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Bogie56

Your Favourite Foreign Language Films

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One of the things I noticed over the course of this thread is how diverse our foreign film experiences have been.  And that I welcomed because it has alerted me to a number of films or pointed to some that I had seen that I myself wasn't that fond of that may be worth another look.

I particularly liked Gate of Hell (1953).  It was number ten in my list of best films of 1953 all round.  And yes, the Costumes were amazing but I also thought its score was the best of the year along with Georges Auric's The Wages of Fear.  And for me the acting was just right for this film and Kazuo Hasegawa, Michiko Kyo and Isao Yamagata all were on my performers runner up lists.

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Since the last catch-up, I've seen these foreign films:

Leon Morin, Priest, Jean-Pierre Melville, France (1961)   7/10

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I really liked Emmanuelle Riva as a young French woman during the Nazi occupation who begins to explore her spirituality, with help from new local priest Jean-Paul Belmondo. 

 

Le Doulos, Jean-Pierre Melville, France (1962)  7/10

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Good crime drama with Serge Reggiani and Jean-Paul Belmondo as professional crooks working together on a new heist, only maybe they're not.

 

Le Petit Soldat, Jean-Luc Godard, France (1963)   5/10

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More Godard pretension and dated socio-political posturing as Michel Subor and Anna Karina find romance despite their clashing ideals.

 

The Merchant of Four Seasons, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany (1973)  5/10

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More of Fassbinder's clumsy, stilted characterizations highlight this melodrama about a drunken fruit vendor and his battles with his wife.

 

Parade, Jacques Tati, France (1974)  5/10

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Originally made for French television, this is a filmed circus performance, as well as a few short comedic sketches. Tati was reportedly near financial ruin at the time, and made this to pay the bills. 

 

Where Is the Friend's House?, Abbas Kiarostami, Iran (1987)  6/10

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An elementary school student goes in search of his friend's house to return a book and keep the kid out of trouble. The snapshot of Iranian life is unusual for those unfamiliar with Iranian cinema, but I found the move frequently dull.

 

Solo con Tu Pareja, Alfonso Cuaron, Mexico (1991)   5/10

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Cuaron's feature directing debut was this 90's sex comedy about a promiscuous young man (Daniel Gimenez Cacho) who thinks he has contracted HIV. I wasn't impressed, but this isn't really my genre of choice.

 

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On 11/23/2019 at 1:54 AM, Bogie56 said:

I would like to thank everyone who has participated in this thread since it started two years ago

Great job. I haven't followed regularly because I found it frustrating that the films were not immediately available to me. Like being in a candy store with no money. But the thread is a wonderful document and you stuck to it till the very end. It is a coffee-table thread and a wonderful source  for reference. I am impressed with the lists of the several of you. Terrific to have been able to see all those films and then to prioritize them like that. The next time I post on a film I may look it up here and "steal" the poster. I've already got one in mind.

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Limite (1931) Mario Peixoto, Brazil - 7/10- Intriguing art film by the 22 yr. old Peixoto about three strangers stranded on a boat destined for shipwreck. They tell each other their stories of prison escape, adultery, suicidal thoughts and leprosy. The cinematography is very beautiful and has many interesting thoughts (the dizzy camerawork over the hill and the shots of blood on the grave come to mind). The film is very ahead of its time and some of the shots look like they were filmed only yesterday. The soundtrack is also a nice collection of Debussy, Prokofiev, Franck and others that brings to mind melancholy. I just subscribed to the Criterion channel and this is the first film I watched and I really liked it.

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and I’ve also seen …

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The Man Without a Face (1950) Juan Bustillo Oro, Mexico

I wanted to like this one.  It has Arturo de Cordova in it.  But everything is telegraphed from a million miles away and it is a bit of a bore.  There are even a few cheesy surreal dream sequences that to my guess were inspired by Dali's Hitchcock work in Spellbound (1945).

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1958

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9.  Maigret Lays a Trap (1958) Jean Delannoy, France.

Some terrific camerawork and performances in this French crime drama.  Jean Gabin is sensational.

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Berlin-Alexanderplatz-Die-Geschichte-Fra

Berlin-Alexanderplatz (1931) Phil Jutzi, Germany- 8/10- the good natured but simple Franz Biberkopf is released from prison and tries to start his life over on the right path but at every turn, people won't give him an even break. Soon he is drawn back into the life of crime and it costs him his arm and his loved ones. This is a beautiful film with a good message. The film also had plenty of good shots of the streets of Weimar era Berlin. Recommended.

