Introducing 50 From 50

This year, I will watch 50 movies from 50 different countries. From time to time, I’ve done movie-based resolutions like this in the past (like the 1978 Project or the similarly titled 50 Under 50), and I’ve found it to be an edifying experience. Since it’s already March and since this particular resolution is perhaps a little more complicated than the previous two, I figure some guidelines are in order:

  • I have to watch 50 movies from 50 different countries, and I’m going to exclude the Anglosphere countries like USA, UK, Canada, etc…
  • Despite the Anglosphere exclusion, the language of the movie can still be English (though I expect most will not be)
  • All movies must be new-to-me
  • Movies from multiple origin countries can get tricky, but those movies can only count towards one primary country (i.e. 1 of the 50), otherwise I could just watch Samsara and get 15 countries under my belt.
  • A lot of movies are co-financed by the USA despite being made elsewhere, and for the most part, they won’t count due to the exclusion mentioned above. So Knock at the Cabin is clearly a US movie, despite countries of origin being USA, China, and Japan.
  • I toyed with the idea that I should include countries from every continent, but obviously Antarctica is out, Australia is already excluded, and I’ve already covered every continent except Africa… so let’s just say that I should include an African country/film on the list.
  • I should watch at least 20 movies from at least 1 of the countries on the list. Potential candidates include Hong Kong, Italy, France, Japan, and Korea, but we’ll have to see how this shakes out.
  • This will be retroactive and start from the beginning of this year.

One reason I’ve tried to add these rules is that almost every year, I probably do watch 50 movies from 50 different countries just in the random course of movie watching (or perhaps due to the vagaries of multiple origin countries). So excluding the US stuff cuts down on a lot of that, and ensuring I watch 20 (or more) movies from a single country also adds some more complexity to the challenge.

I will try to keep this post updated with a running list of the 50 films (eventually with links to reviews, etc…)

There are a couple of movies that are hard to classify (i.e. is Speak No Evil Denmark or The Netherlands?), but even with those, I’m a few movies behind on this resolution… but that’s not half bad considering I’m only starting now. The current map provided by Letterboxd stats is perhaps a bit misleading due to the prevalence of multiple countries of origin and US productions including other countries, but it will be interesting to see how the map looks at the end of the year…

World Map highlighting countries I have watched movies from...

So there you have it. Reviews for the above mentioned movies are incoming, and we’re off!

5 thoughts on “Introducing 50 From 50”

  1. This is a super cool idea. I am not sure I watched movies from 50 countries in my entire life! Could I ask , do these have to be new movies? If not, how do you count movies from countries that don’t exist anymore – like USSR or Yugoslavia?

    1. Not new as in “released recently”, but new as in “new to me” (i.e. I haven’t seen them before.) The countries that don’t exist anymore do seem to be tracked by Letterboxd and IMDB, and I do have a couple of things on my watchlist that would qualify for USSR (Tarkovsky’s Stalker comes to mind.) That being said, it does feel like it’s sorta doubling up on one country. I’d like to keep things more pure than that if possible, but who knows? I’ll almost certainly watch Stalker (resolution or not), but whether or not it counts towards the official 50 is perhaps another question… Good point though! The country of origin for movies does get complicated and this wasn’t something I initially thought about…

    1. Ahh, another USSR film – added to my watchlist, though availability is poor here (nothing official streaming, but there are DVDs – no blu/hd anywhere). Huh, it appears to be on YouTube though, broken into two parts… Hmmm.

      1. At the very least, the YT videos are in good quality, and having checked the subs, they are also accurately translating to English (I grew up watching this movie, and am a fluent Russian speaker, so while I don’t need them…)

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