Bogie56

Your Favourite Foreign Language Films of all time

4,322 posts in this topic

Boiling Point, Takeshi Kitano, Japan (1990)  -  8/10

boilngpnt1.jpg

Unusual crime drama/black comedy from writer-director Takeshi Kitano. A couple of quiet blue collar workers and amateur baseball players run into trouble with the local yakuza. When their coach, a former gangster himself, gets involved, things escalate, leading to the two workers making a trip across the country to buy some black market firearms. This brings them into the orbit of a volatile gangster (Kitano). With Masahiko Ono, Yuriko Ishida, Takahito Iguchi, Minoru Iizuka, and Eri Fuse. 

Kitano's trademark deadpan characters and odd tone are on full display, resulting in an unpredictable film that I very much enjoyed. Many viewers may be turned off by the low-key vibe punctuated by violence, but it clicked for me. Kitano is both scary and funny as the deranged yakuza, although he doesn't appear until the movie is half over. Recommended.

boiling-point.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MV5BMTYwNzg1MDQyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODY0

Come Back, Africa (1959) Lionel Rogosin, South Africa - 4/10 - the lives of various natives in South Africa under the Apartheid system as they're not even allowed to leave their province without a passport. This was on TCM a while ago and meh. Had some nice shots of Johannesburg but not for me.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bodyguard Kiba, Takashi Miike, Japan (1993)  -  6/10

MAl14c.jpg

Routine gangster action picture based on a manga series. A low-level yakuza member steals a large amount of the gang's loot and hides it away before being sent to prison for 5 years. Upon his release, his hires the services of the title character, a karate expert. As the duo attempt to get to the stashed money, gangsters and other dangers stand in their way. 

cap_bodyguard-kiba_01_02_07_14-1024x576.

This was the fifth directorial credit for Miike (he now has over 100), and it was the first of his movies to garner much attention. In the late 1980's and 1990's there was a high demand for cheap straight-to-video genre fare to fill store shelves. The two most prolific types of movies being made in this milieu were horror (leading to the "J-horror" boom), and violent yakuza films. Miike came to prominence with the latter, and this is a typical example. The production values are a bit higher than others of its kind, but it still looks low-budget, and the music is terrible. The acting is only passable, but the action scenes are decent. A couple of sequels followed.

BodyguardKiba01.jpg

Japanese films show an unusual morality and censorship. Some grotesque acts of violence are clearly depicted, but other things are strictly forbidden, or were at one time or another. Explicit nudity is frowned upon, and certain body hair is forbidden to be shown, and will be pixelated out if filmed. In this movie, one character is shown preparing and then shooting up heroin with a syringe. Both the act of preparation (drawing the boiled solution into the syringe from a spoon) and the actual injection are pixelated out.

BodyguardKiba02.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even regular pornography is censored which is a bit confusing as that defeats the entire reason of filming it. Luckily, animated porn isn't censored at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bodyguard Kiba 2: Apocalypse of Carnage, Takashi Miike, Japan (1994)  -  4/10

MV5BMTEzNTYzM2QtMmE4OS00OWJlLWFhMDctNjY2

Terrible sequel to 1993's Bodyguard Kiba, with karate-expert Kiba hired to escort a young woman to Taiwan to take care of some business before heading to the U.S. to marry her fiancee. Unfortunately, when they get to Taipei they have to face off against local kung fu thugs as well as a man bent of personal revenge. This runs barely over an hour, but still seems too long and dull. There are several ill-advised comedic moments (one scene in a nught club is particularly cringeworthy), and a lot of English dialogue spoken with such thick accents that it's subtitled. In fact, the dialogue jumps from Japanese to Cantonese (?) to English frequently. Despite the title, the violence isn't that extreme, especially by Miike standards.

Kiba_Apocalypse_1.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MV5BMTNiZjA2NDMtZDhjOS00OGZkLTg0N2MtYjM1

Deep Red (1975) Dario Argento, Italy - 6/10- early slasher/ serial killer film about a Lithuanian psychic who hears the thoughts of the killer in the audience and this leads to her death and more killings. A decent film from Argento but not as good as Suspiria.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

Deep Red (1975) Dario Argento, Italy - 6/10- early slasher/ serial killer film about a Lithuanian psychic who hears the thoughts of the killer in the audience and this leads to her death and more killings. A decent film from Argento but not as good as Suspiria.

