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About CoraSmith

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    My main interests are music, literature and film. I like classics because they have well constructed stories with strong character development, they have suspense, humor and good actors. My favorite directors are Alfred Hitchock, Woody Allen, Billy Wilder and Charlie Chaplin. Favorite actors before 1970 are James Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Audrey Hepburn.
  1. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    A forgotten film star is Lily Bouwmeester from the Netherlands. Here you see her as the flower girl Elisa Doeluttel in the Dutch adaptation of G. B. Shaw's Pygmalion, before her transformation into a fair lady. Johan de Meester played professor Higgins.
  2. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    La Grande Illusion, Jean Renoir, France Pépé le Moko, Julien Duvivier, France Pygmalion, Ludwig Berger, Netherlands
  3. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    I was surprised myself. I just typed SPOILER between square brackets and everything after became hidden.
  4. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    Intermezzo is a romantic drama by Gustaf Molander. It was a breakthrough for Ingrid Bergman, who would star in the American remake three years later. The title has a double meaning: intermezzo can be a musical term, but it can also refer to a brief relationship. It's about a violinist (Gösta Ekman) who takes a married piano teacher with him on an international concert tour. Sisters of the Gion (Gion No Shimai) by Kenji Mizoguchi has two geishas as the leading characters. They are sisters. Gion is the geisha district in Kyoto. The traditions of Japan are shown. The two sisters complain how hard life is for a geisha. They always have to obey without thinking of their own happiness. The Trouble with Money (Komedie om Geld) is a Dutch comedy by Max Ophüls. This German Jew fled to France in 1933 and later to the USA, but he has also made this comedy in the Netherlands. A loyal bank clerk loses a briefcase with a huge amount of cash. They suspect him of thefth.
  5. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    Intermezzo, Gustaf Molander, Sweden Sisters of the Gion, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan The Trouble with Money, Max Ophüls, Netherlands
  6. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    The years 1940-1942 are definitely the hardest. By the late forties it becomes much easier with the post-war rise of Italian, French and Swedish film. I also have the book "1001", which is a very useful selection of movies from different genres throughout history.
  7. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    Thanks to the Ingrid Bergman DVD collection it's possible to discover some old Swedish movies. In The Count of the Old Town (Munkbrogreven) she has a supporting role as the ever smiling niece of hotel owner Klara. The plot revolves around the "Count" (Valdemar Dalquist, left on photo), who is really a small-time swindler. The tricks to smuggle alcohol and to come into money are comical. In spite of their crimes the locals leave a jovial impression.
  8. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    My Ingrid Bergman DVD collection is beginning to cause havoc. The Count of the Old Town, Edvin Adolphson & Sigurd Wallen, Sweden An Inn in Tokyo, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan Walpurgis Night, Gustaf Edgren, Sweden In regards to Triumph of the Will I can say that I prefer King Kong. It's from the same period, it also has a good cinematography and it also has a gibbering ape.
  9. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    De Witte ("The White One/Whitey") is a Flemish picaresque novel by Ernest Claes. It has been adapted twice: in 1934 and in 1980. It's about a farmer's boy with white hair. He's notorious for his pranks. He tricks people into putting way too much salt on the potatoes. This provincial comedy used to be hugely popular in Belgium. Even in the 1980s it was on television every year. Today it looks very old-fashioned, but it's still funny, and it's a unique portrait of life in a Catholic village in the 1930s. The urchin was played by Jef Bruyninckx, mainly remembered for this one role. Here you see him in class, getting a reprimand for not having studied his Catechism. Op Hoop van Zegen ("Hoping for the Best") is a Dutch adaptation of a tragedy by Herman Heijermans. Esther de Boer-van Rijk (1853-1937) played the fisherman's widow in the 1900 premiere and many times since. The filmmakers decided that nobody else should play Kniertje in the adaptation, even if she had turned eighty! Kniertje has already lost her husband and two sons at sea. For economical reasons her two youngest sons are forced to go fishing as well on the dilapidated boat Op Hoop van Zegen.
  10. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    The two best Benelux films of the first half of the century are both from 1934. De Witte - Jan Vanderheyden - Belgium Op Hoop van Zegen - Alex Benno - Netherlands The Goddess - Wu Yonggang - China Liliom - Fritz Lang - France Lieutenant Kijé - Aleksandr Faintsimmer - USSR L'Atalante - Jean Vigo - France
  11. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    In French the Fritz Lang title sounds like "Docteur m'abuse" or "Doctor abuses me". I wonder whether that was done on purpose.
  12. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    The Testament of Dr. Mabuse - Fritz Lang - Germany Zero for Conduct - Jean Vigo - France Liebelei - Max Ophüls - Germany
  13. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    Weak year, but I managed to find three passable films from three different countries. I Was Born, But... - Yasujiro Ozu - Japan The Blood of a Poet - Jean Cocteau - France Vampyr - Carl Theodor Dreyer - Germany
  14. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    Alone (Odna, pronounced "Yodna") is a Soviet film about a woman who brings sacrifices for her country and becomes a teacher in Siberia. The bad guys are the kulaks or rich peasants. It has a propaganda message, but Yelena Kuzmina's acting, the location shooting in the Altai mountains and the hammering music of Shostakovich make it a document of its time.
  15. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    M - Fritz Lang, Germany Alone - Grigori Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg, USSR The Three Penny Opera - G. W. Pabst, Germany

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