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Your Favourite Foreign Language Films


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Swept Away (1974) Lina Wertmüller, Italy - 8/10- I really enjoyed this one despite the sad ending. A pompous rich capitalist woman and an angry Sicilian tankie who works for her on the cruise ship get lost at sea and end up on a deserted island where they must learn to cooperate. This one was very funny but also the main lead was very violent to the woman. She definitely deserved it for her evil behavior but I still think if this movie was made in 2020 they would have probably kept the more violent punches and kicks against the woman out of it. This whole movie I was reminded of a Qunatum Leap episode I saw where Sam ends up in a similar situation to this. I think this film is what the writers were referencing.

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35 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

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Swept Away (1974) Lina Wertmüller, Italy - 8/10- I really enjoyed this one despite the sad ending. A pompous rich capitalist woman and an angry Sicilian tankie who works for her on the cruise ship get lost at sea and end up on a deserted island where they must learn to cooperate. This one was very funny but also the main lead was very violent to the woman. She definitely deserved it for her evil behavior but I still think if this movie was made in 2020 they would have probably kept the more violent punches and kicks against the woman out of it. This whole movie I was reminded of a Qunatum Leap episode I saw where Sam ends up in a similar situation to this. I think this film is what the writers were referencing.

I haven't seen it but I was curious as to how the violence was handled in the Guy Ritchie remake Swept Away (2002) with Madonna.  Miss M isn't the type to be pushed around by anyone.

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13 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

This whole movie I was reminded of a Quantum Leap episode I saw where Sam ends up in a similar situation to this. I think this film is what the writers were referencing.

Having just finished watching the entire series of Quantum Leap on disc in the past couple of weeks, I can attest that roughly 85% of the entire series was comprised of marginal versions of old movies.

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53 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Having just finished watching the entire series of Quantum Leap on disc in the past couple of weeks, I can attest that roughly 85% of the entire series was comprised of marginal versions of old movies.

I once worked on a tv series and I mentioned to one of the actors that the story and characters were exactly like the movie The Professionals (1966).  The actor told me that the producer/writer boasted that he watched that film the night before he wrote the episode.

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57 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Having just finished watching the entire series of Quantum Leap on disc in the past couple of weeks, I can attest that roughly 85% of the entire series was comprised of marginal versions of old movies.

The specific episode I was thinking of was "Leaping of the Shrew" btw.

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

Ivan the Terrible 

Breathless

Andrei Rublev

A lot of Bergman, Through a Glass, Darkly,  Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Autumn Sonata, Virgin Spring, The Passion of Anna

Bicycle Thieves

The Mirror

La Strada

The 400 Blows

Solaris

Alexander Nevsky 

La Notte 

Z

Rashomon

Ikiru 

Throne of Blood

M

Branded to Kill

The Emigrants and The New Land

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On 2/19/2020 at 4:18 AM, Gershwin fan said:

That sex scene with the fat German frau was really disgusting even if you don't see much

Wasn't there humor intended by that whole thing with the Frau? She was an SS guard in uniform and he was more or less doing what needed to be do to survive. I may off here, it's been forever since I've seen it.

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8 hours ago, laffite said:

Wasn't there humor intended by that whole thing with the Frau? She was an SS guard in uniform and he was more or less doing what needed to be do to survive. I may off here, it's been forever since I've seen it.

Yes, it was both funny and gross. Shirley Stoler used to be pretty though.

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The 14 Amazons (1972), Kang Cheng, Shao-Yung Tung , Hong Kong [dubbed]- 6/10- After the men of the Yang family are killed by an invading army, the women decide to band together and get revenge. An enjoyable kung fu film though a bit goofy at times. The bridge falls down so the women form a human bridge by grabbing each other's arms and legs! Also the bad guys in this wear red suits with white trim that look a lot like Santa Claus' outfit to me. 

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2004

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5.  Cronicas (2004) Sebastian Cordero, Mexico

Superior thriller about a Spanish language news reporter out of Miami (John Leguizamo) who travels to Equador to cover the search for a child serial killer and rapist known as “the Monster of Babahoya.”  Damian Alcazar (above left) won the Best Actor Award in Mexico for his performance plays the main suspect.  Recommended.

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The 2019 Broadcast Critics Best Picture and Best Foreign Film ….

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Parasite (2019) Joon-ho Bong, South Korea ****

 

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Atlantique (2019) Mati Doup, Senegal

 

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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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Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Celine Sciamma, France

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2006

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Tired of Kissing Frogs (2006) Jore Colon, Mexico

A young woman finds out her boy friend is cheating on her so she dumps him and goes on an internet inspired dating rampage.  When she meets Mr. Right ye old 30’s Hollywood comic misunderstandings steps in.  You know, when one party sees the other with someone of the opposite sex and presumes the worst.  They take flight rather than straightening things out.

Pleasant enough but ultimately routine rom com.  The humour is on the silly side in what is otherwise supposed to be a believable movie.  Doses of over sentimentality in all too expected moments doesn’t help either.