I like that one a lot. It's my favorite of his giallos. I love the scene when the mechanical doll enters the room.

source.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On September 19, 2019 at 5:54 AM, LawrenceA said:

1964

220px-Hamletplakat.jpg

  1. Hamlet, Grigoriy Kozintsev, USSR - 8/10
  2. Charulata, Satyajit Ray, India - 8/10
  3. Three Outlaw Samurai, Hideo Gosha, Japan - 8/10
  4. Diary of a Chambermaid, Luis Bunuel, France
  5. Adventures of Zatoichi, Kimiyoshi Yasuda, Japan
  6. Seduced and Abandoned, Pietro Germi, Italy
  7. Intentions of Murder, Shohei Imamura, Japan
  8. Attack and Retreat, Giuseppe De Santis, Italy
  9. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Sergei Parajanov, USSR
  10. Cruel Gun Story, Takumi Furukawa, Japan
  11. Assassination, Masahiro Shinoda, Japan
  12. The Soft Skin, Francois Truffaut, France
  13. Red Desert, Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy
  14. Hercules Against Rome, Piero Pierotti, Italy

I've also seen:

  • Death Ray of Dr. Mabuse, Hugo Fregonese & Victor De Santis, West Germany
  • Gertrud, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Denmark
  • Black Sun, Koreyoshi Kurahara, Japan
  • Hercules, Prisoner of Evil, Antonio Margheriti & Ruggero Deodato, Italy
  • All These Women, Ingmar Bergman, Sweden
  • Nadja in Paris, Eric Rohmer, France - (short)
  • Diamonds of the Night, Jan Nemec, Czechoslovakia
  • War of the Zombies, Giuseppe Veri, Italy

 

Again, I'm incredibly impressed by the number of films (and these are just foreign language ones) that you have managed to see in short order.  Kozinsev's Hamlet was pretty extraordinary.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gonin aka The Five, Takashi Ishii, Japan (1995)  -  7/10

220px-Gonin-poster.jpg

A debt-ridden former rock star turned nightclub owner (Koichi Sato) recruits a quartet of outsiders, including a disgraced former cop (Jinpachi Nezu), a Thai pimp (Kippei Shina), a mentally-unstable businessman (Naoto Takenata) recently fired from his job, and a gay hustler (Masahiro Motoki), to pull off a daring heist of yakuza money. Things don't go as planned, and the five men find themselves on the run, with a pair of dangerous assassins (Takeshi Kitano & Kazuya Kimura) on their trail.  

I thought this was an entertaining crime picture, with offbeat characters and some good action sequences that eschew Hollywood-style choreography for real-world clumsiness and mess. Takeshi Kitano had recently been in a near-fatal motor accident that left the right side of his face partially paralyzed. This was his first film after the accident, and the eye bandage that he sports throughout the film was not cosmetic. 

1285567-571979-34.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

La Haine, Matthieu Kassovitz, France (1995)  -  8/10

Haine.jpg

The story follows a day and a night in the lives of three friends in the poor, riot-scarred slums of Paris. With Vincent Cassel, Hubert Lounde, and Said Taghmaoui. I think most, if not everyone of the others posting in this thread had listed that they've seen this, so I'll just add that I liked it a lot, the B&W cinema verite look, the foreign yet sadly familiar milieu of the characters' lives, and the racial and ethnic clashes that are even more relevant now. Recommended.

La-Haine-2.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1976

 

i-pierre-riviere-1976_snapshot_00.20.44_

I, Peirre Riviere, Having Slaughtered My Mother, Sister and Brother … (1976) Rene Allio, France

I know that this was a number one pick for 1976 and yes, the filmmaker succeeded in what he was trying to do - a Bresonian look at a murder case.  But I am not always a fan of using amateur actors for a look of authenticity.  For me, a stiff stilted performance draws me out of the drama, not in.  But perhaps that is the point.  

Once I twigged to the fact that the title character in Bresson’s Pickpocket looked at the floor every time he came to a stop it ruined it for me.  The amateur was obviously looking for his mark on the floor.

