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Your Favourite Foreign Language Films


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Buddha (1961) Kenji Misumi, Japan - 8/10 - This Japanese film tells the tale of the Buddha. In India, the Buddha lives a lavish life in his palace but renounces it all to seek enlightenment after witnessing the suffering of the poor. The scene of Buddha being tempted by lust is portrayed beautifully by a ballet scene of half naked dancers with intricate choreography. Other stories of Siddhartha helping the people against a creepy child eating demon and preventing a monk from giving in to temptation are also shown. The film is shot in beautiful technicolor that really shines through with the bright wardrobe and sets. This film really feels like the Buddhist version of "Ben Hur" or similar such American films with a religious theme. Highly recommended.

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1 hour ago, Gershwin fan said:

vlcsnap-2019-10-20-17h39m43s177-e1571619

Buddha (1961) Kenji Misumi, Japan - 8/10 - This Japanese film tells the tale of the Buddha. In India, the Buddha lives a lavish life in his palace but renounces it all to seek enlightenment after witnessing the suffering of the poor. The scene of Buddha being tempted by lust is portrayed beautifully by a ballet scene of half naked dancers with intricate choreography. Other stories of Siddhartha helping the people against a creepy child eating demon and preventing a monk from giving in to temptation are also shown. The film is shot in beautiful technicolor that really shines through with the bright wardrobe and sets. This film really feels like the Buddhist version of "Ben Hur" or similar such American films with a religious theme. Highly recommended.

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I was looking for this on youtube but could only find the first two parts which are approximately 49m each.  You wouldn't know where there is a complete version, would you?

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Are you kidding, moderator? What is wrong with Mega? It's just the movie.

[...]

Edited by TCMModerator1
Link Removed Due to Copyright Concerns
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Les Visiteurs du Soir (1942) Marcel Carne, France- 8/10- I remember Larry reviewing this one before so I decided to check it out. I enjoyed this one immensely and thought the sets were beautiful (described as trying to get the feeling of shot in color while shot in b&w). In this film, two demons from Hell travel to Earth to cause mayhem but one falls in love with a woman so the Devil himself comes to straighten things out, Highly recommended if you haven't seen it before. Includes a very young Alain Cuny.

 

L'aventure des "Visiteurs du Soir" (2007) - short film from archivists on the making of the film in occupied France and the trouble the director and film producers had with authorities, especially about one producer and the composer's Jewish ancestry. This is an interesting look into what Carne and the production team had to go through under Fascist occupation and the strict regulations. Recommended.

 

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1997

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The Wax Mask (1997) Sergio Stivaletti, Italy

Dario Argento produced this film and it has all of his trademarks.  Stivaletti does a really good job.  Gothic horror suits them well.  Enjoyable.

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And I have also seen...

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The Message (1976) Moustapha Akkad,- Libya, Morocco, Egypt & Saudi Arabia - 4/10-  Wow, this one was really long and a bit dull. I rate it a 4/10 and place it below Shaolin Temple. This is not the Anthony Quinn film but an alternate Arabic language film shot with a different cast and by the same director and also financed by Gaddafi. The three hour epic follows the life of Mohammed though you never see him, only his followers. It is really a bit jarring when they call Mohammed a great warrior, poet, builder, etc. because you never actually see any of this. The film goes on much too long and the story of the prophet's life does not interest me that much. The soundtrack and sets and costumes were nice though. I also thought the battle scenes were decent with one very dramatic liver cannibalizing scene. The production quality was really very good for a third world country which made me bump it up a point on my rating. If you are interested in learning about Mohammed and Islam you may enjoy this film but it just wasn't for me.

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Honeyland  (2019)  -  "Documentary" that follows the meager life of a Turkish woman who lives in a small, decimated village in rural Macedonia. She survives by cultivating honey from her carefully managed bee colonies. She also cares for her ailing, bedridden 85-year-old mother. Her life is upended when a family decides to squat next door. The father and mother tend a small herd of cattle, while their numerous children cause havoc, fight and argue, and abuse the animals. When the interloper father decides to get into the honey business, trouble is sure to follow.

I put "documentary" in quotation marks because I'm not sure how much of this is actually unscripted. It seems a bit too convenient that the family arrives on the scene while the film is being made. The simple message (there's more long-term success by living in harmony with nature rather than crudely exploiting it) is well conveyed, and there's perhaps also some commentary on the burden of familial obligation. But I found the film to be generally miserable and depressing, and a chore to endure, even with its 89-minute runtime.     (5/10)

 

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Pain and Glory  (2019) - Spanish film from writer-director Pedro Almodovar. Antonio Banderas stars as a burned out film director developing a drug problem while reminiscing about his childhood and his relationship with his mother (Penelope Cruz in flashbacks). Banderas is good in the lead, but I really didn't care about his character or his troubles. I would have much rather spent the whole film with Cruz and the childhood version of the director.    (6/10)

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Parasite  (2019) -  South Korean film from writer director Bong Joon-Ho. A poor family slowly insinuates themselves into the household of a wealthy family. The plot description does little to illuminate the film, but the less known before going in, the better. I haven't always cared for Bong Joon-Ho's films (The HostSnowpiercerOkja), but I liked this one a lot. It has excellent pacing, terrific performances, and an unpredictable second half. One of the best of the year.    (8/10)

