Hooray For Warmer Weather!
I could spend the next few months in anguish for my stored woolens, but I won’t. Nope. Being warm all the time is a wonderful sensation, and one of the primary reasons I love my sweaters. Besides, sunshine and flowers and 80 degree days doesn’t mean I go sweater-less. Au contraire. The change in temperature just means it’s time to pull out my favorite lace knits and patterns; the light, airy things with impossible gauges and stitch patterns 15 rows long. And honestly, after nine months of cold, I tend to feel slightly undressed without a sweater nearby.
Still, as much as the impending summer has me longing to go out and DO something rather than staying curled in my knitting corner with tea and blankets, I still prefer to spend my evenings at home with some knitting and a good movie. Even if I don’t actually knit more than three stitches, I still want to hold my yarn and needles in front of the telly. I tend to really get into my movies, and having something to keep my hands busy–even during foreign films–makes for a more pleasant viewing experience. I will also add that a 16″ straight knitting needle adds a certain emphasis not found else where when gesturing emphatically at the screen. 😀
With that in mind, here are several of my most favorite full length foreign films which also happen to feature knitting.
Just in case you too are looking for something to gesture emphatically at.
Wool 100% (2006) – Japanese
This film tells the story of two sisters who have quietly grown old together in their childhood home. Their house is a museum of things trapped in the past, until one day a little girl shows up. The girl sits in the middle of the house, knitting furiously with red yarn until her sweater is finished, at which point she proceeds to scream, unravels everything she’s knit, and starts over.
Honestly, this film reminded me more of some French cinema I’ve seen than other Japanese films I’ve watched. I give it a thumbs up for using knitting to help carry a unique and intriguing plot.
Fanaa (2006) – Hindi
Mmm. One of my all time favorite bollywood films: Knitting meets romance meets international-spy thriller.
Zooni is a fiercely independent Kashmiri girl who loves to knit. When she receives permission from her protective parents to visit Delhi as part of a folk dancing troupe, she takes her knitting along. After arriving in Delhi, she meets a tour guide name Rehan, who begins to woo her with poetry while she knits:
“I wish I was a skein of wool–
I wish I was a skein of wool wrapped around her fingers
I wish she’d make a sweater out of me,
Wear me, even in the summer.”
Needless to say, Zooni falls head over heels in love.
At the end of her time in Delhi, Zooni gives Rehan the sweater she was knitting. And it fits him perfectly. Rehan and Zooni each plan to go their separate ways, and treat their days in Delhi together as nothing more than a summer romance despite Zooni’s broken heart.
The catch? Zooni is blind. She has never seen Rehan’s face, never seen the sweater she gave him. When tragedy strikes, the only way Zooni can recognize Rehan is by the feel of the knit wool she gave him.
And in the best of Bollywood tradition, all the above happens before the intermission.
200 Pounds Beauty – Korean
Hanna has an amazing voice, and dreams of becoming a pop-singer. However, in the Korean music industry, her figure and appearance are unacceptable. So instead of pursuing her own dreams, Hanna becomes a vocal double for another pop-star–one who has all the right looks but can’t carry a tune. Hanna’s voice sells millions of songs, but she is constantly humiliated and rejected by those who only look skin deep. But when the pop-star Hanna has been dubbing for humiliates her publicly at the birthday party of a man Hanna has been trying to catch, Hanna decides it is time to go after what she wants from life. No holds barred.
A cute, spunky film with lots of fashion, great k-pop, and an inspiring message. It’s is the least knitting focused film here as far as plots go, but if you watch carefully, you can catch Hanna knitting at various points in the film.
Together (2002) – Mandarin
This quiet film tells the story of a father and son living in southern China. The father is a widower, who makes a living for himself and his son as a cook. The son is a violin prodigy, and the father does everything possible to further his son’s talent and skill. When the son wins a prize at a violin competition in Beijing but is denied entrance into a music school due to the lack of a Beijing residency permit, the father talks a famous violin teacher into giving the son private lessons. The son moves to Beijing, and for the first time the father and son are separated.
The father knits a sweater for his son in various scenes of the film.
Up To His Ears (Les tribulations d’un Chinois en Chine) (1965)- French
I haven’t actually seen this one. It was recommended to me by a commenter because there is a subplot which features knitting. The plot is based on the Jules Verne novel “Tribulations of a Chinaman in China.” It is now officially on my watch list.
And Two Short Films – Just in Case
So maybe foreign languages aren’t your thing. Here’s a great 7 minute animated short from Finland (no dialogue) about knitting. The official name is The Last Knit but I tend to think of it as A Stitch Too Far: Knitting Over the Edge.
The Last Knit – Finnish Short Film
And finally, from the British Midlands–Yorkshire to be exact–here’s a 14 minute short about young love. Pearl has a crush on Jack, but he’s completely clueless. So she does the only logical thing for a knitter: she works her feelings into a stockinette scarf and leaves it in his school locker.
Knitting a Love Song – British Short Film
And there you go. If anyone knows of other foreign films which feature or cameo knitting, let me know! I love movies!