Bogie56

Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 2013

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My review of Tractor Drivers-

Jean-Luc Godard famously said "the history of film is the history of boys photographing girls" but in the USSR the quote would more adequately be "the history of Soviet film is boys photographing tractors!" This was made during the brief Japanese fascist invasion of the USSR and this film has a propagandastic effect that you can expect. Three friends (a Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian) live on a collective farm together and have affairs with the local girls (including the star Marina Ladynina). The main characters work their tractors and sing about how they will protect their homeland from invaders (similar to what Hollywood was doing with musicals like Yankee Doodle Dandy around this time) while working on their collective farm. The Georgian character even mentions having served in the far east. The movie ends with the characters singing about how their tractors and tanks will be used for defense and the Japanese invaders won't take their land.

The ending musical number

 

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1. The Rules of the Game Jean Renoir, France

2. Daybreak Marcel Carne, France

3. The Story of the Late Chrysanthemums Kenji Mizoguchi, France

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2 hours ago, skimpole said:

1. The Rules of the Game Jean Renoir, France

2. Daybreak Marcel Carne, France*

3. The Story of the Late Chrysanthemums Kenji Mizoguchi, France

*Le jour se Lève* --Oui, oui

 

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Michael Gebert’s Golden Armchair Award for the 1939 foreign film was …

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Rules of the Game (1937) Jean Renoir, France

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This foreign language film won at the 1939 Venice Film Festival ….

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Cardinal Messias (1939) Goffredo Alessandrini, Italy

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I have two from 1939 on my 'not so great' list.  The first is another Gustaf Molander melodrama from Sweden, Only One Night.  It features Molander's regular, Ingrid Bergman.

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And the second, I should probably give another go at some point.  Tevye by Maurice Schwartz is an American Yiddish film.  It is the original Fiddler on the Roof that was thought lost, then rediscovered in 1978.  It's been so long now I cannot recall what I didn't like about it.

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It's a bit early to be jumping to the best of the decade but as I am travelling tomorrow I thought it best to post our choices so far.  The best of the decade poll is open to everyone and feel free to discuss any of the 1930's films.  Here were our choices for the best film of each year of the 1930's:

The Blue Angel (1930) Josef von Sternberg, Germany (2)

Westfront 1918 (1930) G.W. Pabst, Germany (2)

L’age d’Or (1930) Luis Bunuel, France

 

M (1931) Fritz Lang, Germany (4)

The Three Penny Opera (1931) G.W. Pabst, Germany

 

The Bartered Bride (1932) Max Ophuls, Germany

Boudo Saved From Drowning (1932) Jean Renoir, France

Fanny (1932) Marc Allegret, France

I Was Born, But … (1932) Yasujiro Ozu, Japan

Vampyr (1932) Carl Theodor Dreyer, Germany

 

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) Fritz Lang, Germany (4)

Zero For Conduct (1933) Jean Vigo, France

 

Les Miserables (1934) Raymond Bernard, France (3)

De Witte (1934) Jan Vanderheyden, Belgium

Moscow Laughs (1934) Grigori Aleksandrov, Russia

 

Carnival In Flanders (1935) Jacques Feyder, France (2) 

Avoda/Labor (1935) Helmar Lerski, British Palestine Mandate

The Count of the Old Town (1935) Edvin Adolph & Sigurd Walle, Sweden

Triumph of the Will (1935) Leni Riefenstahl, Germany

 

Cesar (1936) Marcel Pagnol, France

The Golem (1936) Julien Duvivier, France

Intermezzo (1936) Gustav Molander, Sweden

Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (1936) Jean Renoir, France

The Story of a Cheat (1936) Sacha Guitry, France

 

Grand Illusion (1937) Jean Renoir, France (5)

 

Alexander Nevsky (1938) Sergei Eisenstein, Russia (2)

The Childhood of Maxim Gorky (1938) Mark Donskoi, Russia

Hotel du Nord (1938) Marcel Carne, France

La Bete Humaine (1938) Jean Renoir France

 

Rules of the Game (1939) Jean Renoir, France (4)

Le Jour Se Leve (1939) Marcel Carne, France

Tractor Drivers (1939) Ivan Pyryev, Russia

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My favourite foreign language film of the 1930's is:

Grand Illusion (1937) Jean Renoir, France

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Favorite Foreign Language Movies of the 1930's

  1. M (1931), Fritz Lang, Germany
  2. Grand Illusion (1937), Jean Renoir, France
  3. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), Fritz Lang, Germany
  4. A Nous la Liberte (1931), Rene Clair, France
  5. L'Age d'Or (1930), Luis Bunuel, France
  6. Westfront 1918 (1930), G.W. Pabst, Germany
  7. Fanny (1932), Marc Allegret, France
  8. La Bete Humaine (1938), Jean Renoir, France
  9. The Story of a Cheat (1936), Sacha Guitry, France
  10. La Chienne (1931), Jean Renoir, France
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My favorite foreign language movie from the 1930s is

Moscow Laughs (1934) Grigori Aleksandrov, Russia

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  1. M, Fritz Lang, Germany (1931)
  2. Grand Illusion, Jean Renoir, France (1937)
  3. Intermezzo, Gustaf Molander, Sweden (1936)
  4. Pépé le Moko, Julien Duvivier, France (1937)
  5. The Blue Angel, Josef von Sternberg, Germany (1930)
  6. De Witte, Jan Vanderheyden, Belgium (1934)
  7. Hôtel du Nord, Marcel Carné, France (1938)
  8. Alone, Grigori Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg, USSR (1931)
  9. Sisters of the Gion, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan (1936)
  10. The Trouble with Money, Max Ophüls, Netherlands (1936)

France and Germany have dominated this decade, but I still end up with seven different countries in the top 10.