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1963

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and I’ve also seen …

The Squeaker/Der Zinker (1963) Alfred Vohrer, Germany

A German Edgar Wallace mystery that takes place in modern London but everyone speaks German.  Why they didn’t transpose it to Germany I don’t know.   In any event it didn’t work for me.  The mixture of drama and comedy was too odd by half.  Klaus Kinski appears in a thankless bit part that typically should have had him wearing a hunchback.

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Pinkus's Shoe Palace (1916) Ernst Lubitsch, Germany - 7/10- Early Lubitsch comedy about a class clown who is expelled and tries to succeed in the business of selling shoes. This film is very crude but carries a bit of the Lubitsch touch. One funny scene has the main character changing the sizes to trick a woman into buying the shoes. One thing that initially confused me is that the main characters name was Sally. I had never heard of a man being named Sally before. An interesting early effort of Lubitsch that is worth seeing.

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4 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

Pinkus's Shoe Palace (1916) Ernst Lubitsch, Germany - 7/10- Early Lubitsch comedy about a class clown who is expelled and tries to succeed in the business of selling shoes. This film is very crude but carries a bit of the Lubitsch touch. One funny scene has the main character changing the sizes to trick a woman into buying the shoes. One thing that initially confused me is that the main characters name was Sally. I had never heard of a man being named Sally before. An interesting early effort of Lubitsch that is worth seeing.

I have a story about a film where a man was named "Sally."    I was working in a cutting room about 1980/81 and we used to get boxes of 35mm release prints of films that we would use as "spacing" in the sound track lay.  Most of our prints came from a lab in Montreal and there was lots of soft core porn.  So at lunchtime some of us would run the prints on the moviola before putting them on the rack to be cut up as spacing.

I ran a film called "Kid Sally."  It was a circus picture and it was God awful.  It was directed by Brian de Palma and starred Robert De Niro in the lead as a clown named Kid Sally.   Years later I tried to find some reference to this film that probably never saw the light of day because it was so bad but found nothing.  And it was a timed release print with full soundtrack that I watched.  I now wished that I had kept that film.  Anyone know of anything about this film?

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46 minutes ago, Bogie56 said:

I have a story about a film where a man was named "Sally."    I was working in a cutting room about 1980/81 and we used to get boxes of 35mm release prints of films that we would use as "spacing" in the sound track lay.  Most of our prints came from a lab in Montreal and there was lots of soft core porn.  So at lunchtime some of us would run the prints on the moviola before putting them on the rack to be cut up as spacing.

I ran a film called "Kid Sally."  It was a circus picture and it was God awful.  It was directed by Brian de Palma and starred Robert De Niro in the lead as a clown named Kid Sally.   Years later I tried to find some reference to this film that probably never saw the light of day because it was so bad but found nothing.  And it was a timed release print with full soundtrack that I watched.  I now wished that I had kept that film.  Anyone know of anything about this film?

Well, De Palma directed several early films with Robert De Niro, including The Wedding Party , Greetings, and Hi, Mom

De Niro appeared in The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, where the star was Jerry Orbach playing a character named "Kid Sally". James Goldstone was the director.

However, in none of them did De Niro play a clown, as far as I remember. And none are circus pictures. An intriguing mystery, to be sure...

4 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

One thing that initially confused me is that the main characters name was Sally. I had never heard of a man being named Sally before. 

Sally was a common nickname for men named Salvatore. 

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1970

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Live Today, Die Tomorrow! (1970) Kaneto Shindo, Japan

A disillusioned teen kills a security guard and goes on the run.  It picks up when we flashback to the story of his mother (Nobuko Otawa from Onibaba) and her hardships.

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Das Boot (1981), a German war film set on a U-boat during WW2. It's so gritty and realistic. I find myself growing attached to the men. They aren't Nazis (with the exception of one that the others don't care for), they're decent family men who are thrown to the front lines as the war is beginning to turn in our favor. And the ending is one you'll never forget!

Here is a clip of a heartbreaking scene.