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I always find this strange when it happens.  A foreign film wins the best overall picture prize but fails even when nominated to win the foreign film award.  The London Critics did this in 2018 as well with Roma and Cold War.

The winner of the 2019 London Critics Circle Best Picture Award was ….

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Parasite (2019) Joon-ho Bong, South Korea ****

 

The 2019 London Critics Circle Foreign Language Film Award ….

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Celine Sciamma, France ****

 

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Monos (2019) Alejandro Landes, Columbia

 

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Pain and Glory (2019) Pedro Almodovar, Spain

Parasite (2019) Joon-ho Bong, South Korea

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Un Mauvais Fils  1980 aka the Bad Son by the excellent Claude Sautet with Patrick Dewaere Brigitte Fossey Yves Robert.After 5 years in a USA jail, a son returns home and must face the hostility of his father.Very good drama 8/10

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Journey to the Beginning of Time  (1955) Dir: Karel Zeman - Czech fantasy about 4 young friends who decide to travel back in time by rowing a boat through cave river (they got the idea from a Jules Verne story). They run into woolly mammoths, sabertooth tigers, giant carnivorous birds, and more. The further down the river they travel, the further back in time they go, from the Ice Age to the age of the dinosaurs. 

This has nice color cinematography, and the special effects are archaic and charming. This is very lightweight stuff intended for kids, and with a mild educational tone, but if one is in the right mood it makes for pleasant entertainment.   (7/10)

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Invention for Destruction  (1958) Dir: Karel Zeman - Czech steampunk sci-fi inspired by the works of Jules Verne. A professor (Arnost Navratil) and his assistant (Lubor Tokos) are abducted by the forces of the sinister Count Artigas (Miroslav Holub), and the professor is ordered to create a new weapon of mass destruction to add to the Count's arsenal of fantastic devices. Also with Jana Zatloukalova as a plucky heroine.

The film has a deliberately artificial production design. The costumes and sets use a lot of horizontal and vertical lines to give the look of an old woodcut illustration. The stark B&W cinematography highlights it beautifully. The plot is a little weak, and the characters thin, but it's a unique visual feast. The movie was later released in the US in a dubbed version re-titled The Fabulous World of Jules Verne. Trivia indicates that this film remains the most widely seen Czech movie ever made.   (7/10)

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1966

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6.  Daimajin (1966) Kimiyoshi Yasuda, Japan

It was much better than I expected given its American title, Majin Monster of Terror.  One could be forgiven if you thought it was going to be another Godzilla spin off.  I cannot recall if someone here recommended this one, but if so thank you.  An evil warlord in feudal Japan overthrows a leader and begins a rule of terror.  The peasants turn to a giant stone statue for protection.  This is basically The Golem, Japanese style.

 

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An Angel For Satan (1966) Camillo Mastocinque, Italy

Damned good gothic horror picture with a solid performance by Barbara Steele.  Sergio Leone regular Maria Brega appears without a beard.  Recommended for fans the genre.

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Sada (1998) Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, Japan- 9/10 - Obayashi's tragic comedy film about the life of Sada Abe, the famous Japanese criminal who murdered her boyfriend and removed his genitals. This film has many comedic scenes (the bizarre clients at the brothel are funny as is the male voyeur who eats his cotton candy very symbolically). The film has an extreme tragedy to it though as Sada is thrown into prostitution and taken advantage of from man to man. The film has the unique cinematographic choices of Obayashi with fast, intentionally jerky action scenes. Beautiful film and highly recommended. RIP Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

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The 2019 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language film …

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Parasite (2019) Joon-ho Bong, South Korea ****

 

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The Farewell (2019) Lulu Wang, USA

 

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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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Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Celine Sciamma, France

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1968

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The Human Bullet (1968) Kihachi Okamoto, Japan

Absurdist look at WWII Japan as young recruit readies himself to be a kamikaze.  It's tone reminded me in of Richard Lester’s How I Won the War (1967).  Minori Terada won Japan’s Mainichi Award for Best Actor.  Tatsuya Nakadai narrates.  But it won’t be for everyone.

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The 2010 winner of France’s Cesar Best Picture Award …

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Les Miserables (2019) Ladj Ly, France

 

The 2019 winner of France’s Cesar Best Foreign Film Award was …

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Parasite (2019) Joon-ho Bong, South Korea

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1972

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8.  Pakeezah (1972) Kamal Amrohi, India

This is altogether a different type of movie than what we are used to seeing in the west.  I have wanted to see it ever since reading about it in the film reference book, The Movie Guide.  It is the tale of a much sought after prostitute who’s dance and song is alluring to men.  It is shot in Cinemascope and looks beautiful.  The sets give it a sort of Hollywood Arabian Nights feel but none of that bothered me very much.  I just went with it all and enjoyed it.

 

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The 14 Amazons (1972) Kang Chen, Shao-Yung Tung, Hong Kong

Enjoyable period martial arts film with some very funny crazy set pieces that you would expect to see in Adam West’s Batman.

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