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princessalt

Foreign Films

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I was just wondering if anyone could name some good foreign films and/or foreign directors for me to look into. Thanks for your help! ~ Andie

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It depends on your tastes. Which genres do you enjoy the most? And from which Era?

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I love Silent films the most but i enjoy movies from any era. But i love noir and screwball comedy the most- i am sorry i couldn't give you a more helpful answer. I know nothing about foreign films. I just realized they existed (!) after seeing a Scorsese interview where he said they had a big impact on his life.Thought it would be interesting to see any old foreign film, really. Does TCM air them? :D ~Andie

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Then you should see Carl Theodor Dreyer's "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928), a Silent which is hailed as one of the maserpieces of all time and which has been aired by TCM (It's a Danish film).

 

Another great foreign film is "Beauty and the Beast", a French picture directed by Jean Cocteau , starring Jean Marais and Josette Day, one of the most lyric and visually stunning/ravishing fantasies of all time.

 

There are many, many other films, but this are two excellent "picks".

 

And by the way, TCM has scheduled a Mexican Film Festival that will take place in May. As I posted in another thread, I absolutelly recommend "Aqu? Est? el Detalle" a kind of "screwballish" comedy starring the legendary king of comedy Mario Moreno "Cantinflas". In spite of the subtitles I think it will be a very "funny" experience!

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I like most of Federico Fellini's films but some are very absurd and off-the-wall. I love anything with Gerard Depardieu in it and have recently seen The Closet and Bon Voyage where he's part of ensemble casts and they're both funny. But I think his best work was done in the 1980's. I enjoy Ingmar Bergman films but they're kind of dark usually. Those are a few of my recommendations.

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Hello Princessalt/Andie,

Perusing the TCM listings through July holds a great selection of important foreign films you may want to check out.

This past Thursday offered "La Strada". Too bad that one slipped by.

 

"Los Olvidados" & "Viridiana" - 5 May, Thursday (Bunuel)

"La Dolce Vita" - 6 May, Friday (Fellini)

"Nosferatu" -18 May, Wednesday (Murnau)

"The Seventh Seal" - 20 May, Friday (Bergman)

"Seven Samurai" - 10 June, Friday (Kurasawa)

"Passion of Joan D'Arc" - 3 July, Sunday (Dreyer)

"The Conformist" - 8 July, Friday (Bertolucci)

"Wages Of Fear" - 15 July, Friday (Clouzot)

 

And keep your eyes peeled for any repeats of last week's Essential "The Grand Illusion" or "The Rules Of The Game" (Renoir). Most of these are "Film Class 101" films and its always great to start with the basics.

 

Enjoy.

Kyle in Hollywood

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Probably the best two foreign films ever made were shown last weekend Grand Illusion, and Rules of the Game. The Seven Samurai sometimes is a little long for beginners so I recommend Yojimbo by Kurosawa. I recommend searching out movies starring Jean Gabin, he's like the foreign Humphrey Bogart and probably the most famous international star along with Toshiro Mifune.

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Thanks so much! I have alot of free time because of spring break so i can try to look into alot of them! Thanks again, i really don't know where else i could have found this all out! :D ~Andie

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kyle~ (i forgot to put in my last post)a special thanks to you- i am writing those dates on my calender as we speak! ~Andie

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nickdimeo,

 

TCM has run a few Renior movies of late including Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game. As you say, they are classics and seem so much better than Renoir's Hollywood films. Makes me wish he had remained in France.

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Since you mentioned silent films, princesssalt, I would recommend any of the German directors from that era. Germany produced some of the best films of the silent era, in my humble opinion, and there are three directors in particular that you need to at least be familiar with.

 

Fritz Lang--whose silent German films include: METROPOLIS, SPIES, DR.MABUSE-THE GAMBLER, DESTINY. All are on DVD and are worth your while.

 

F.W. MURNAU--silent films include: THE LAST LAUGH, FAUST, THE PHANTOM, and NOSFERATU, the grandfather of vampire films and still one the spookiest films ever made!

 

G.W.Pabst--silent films include: PANDORA'S BOX, DIARY OF A LOST GIRL (both star the enigmatic Louise Brooks), JOYLESS STREET (starring a young Greta Garbo!), and THE LOVES OF JEANNE NEY.

 

If you get the chance, try and find at least one film from each director. Some are available on dvd and all are available on video. Like many here, I am a fan of foreign films from all eras. I find it kind of a cop-out when people won't watch a film because it has subtitles and god-forbid, they might have to read during the film! These folks miss out on some really great films, as well as getting a glimpse into different cultures.

 

Speaking of foreign films, I just saw a Chinese film that is getting a wide release called, KUNG FU HUSTLE, by director Stephen Chow. It's described as "Quentin Tarantino meets Loony Tunes," which is pretty accurate. It's a really good film with as much laughter as it has action. Check it out if it plays near you. I also rented two recent Chinese films the other night by director Yimou Zhang, HERO, and HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS. I saw them both when they came out, but had to see them again, as they are both sublime cinematic experiences.

 

So there are still many great films being made around the world. But there have been so many excellent foreign films from the past and if you are truly interested, do keep an eye on what TCM has to offer with their TCM EXPORTS on Friday night/Saturday mornings. I agree with feaito about the wonderful Cocteau film version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Definitely a must see..........

 

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nickdimeo,

 

Sorry, I didn't express myself clearly. My point was that Renoir's classic French films, in my opinion, are better than his Hollywood films. In my post below, I inadvertently gave the impression that this was your opinion as well. Sorry

 

lux

 

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Keith,

 

I also watched twice "House of Flying Daggers" and "Hero", they're EXCELLENT films. They're so poetic.

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The HIDDEN FORTRESS, RED BEARD, and THE BICYCLE THIEF.

First two from Japan,the last from Italy.

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Andie/Princessalt-

Glad I could be of help. Let us know what you think of any that see.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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many of my favorite directors have already been mentioned, so might I suggest anything by Sergei Eisenstein?

 

TCM shows his wonderful "Ivan the Terrible" often, in both Parts 1 and 2, so you should look for that. There is an amazing color sequence and the music is wonderful and by Prokofiev.

 

Not even having to read subtitles, might be the draw of any films by the J. Arthur Rank or Ealing Studios etc., in England, with wonderful films starring Alec Guinness, or movies by directors like Michael Powell, who did "The Red Shoes" or David Lean, who besides epics like "Lawrence of Arabia" did such great adaptions of works by Dickens, the definitive versions actually.

 

For some different laughs, you might enjoy the antics of Jacques Tati, who in "Playtime" and as Monsieur Hulot, does prove that some Frenchmen are funny.

 

Enjoy!

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I will give you my reply on what i thought of Bunuel sometime past May 5 because that is when 3 of his films air and May is when TCM consistently starts to show alot of Foreign Films. ~Andrea

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Out of foreign cinema...I havent only seen old Indian films, and that to mostly in the Hindi language.

 

Films made by directors like Raj Kapoor, Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Mehboob Khan, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Gulzar and Vijay Anand were gems. Yash Chopra made some decent films films in the 60's and 70's as well.

 

In the 70's there was an art film movement, some great art films were made at that time, Shyam Benegal was one of the best art film directors.

 

The Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray was great as well.

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