 26th of Feb. is indeed National Tell a Fairytale Day. So, in honor of the 26th, I decided to list four of today’s most popular fairytales and explain where, when and how they were created, or first told.

1. Cinderella

Photo by Sofi on Flickr.

“The Tale of Cinderella” actually has many different versions, most originating in ancient Egyptian. However, the following three stories are the versions most related to the (Disney) “Cinderella” we know today.


This story was written in China during the T’ang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Just like the Disney version, Yeh-Shen was under the care of her stepmother, but she had one stepsister as opposed to two. A fish played the role of her only friend and the role of her fairy godmother.

The Little Glass Slipper

This version is French, and was written by Charles Perrault in 1667. It contains all of the major elements that the modern Cinderella has: the pumpkin carriage, fairy godmother and glass slippers.

Kinderund Hausmarchen

This German tale was written by the Grimm brothers, in 1812. In this more violent version, the stepsisters cut off parts of their feet in order to fit into the slipper and fool the prince. Also, the brothers’ Cinderella cries so much after her mother’s death that a tree grows. This tree helps Cinderella get ready for the ball and meet the prince.

2. Mulan

Photo by Adele Blancsec on Flickr.

The story of Mulan was sung as a Chinese folk song in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-557 AD). The plot of the song is essentially the same as the Disney movie we know today. However, in some versions of the song, after Mulan returns from war, she learns that her father is dead and no longer feels like a hero. In other versions, she becomes traumatized after the war and commits suicide. The Disney version provides a happier ending.

3. The Frog Prince

Photo by Sofi on Flickr.

The first (verbal) version of this fairytale appeared in 16th century Scotland and was known as “The Well at the World’s End.” However, the first written adaptation of this story is the Grimm brothers’ 1812 tale, “The Frog Prince.”

Another notable version of this fairytale was written by William Elliot Griffis in 1911, and hails from Korea. Entitled, “A Frog for a Husband, ” this tale gives more insight into what the Frog Prince was like as a human.

4. The Snow Queen

Photo by Adele Blancsec on Flickr.

This fairytale was written by Hans Christian Andersen in Denmark in 1844. However, the Snow Queen is nothing like Disney’s Elsa, and in fact is not the story’s main character.

I encourage all of you to click on the links above and read the variations of the fairytales we know today!