 
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shinjuku Triad Society, Takashi Miike, Japan  (1995)  -  6/10

xyY2DMxuaZrpKMgd4nDiRktJ1qw-0-230-0-345-

Miike's first film made for theatrical release is this outrageous crime drama that centers on a cop (Kippei Shina) who's trying to stem the growing power of the Chinese Triads in Shinjuku. This brings him into conflict with his younger brother (Shinsuke Izutsu), a lawyer working for unpredictable Triad boss Wang (Tomoro Taguchi). Filled with the kind of excessive violence and aberrant sexuality that would come to signify Miike's 90's-thru-mid-00's output, this is an ugly film in both look and content. The clash between Japanese culture and the increasing Taiwanese-exile population provides some interest. The dialogue switches between Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese frequently, and the version I watched used subtitle changes to help differentiate between them all, with Japanese the standard, Mandarin using "[ ]" brackets, and Cantonese using "{ }" braces. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MV5BNWYwYmExOWQtYzNkOS00NWY5LWE4NTEtYTcw

Border (1997) J.P. Dutta, India - 5/10- This movie is very much inspired by the cheesy American action movies of the 80s and it really shows. In 1971 during the Border war with Pakistan, a garrison of soldiers on Punjab's border deals with Pakistani spies and foreign soldiers while bonding in cameraderie. This movie is extremely nationalistic with characters randomly breaking out into patriotic screeds about the greatness of the Indian Motherland. Also all the Indian characters are depicted as selfless heroes while the Pakistani ones are cutthroat spies who attempt espionage or with their hands on the trigger waiting to shoot Indians. Included are some really graphic scenes of Indians shooting Pakistanis in the head point blank with brains flying all over the screen. This is a Bollywood film so there are musical numbers though I liked them. The numbers are included in a flashback when one soldier remembers his woman back at home. This movie isn't a high quality art film but it is fun in the way cheesy Schwarzenegger movies are.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CORPSE_MANIA-2.jpg

Corpse Mania (1981) Chih-Hung Kuei, Hong Kong

The serial killer is a necrophiliac in this one.  Not bad but hindered by a total studio shoot.

 
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gonin 2, Takashi Ishii, Japan (1996)  -  6/10

Gonin_2_Five_Women-482114778-mmed.jpg

Sequel in name only, with five women, complete strangers to one another, finding themselves in the same jewelry store when an armed robbery goes down. The women, each with their own hardship to deal with, end up with the loot and on the run from authorities and the yakuza behind the heist. Meanwhile, a man driven mad by grief over the suicide of his wife (she had been assaulted by the same yakuza thugs) goes on a bloody rampage of revenge. There's some inventive camera work and quite a bit of violence, but the characters are weaker than in Ishii's previous effort.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

angst_01.jpg

Angst (1983) Gerald Kargl, Austria

This could be called 'Diary of a Country Psychopath'.  The lead Erwin Leder played the chief engineer in Das Boot (1981).

 
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Live Flesh, Pedro Almodovar, Spain (1997)  -  7/10

Carne_treumla.jpg

Melodrama with Javier Bardem as David, a former cop left in a wheelchair after being shot by Victor (Liberto Rabal), an unstable young man obsessed with beautiful model and drug addict Elena (Francesca Neri). Victor had taken Elena hostage, and when David and his abusive, alcoholic partner Sancho (Jose Sancho) responded to the scene, Victor and Sancho struggled, and Victor's gun went off, hitting David. Several years later, Victor is released from prison and begins stalking Elena. She's now married to David,  who has become a famous paraplegic athlete. Meanwhile, Sancho's relationship with his long suffering wife Clara (Angela Molina) continues to deteriorate. Also with Penelope Cruz and Pilar Bardem.

MV5BZmQ2ZWE3N2QtMjUxMC00ZTk5LWI2NTEtOWQ0

This was a little more conventional and "safe" than many of Almodovar's other films that I've seen. It's well acted, and looks good, but it lacks any kind of real spark. I liked the film's opening sequence, set in 1970 and showing Victor's birth aboard a city bus. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, later to marry, don't share any scenes, although Cruz spends much of her brief screentime with Pilar Bardem, Javier's real-life mother. 

MV5BN2IwZGQ1ZjUtZTk1OS00MWU5LTk0NmYtY2Yx

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rainy Dog, Takashi Miike, Japan (1997)  -  7/10

hzOrS9pJJtGolmPxXNa03DNNEUJ-0-230-0-345-

Yuuji (Sho Aikawa) is a former yakuza living in Taiwan, working as a contract killer for a local triad boss. His grim life starts to unravel once he falls for a prostitute (Xianmei Chen), and a former lover drops a young boy on his doorstep, a son he never knew he had. Now Yuuji takes his girlfriend and his son on the run as the vengeful relatives of one of his recent victims goes on a bloody rampage. Filmed on location in Taiwan, this has more dialogue in Chinese than Japanese. It's also more mainstream than most of Miike's films, although still violent and dwelling on the uglier aspects of humanity. Tetsuo the Iron Man star Tomoro Taguchi has a memorable supporting role as a bumbling yakuza assassin.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wax Mask, Sergio Stivaletti, Italy (1997)  -  6/10

81kOG1JKNDL._SX342_.jpg

Bizarre period-piece horror. In 1910 Paris, a series of murders occur, coinciding with the opening of a new museum of wax figures. The museum's proprietor is the respected Boris Volkoff (Robert Hossein), but his beautiful new assistant Sonia (Romina Mondello) thinks that something sinister is afoot. Also featuring Riccardo Serventi Longhi as a reporter investigating the crimes, Gabriella Giorgelli, Umberto Balli, Valery Valmond, and Gianni Franco.

