Bogie56

Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 2009

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The 1934 National Board of Review foreign language film winners included …

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Madame Bovary (1934) Jean Renoir, France

Unfortunately these Gaumont dvds of French classics do not come with English subtitles.

 

The 1935 National Board of Review foreign language film winners included …

Chapayev (1934) Sergey and Georgi Vasilyev, Russia

The Last Millionaire (1934) Rene Clair, France

Maria Chapdelaine (1934) Julien Duviver, France

 

The National Board of Review 1937 top foreign language films included ….

The Wedding of Palo (1934) Friedrich Dalsheim, Denmark

 
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Michael Gebert’s Golden Armchair Award for the 1934 foreign film was …

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L’Atalante (1934) Jean Vigo, France

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The winner of Best Italian Film at the 1934 Venice Film Festival was ….

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Teresa Confalonieri/Loyalty of Love (1934) **** Brignone, Italy

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220px-La_signora_di_tutti_or_Everybody's

I saw La Signora di Tutti many years ago now at a Max Ophuls retrospective put on by Toronto's Cinematheque.  This film is said to have made Isa Miranda a star and the role was suiting as everyone in the film seems to be falling in love with her and committing suicide as that love is unrequited.  As one would suspect with Ophuls the film's style and moving camera is also a star attraction.  I recall that the programme notes described it as a Telefoni Blanchi film.  The term refers to films about high society or people rich enough to own white telephones which is kind of cute.

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I think all foreign legion films should have Buster Crabbe in them. He was my hero in the serials he starred in and he looks great in uniforms.

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My review of the Jolly Fellows -

The USSR sent Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Alexandrov to the US in order to better improve their fledgling film industry in the early 1930s. The Jolly Fellows is the perfect representation of what came back. Alexandrov's musicals are often called "Soviet Hollywood" due to the high production cost and effects and beautiful cinematography. While in the US Alexandrov saw US movies and befriended Charlie Chaplin - this really shows in his musical Jolly Fellows as it's full of songs and gags in the best Hollywood tradition. This musical film is about a poor farmer (Leonid Utyesov) who is mistaken by an upper class snooty woman for a famous Italian conductor who is vacationing in the area. A lot of gags and mix-ups with Utyesov conducting a concert and we get a zany finish where everything is set right. After seeing this film Stalin said "Anyone brave enough to make a movie as humorous as this has got to be a brave man!" I liked this film very much. The songs are catchy and it is full of humor. You can really feel the influences of Chaplin, Busby Berkeley, Ernst Lubitsch and Keaton in this film. If you like Hollywood comedies of the studio era you will like it. (9/10) 

 

 

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My top FF films of 1935 of the 6 that I have seen are ….

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1.  Triumph of the Will (1935) Leni Riefenstahl, Germany

2.  Toni (1935) Jean Renoir, France

3.  La Kermesse Heroique/Carnival In Flanders (1935) Jacques Feyder, France

4.  Princess Tam Tam (1935) Edmond R. Greville

and I’ve also seen …

Swedenhielms (1935) Gustaf Molander, Sweden

La Bandera/Escape From Yesterday (1935) Julien Duvivier, France

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My list for 1935 -

1.) Avoda (Labor), Helmar Lerski, British Palestine Mandate

2.) Carnival in Flanders, Jacques Feyder, France

3.) Yunost Maksima, Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg, USSR

4.) Happiness, Aleksandr Medvedkin, USSR

5.) La Bandera, Julien Duvivier, France

6.) Divine, Max Ophuls, France

7.) Princesse Tam Tam, Edmond T. Greville, France

8.) Quelle Drole de Gosse, Leo Joannon, France

 

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1935

  1. Carnival in Flanders, Jacques Feyder, France
  2. Triumph of the Will, Leni Riefenstahl, Germany
  3. An Inn in Tokyo, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
  4. The Count of the Old Town, Edvin Adolphson & Sigurd Wallen, Sweden
  5. Burden of Life, Heinosuke Gosho, Japan

This list would have been even shorter a few weeks ago, as I've just watched 4 of these for the first time very recently.

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My Ingrid Bergman DVD collection is beginning to cause havoc.