 

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1971

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9.  The Fifth Cord (1971)  Luigi Bazzoni, Italy

The sensational photography of Vittorio Storaro and music by Ennio Morricone raise this above the usual gallo. Franco Nero is pretty good too.  You can ignore the rest.

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1975

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Fear Over the City (1975) Henri Verneuil, France

Jean-Paul Belmondo is a Paris cop on the trail of both a bank robber who killed his partner and a serial killer.  It features a stunning 20 minute chase with some rooftop stunts like you’ve never seen.  No green screen in these days.

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Last year I discovered Jackie Chan.

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For anyone who loves real action and eye-popping stunt work, any of his earlier films made in China is a must-see. My favorites are Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, Police Story, Wheels On Meals, Project A, and the little-known Heart of Dragon. The Rush Hour films are good, but Hollywood tamed him for an American audience. Most of these are short on plot and big on action. Mr. Chan does his own stunts, too.

Police Story (1985)

 

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1977

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Dear Inspector (1977) Philippe de Broca, France

A minor romantic comedy helped along with performances by Annie Giradot and Philippe Noiret.

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Tibet: a Buddhist Trilogy (1984) Graham Coleman, UK (Tibetan with English subtitles) - 8/10- This documentary was recommended in the introduction to the Penguin Classics release of "the Tibetan Book of the Dead." This is an interesting documentary filmed in Northern India about the exiled Tibetan community that live there following the Chinese occupation of the territory. It includes interviews with the Dalai Lama and Tibetan monks and also features Buddhist rituals for death and life. It includes lots of chanting. The main point of the documentary is about Buddhism and the rituals and beliefs of its Tibetan followers. The cinematography is also quite beautiful and shows many of the monasteries and countryside. Highly recommended.

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GERVAISE  1956 by René Clément.From the book l'Assommoir by Emile Zola, Beautiful film set in late 19th century Paris, over several years,rags to rags story with excellent performance by the complete cast.2 prizes Venice Festival,Maria Schell for best actress and the movie best foreign film.Maria Schell,Francois Périer,Armand Mestral,Suzy Delair-when you despise a villain you know the actor-actress did a good job....by the way Suzy Delair is still alive she will be 102 on December 31 2019 tomorrow! 8.5/10

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Le Chat 1971 by Pierre Granier-Deferre between 1970 and 1976 all the films made by Jean Gabin. 7 of them,were all good except the very last one,a comedy titled L 'Année Sainte  1976 .Le Chat is a great film with 2 stars late in their career Jean Gabin & Simone Signoret,a simple drama with great acting about an old couple not talking to each other seems like no love lost but is it?Powerful drama 8/10

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LE PASSAGE DU RHIN 1960 by André Cayatte with Charles Aznavour,George Riviere.

Highly unusual POW movie,2 smart friends pow are in forced labor camp,we see what happened there and their fate,not the type of film you might expect.Very good drama & acting 2017 restored version. 8/10

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LA RELIGIEUSE AKA SIMONE SIMONIN LA RELIGIEUSE 1966 by Jacques Rivette

Excellent drama set in 18th century France,a young girl is forced to enter a covent.With the late Anna Karina,Lilo Pulver,Micheline Presle,Francisco Rabal. 8/10

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9 hours ago, nakano said:

LE PASSAGE DU RHIN 1960 by André Cayatte with Charles Aznavour,George Riviere.

Highly unusual POW movie,2 smart friends pow are in forced labor camp,we see what happened there and their fate,not the type of film you might expect.Very good drama & acting 2017 restored version. 8/10

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Hey Nakano,  Did you manage to watch a copy with English subtitles?  I haven't been able to find one.

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Hello it was showed on TFO,Ontario French tv channel,for French speaking Ontarians,if you are in Canada get it,it is worth it,2 or 3 uncut movies every night from anywhere in the world.I saw passage du Rhin about 2 months ago,but you were on your 2019 recap so I did not add it on until now.There was no subtitles if I recall,,they do not show subtitles for french movies at this channel so I guess they got an original french remastered one.Kids stuff all day and good movies all night...

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Snow White (2012) Pablo Berger, Spain - 8/10-  Neo-silent version of the classic fairy tale updated to 1920s Spain. The bullfighter is crippled and widowed and the stepmother causes harm to his remaining family. The daughter runs away and takes up his profession. This was a very sad and moving film.  The costumes and sets were very intricate and well made. Recommended. 

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