This originated as a project for the ailing director Lucio Fulci, who had fallen on hard times and was suffering from ill health and was living in poverty. Dario Argento helped produce this film as a project for him, co-writing the script with Fulci and Daniele Stroppa. However, Fulci died before production could begin, and the directorial reins went to special effects pro Stivaletti. The result is a strange, pseudo-Steampunk gore remake of House of Wax that doesn't make a lot of sense but looks really good and remains entertaining throughout.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 khandar1.jpg

 

2.  The Ruins/Khandhar (1984) Mrinal Sen, India

I saw this at TIFF’s Cinematheque in honor of the director Sen who passed away not long ago.  It became my number two FF of 1984 just behind Ray’s The Home and the World.  It is a simple story of three men who take a city break to what was once a family palace but has now fallen into ruin and is overtaken by the jungle.  A young woman still lives there trapped looking after her invalided mother.  The blind mother expects her daughter’s suitor to arrive any day but everyone but she knows that he married someone in the city years ago.  It’s a very sad and beautiful little tale.  Recommended if it can be found on dvd.

 
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MV5BNTc4NTdjODgtZmI1MS00MDI5LWFhZjYtMjAz

Queen Margot (1994) Patrice Chéreau, France - 7/10- Isabelle Adjani as the Catholic Queen who marries a Protestant in order to prevent a war. Things still come to a head when the Catholics slaughter many Protestants on the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. This movie is extremely anti-Catholic and Margot is depicted as a hedonist, perverted incestuous **** though after the massacre itself she is depicted as a bit more sympathetic to the Protestants. The other members of the Medici family are depicted in an even more evil and conniving light. The massacre scene is very graphic and there are also scenes of Margot's degenerate sexual practices (including sleeping with her own brother!) so be warned if those things turn you off.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ley Lines, Takashi Miike, Japan (1999)  -  7/10

gv1n0cvgaRuDxq8MTpB2ExIlozg.jpg

Director Miike closes out his "Black Society" trilogy with this crime drama about a trio of friends, all of Chinese descent, living in Japan. They are joined by a prostitute as they embark on an odyssey of petty crime that escalates into a confrontation with a yakuza gang and its violent boss. As with the earlier Shinjuku Triad Society and Rainy Dog, the festering animosity between the Japanese and the Chinese lays the foundation for an exploration of desperate, doomed characters who can find no place in the world. Miike's penchant for shocking violence and outrageous sexuality is once again on display, but the character development is perhaps the best here of the three films. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

MV5BNTc4NTdjODgtZmI1MS00MDI5LWFhZjYtMjAz

Queen Margot (1994) Patrice Chéreau, France - 7/10- Isabelle Adjani as the Catholic Queen who marries a Protestant in order to prevent a war. Things still come to a head when the Catholics slaughter many Protestants on the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. This movie is extremely anti-Catholic and Margot is depicted as a hedonist, perverted incestuous **** though after the massacre itself she is depicted as a bit more sympathetic to the Protestants. The other members of the Medici family are depicted in an even more evil and conniving light. The massacre scene is very graphic and there are also scenes of Margot's degenerate sexual practices (including sleeping with her own brother!) so be warned if those things turn you off.

I brought the VHS when it came out.  I think it's a startling good movie, a solid depiction of the historical event. I particularly like Daniel Auteuil, he's an actor who'll do anything once or twice on screen.

But after seeing it one time, I had no desire to see it again.

Gersh, You gave a good accounting of it.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

La **** 1984 directed by Christine Pascal with Isabelle Huppert and Richard Berry.Little known movie Huppert is a femme fatale for 2 men,1 ex cop the other a mob boss.As usual excellent acting by Berry and Huppert,a modern film Noir, I highly recommend.

garce.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Les Risques du Métier 1967 by André Cayatte an excellent director,one of his best films,movie début of Jacques Brel,an excellent  performance,teacher accused by students.8/10

brel.png

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us