  1. The Count of the Old Town, Edvin Adolphson & Sigurd Wallen, Sweden
  2. An Inn in Tokyo, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
  3. 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.

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The number of foreign language films that I've seen will be meager for the next few years.

1936 = 4

1937 = 3

1938 = 3

1939 = 3

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1. Carnival in Flanders, Jacques Feyder, France

2. Toni, Jean Renoir, France

3. Aerograd, Alexander Dovzhenko, USSR

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18 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

My list for 1935 -

1.) Avoda (Labor), Helmar Lerski, British Palestine Mandate

I hope when/if you have a chance you'll say something about this one.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

I hope when/if you have a chance you'll say something about this one.

Avodah or labor is a 1935 documentary from Palestine though people who already lived in Palestine were not the intended demographic. It was one of the Zionist documentary/ propaganda films of the time urging Jews to leave racism in the US and Europe for a life in the British Palestine territory. The film documents Jews working on vatious projects. These actions plus the camera shots really bring to mind Vertov, Eisenstein and Reifenstahl's documentaries that focused on joy being brought through labor. The cinematography was clearly influenced by their films. The film overall brings to mind Berlin: Symphony of a City as well - like when the camera shows people having fun in a port city. The music was also composed by Paul Dessau - a frequent collaborator with German playwright Bertolt Brecht. This was the kind of propaganda travelogue they used to show in Yiddish theaters and neighborhoods during this time period. (8/10) Here is a short film clip on the internet courtesy of the Spielberg Jewish film archive.

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Also this is one of the films my grandpa used to have with his personal projector (he was a composer and also ran a Yiddish theater during that time. He passed away in the early 2000s).

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A couple more reviews - 

The Youth of Maxim

Early Soviet sound film with a soundtrack by Shostakovich. This one is alot more propagandistic and doesn't have the humor or light-heartedness of Jolly Fellows. A young worker named Maxim helps hide revolutionaries during the Tsarist days and spreads pamphlets. His cruel boss doesn't care for the torment or death the working class have to go through. This movie has a lot of musical interludes like when the revolutionaries are in prison and start singing an anthem and when they sing after their friend is murdered in the factory through the owner's carelessness. Overall it was technically very good though propaganda. (7/10)

Max Ophuls' Divine

The plot to this one is kind of dull. It's about an innocent countrygirl who gets corrupted in the music hall venues. What makes this film stand out is the extremely risque content in it like topless dancers and people mentioning drugs by name. This kind of content would definitely not have flown in the US at the time. Worth viewing if you want to see how "loose" with codes the studios in Europe were, in contrast to the US. Overall the technical efforts and plot were pretty average for the day. (5/10)

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1936 was the first year that the New York Film Critics had a winner in the Best Foreign Film category.  It was …

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La Kermesse Heroique/Carnival In Flanders (1935) Jacques Feyder, France

Other New York Film Critics Foreign Film nominees for 1936 were …

Toni (1935) Jean Renoir, France

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The 1935 National Board of Review foreign language film winners included …

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Crime and Punishment (1935) Pierre Chenal, France

The New Gulliver (1935) Aleksandr Ptushko, Russia

Peasants (1935) Fridrikh Ermler

The Youth of Maxim (1935) Grigori Kozintsev, Leonid Trauberg, Russia

In 1936 the National Board of Review announced a winner for best foreign language film.  They continued to name 10 top films.  Here is the winner ….

La Kermesse Heroique/Carnival In Flanders (1935) Jacques Feyder, France

The winner of the 1937 National Board of Review best foreign language films was ….

The Eternal Mask (1935) Werner Hochbaum, Austria

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Here is mistake on the imdb.  They have a 1935 Indian film winning the National Board of Review prize in 1931.  

Song of Life/Bhikharan (1935) Premankur Atorthy, India

The real 1931 winner should have been Song of Life/Das Lied vom Leben (1931) Alexis Granowsky, Germany

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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.

Munkbrogreven-AKA-The-Count-Of-The-Old-T

 

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2 hours ago, CoraSmith said:

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.