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I have a question. I saw Zouzou yesterday. Should I add it to my 1934 list? Should we go back and edit our lists after we see a new film? Alternatively will we go back and do the lists with the new films when we are all done?

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10 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

I have a question. I saw Zouzou yesterday. Should I add it to my 1934 list? Should we go back and edit our lists after we see a new film? Alternatively will we go back and do the lists with the new films when we are all done?

That's up to you.  I didn't bother editing my posts in the Performances thread when I saw something new or revisited a film.  At the very end I listed some of the newly seen performances that would have made my lists.  In fact I am about to do that very thing in that thread.

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1. Grand Illusion, Jean Renoir, France, 1937

2. The Rules of the Game, Jean Renoir, France, 1939

3.  M, Fritz Lang, Germany, 1931

4.  Vampyr, Carl Dreyer, Germany, 1932

5.  Les Miserables, Raymond Bernard, France, 1934

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My top 10 for the 1930s-

1.) Moscow Laughs (1934) Grigori Aleksandrov, Russia
2.) The Three Penny Opera (1931) G.W. Pabst, Germany
3.) Grand Illusion (1937) Jean Renoir, France 
4.) A Nous la Liberte (1931), Rene Clair, France
5.) M,(1931) Fritz Lang, Germany 
6.) Zouzou,(1934) Marc Allegret, France 

7.) The Bartered Bride (1932) Max Ophuls, Germany

8.) Avoda/Labor (1935) Helmar Lerski, British Palestine Mandate

9.) Alexander Nevsky (1938) Sergei Eisenstein, Russia 

10.) Volga-Volga,(1938) Grigori Aleksandrov, Russia 

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Here are our best film of the 1930s choices:

M (1931) Fritz Lang, Germany (2)

Grand Illusion (1937) Jean Renoir, France (2)

Moscow Laughs (1934) Grigori Aleksandrov, Russia

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I don’t have any top FF films of 1940 but I have seen this one …

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Here Is the Point (1940)  Juan Bustillo Oro, Mexico.  It is not a particularly funny comedy but it is an early work of Cantiflas.  Previously I had only seen Cantiflas in Around the World in 80 Days and Pepe.  Here is the Point is a stage bound farce of mistaken identity.

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1940

  1. June Night, Per Lindberg, Sweden

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I wasn't crazy about this movie (6/10), and yes, I did just watch it Thursday night so that I'd have at least one movie to list for this year. ;)

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My list for 1940-

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1.) The Bright Path (AKA Tanya), Grigori Aleksandrov, Russia

2.) Yakov Sverdlov, Sergei Yutkevich, Russia

3.) The Foundling, Tatyana Lukashevich, Russia

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The Bright Path -

Another Socialist realist musical comedy from Grigori Aleksandrov and Llyubov Orlova. This is essentially a Soviet version of the Cinderella story. Orlova plays a peasant woman who dreams of becoming a famous Stakhanovite worker and being awarded at Moscow. After being kicked out by an angry roommate she becomes a weaver at a factory. She denounces a reactionary and eventually gets the coveted prize she so dreams of. This movie is somewhat similar to the Great Depression era musicals by Busby Berkeley where hope is found on those hit the hardest. The fairytale symbolism in this movie helps encapsulate the allure of industrialization that people were looking for at the time. Very good film with nice music and great cinematography. Musical number with English subtitles available on YouTube.

 

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Yakov Sverdlov - Biopic of the famous activist and political leader. The movie shows his rise through the ranks and his activism and ending with his illness and hope for the future of his country. This one is stiff and boring and you can imagine how propagandistic it is. I didn't care for it much.

The Foundling - This is a famous family movie in Russia about a young girl who gets lost from her home and meets many funny characters along the way. Some funny scenes with a piano but overall I didn't care for it much.

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My vote for 1940 goes to Ergens in Nederland ("Somewhere in the Netherlands"). It's another Dutch film by Ludwig Berger, a Jewish director who had fled from Germany. Frans (Jan de Hartog) works on a minesweeper for the navy. His wife (Lily Bouwmeester) doesn't realize yet her husband is a hero, and starts an affair. Like many wartime films it has a patriotic message.

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Other New York Film Critics Foreign Film nominees for 1940 were …

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The Great Beginning (1940) Iosif Khelfitis, Aleksandr Zarkhi, Russia

Other New York Film Critics Foreign Film nominees for 1946 were …

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The Well Digger’s Daughter (1940) Marcel Pagnol, France

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These foreign language films won awards at the 1940 Venice Film Festival ….

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The Stationmaster (1940) Gustav Ucicky, Germany

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The Siege of Alcazar (1940) Augusto Genina, Italy

 
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