Ahem, yes, back onto Poland. Some films for you to look out for: Knife in The Water by Roman Polanski, Ashes and Diamonds by Andrej Wajda, oh, and a great Czech comedy, Closely Observed Trains by Jiri Menzel. Cinema is definitely a great way introduction to a new culture.
Yes European languages, with few exceptions, are called Indo-European and share commonalities. Exceptions are Basque (Euskadi) Magyar, Estonian and, I believe, Finnish. I sometimes try to work on Spanish and I've tried Italian when on holiday there, but it makes my French pronunciation deteriorate, but, il faut pratiquer!
Cinema Francaise that you might enjoy: Les Quatre Cent Coups, Tirez sur le Pianiste and, of course, A Bout de Souffle by Goddard. None of the above are easy to find, and on the telly only rarely, but are classics. Yep La Haine is great, and an amazing debut.
One of my half-sisters studied fashion in Leicester, I think, and is now a buyer for M&S; travelling to Milan, etc, for next season's previews. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a fleece and jeans guy myself. Which is useful for when in...POLAND. Whew, managed to squeeze Poland back in there at the end.
wow that's a nice mix - film and culture. goes hand in hand. i did film studies at a level off the back of the film teacher looking cool. i'm so glad he did look cool otherwise i wouldn't think i'd have the love of film i do now. speaking of french films, my favourite are amelie, delicatessen, switchblade romance and la haine. astounding they are. learning languages off films is a good idea though. maybe polish ones could help my lessons...(just to bring this back on topic haha). i really want to learn japanese too, mainly because i'm a fashion student and one day will hopefully live and work in tokyo but for now, all these european languages is really fun. i'm learning how similar they are but different as well which i guess will shine through when i visit the countries themselves. even if we don't end up visiting poland, learning something new will be brilliant. especially for free! as for korean, i don't know whether i'll ever go there. my aim is to visit every continent and that'll almost be done soon bar 3. so perhaps countries could be next! i definitely have to get myself to ireland though and get myself a piece of that history that you got!