Munkbrogreven-AKA-The-Count-Of-The-Old-T

 

Looks good. I think the Swedes call this genre of movie the "pilsnerfilm." 

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Michael Gebert’s Golden Armchair Award for the 1935 foreign film was …

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An Inn In Tokyo (1935) Yasujiro Ozu, Japan

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On February 3, 2018 at 6:54 AM, Bogie56 said:

and I’ve also seen …

Swedenhielms (1935) Gustaf Molander, Sweden

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'And I've also seen' means it was not my cup of tea.  That said, Swedenhielms is another early Ingrid Bergman film and they are not making any more of them.  I found the film a bit stiff and stodgy.

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I don't know how many of you are familiar with the series of books edited by Steven Jay Schneider entitled 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. It's an eclectic mix of films from all over the world, from all decades, and in all genres. I like that the content isn't intended to be a "best films of all time" list, but rather a list of movies that have had some sort of significant impact on films or society in general, either in their making or boundaries broken or whatever. 

I've been trying to see them all for the past few years, actively (hunting them down) or passively (happy when one shows up on the schedule). I'm roughly 2/3 to 3/4 done with them all at this point. As with all things of this nature, you'll agree with some choices while being baffled by others, either by omission or inclusion.

All that being said, Bogie has suggested that I list the foreign language films that are included, in case anyone is interested, and as further viewing recommendations. There have been multiple editions printed (I'm not sure how many), but each time a new edition is put out, new films are included, and since the number must stay at 1001, some titles from the previous edition have to be omitted. However, thanks to the wonder of the internet, I've been able to compile a list of all of the titles that aren't in my edition. This brings the number up to 1191 movies.

Here are the films from the years that we've already covered:

The Silent Era (before 1930)

  • A Trip to the Moon (1902), Georges Melies, France
  • Les Vampires (1915), Louis Feuillade, France
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Robert Weine, Germany
  • The Phantom Carriage (1921), Victor Sjostrom, Sweden
  • Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922), Fritz Lang, Germany
  • Nosferatu (1922), F.W. Murnau, Germany
  • The Smiling Madame Beudet (1922), Germaine Dulac, France
  • Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1923), Benjamin Christensen, Denmark/Sweden
  • La Roue (1923), Abel Gance, France
  • The Last Laugh (1924), F.W. Murnau, Germany
  • Strike! (1924), Sergei Eisenstein, USSR
  • The Battleship Potemkin (1925), Sergei Eisenstein, USS
  • The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), Lotte Reiniger & Carl Koch, Germany
  • Metropolis (1927), Fritz Lang, Germany
  • Napoleon (1927), Abel Gance, France
  • October (1927), Grigori Aleksandrov & Sergei Eisenstein, USSR
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Carl Theodor Dreyer, France
  • Storm Over Asia (1928), Vsevolod Pudovkin, USSR
  • Un Chien Andalou (1928), Luis Bunuel, France, short film [I'll include short films with these listings]
  • The Man with a Movie Camera (1929), Dziga Vertov, USSR
  • Pandora's Box (1929), G.W. Pabst, Germany
  • A Throw of Dice (1929), Franz Osten, Germany/India

1930

  • The Blue Angel, Josef von Sternberg, Germany
  • Earth, Aleksandr Dovzhenko, USSR
  • L'age d'Or, Luis Bunuel, France

1931

  • A nous la liberte, Rene Clair, France
  • La Chienne, Jean Renoir, France
  • Le Million, Rene Clair, France
  • Limite, Mario Peixoto, Brazil
  • M, Fritz Lang, Germany

1932

  • Boudu Saved from Drowning, Jean Renoir, France
  • Vampyr, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Germany

1933

  • Land without Bread, Luis Bunuel, Spain, short film
  • Zero for Conduct, Jean Vigo, France, short film

1934

  • The Goddess, Wu Yonggang, China
  • L'Atalante, Jean Vigo, France

1935

  • Triumph of the Will, Leni Riefenstahl, Germany

I'll continue to list them as we progress.

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An addendum to my previous post: please forgive any errors in year listing, as the dates listed in the book are frequently at odds with those on IMDb. I'll fix any inconsistencies as soon as they're brought to my attention. 

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