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Movies I've seen this the last time I  updated this (fall of 2018) to the end of 2019, covering films made to 2018

1934

5.  The Big Road, Sun Yu, China

1942

1.  The Murderer Lives at Number 21, Henri-Georges Clouzot, France

1948

6.  Salon Mexico, Emilio Fernandez, Mexico

1950

6.  Girl With Hyacinths, Haase Ekman, Sweden

1960

10.  The Cloud-Capped Star, Ritwik Ghatak, India*

1961

7.  Pigs and Battleships, Shohei Imamura, Japan

1964

11.  The Enchanted Desna, Yulily Solntseva, Soviet Union

1969

7.  Le Gai Savoir, Jean-Luc Godard, France

1971

7.  Trafic, Jacques Tati, France*

1975

8.  Manila in the Claws of Light, Lino Brocka, Philippines

1977

2.  The Chess Players, Satyajit Ray, India

1983

6.  First Name:  Carmen, Jean-Luc Godard, France

1984

2.  Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind,  Hayao Miyazaki, Japan

3.  The Home and the World, Satyajit Ray, India

2018

10.  The Wild Pear Tree, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey

*Rewatched movies

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4 hours ago, skimpole said:

1942

1.  The Murderer Lives at Number 21, Henri-Georges Clouzot, France

I liked this one quite a bit. I thought the idea of multiple killers was pretty clever.

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1974- change- second place to At Home Among Strangers

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The Deluge (1974)  Jerzy Hoffman, Poland - 7/10- In 1655, Andrzej Kmicic is a vagabond and criminal who along with his friends cause mayhem with their drinking and debauchery. Unexpectedly he becomes the hero when the Swedish Charles Gustav invades Poland and the nobility side with the occupying force. This was a nice action movie with a beautiful score (I particularly like the score played during the march of the Swedish army). I place this in second for that year.

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My favorite of 1969-

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1. The Diamond Arm (1969) Leonid Gaidai, Russia - 8/10- While on vacation in Istanbul, Semyon hurts himself and is given a cast with jewels hidden in it by local diamond smugglers. This sets off a wacky goose chase to get the diamonds back by the smugglers with the police tracking them along the way. Yuri Nikulin is funny as the usually clueless Semyon who is led into all manner of traps with the intention of getting the cast. In this film, he performs the famous "Song about Hares" that he was famed for. A very funny film. Recommended.

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My favorite of 1997-

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Brother (1997) Aleksey Balabanov, Russia - 8/10-  In this Russian gangster film, Danila is a fatherless man who travels to St. Petersburg to live near his brother. His brother is a criminal who sends him into the life of the mafias and organized crime. This movie has much swearing, violence and nudity that would have been unthinkable for a film like this just 15 years earlier. I recommend this film for people who like violent crime films.

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1961

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The Coachman (1961) Dae-jin Kang, South Korea

This was a very impressive early feature from South Korea about a struggling family.  It is reminiscent of the British kitchen sink films of the same period but one might be hard pressed to find a kitchen in this Korean shanty town.  Good camerawork and the characters are well drawn.  Total studio dubbing in Korean has hurt the performances slightly.  A special prize winner at the Berlin International Film Festival.  Recommended for those who enjoy film history.  The film even made it to a Korean postage stamp!

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The 2018 Academy Award Best Picture and Best International Film was …

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Parasite (2019) Joon-ho Bong, South Korea

The 2018 Academy Award Best International Film nominees included …

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Corpus Christi (2019) Jan Komasca, Poland

 

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Honeyland (2019) Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov, North Macedonia

 

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Les Miserables (2019) Ladj Ly, France

 

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Pain and Glory (2019) Pedro Almodovar, Spain

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MR KLEIN 1976 by Joseph Losey Alain Delon Michel Lonsdale, seen it on the big screen when it came out,watch it last week again,a great film set in occupied Paris1942,Delon is an art dealer buying art from Jewish citizens at low prices,but slowly the table turns on him,good scenes about the VelDiv deportation. 8/10

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2000

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Joint Security Area - JSA (2000) Chan-wook Park, South Korea

At a remote border post soldiers from South and North Korea secretly fraternize.  The film starts with a bloody massacre and then reveals what went wrong.  Pretty good.

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2015

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3.  Black (2015) Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah, Belgium

Two rival gangs in Brussels, one black and one Moroccan.  A girl from the black gang falls for a boy from the Moroccan gang.  The similarities to West Side Story end there.  That said the Washington Post has reported on the new West Side Story revival by Belgian director, van Hove and Belgian choreographer De Keersmaeker that looks suspiciously like this film.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/can-this-generations-tony-and-maria-find-their-place-in-yet-another-west-side-story/2020/02/12/bf2e9baa-4cd9-11ea-9b5c-eac5b16dafaa_story.html

The Film won and audience award at TIFF.  Very well done.  It’s violent but never gratuitous.  I recommend it.

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Seven Beauties (1975) Lina Wertmüller, Italy - 7/10- Bogie listed this as his favorite of 1975 so I gave it a watch. The story of an Italian man who ends up in a concentration camp and as he suffers, he looks back on his life before the war. This film was a bit slow in places for me but overall, I liked it. That sex scene with the fat German frau was really disgusting even if you don't see much. This film includes a strong anti-Fascism, anti-war message that is very good. My second favorite of 1975.

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