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Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 8th, 2011, 11:17 am
by moira finnie
Welcome to our newest forum, devoted to non-American or films made in languages other than English, (you decide). I hope that in the future you'll add new threads to this section regarding films, filmmakers and genres from abroad that intrigue you.

Just to kick this off, I wonder if there is one film that first caught your attention, enchanting you with its exotic allure, powerful performances, or simple charm?
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I think the first non-English speaking movie I remember loving was the French-made The Red Balloon (1956), which was shown at a special matinee for children one Christmas that also featured Bugs Bunny cartoons on the big screen. I'd never seen either of these, but The Red Balloon captured that childish belief in the inner life of material things, with that lonely little boy assigning personality and emotions to that battered balloon he tried to save and befriend throughout the movie. I haven't seen this movie in years, and I don't think I want to since I could never perceive it in the same way that I did then.

Do you have a particular foreign film that you'd like to cite here?

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 8th, 2011, 11:22 am
by JackFavell
I just mentioned it the other day, but La Strada was probably the first foreign film I saw (or at least it seems that it was, it affected me so deeply), and I still don't think any movie experience will ever beat it. It's such a beautiful film, told so simply. I still think it's the best foreign film I have ever seen.

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Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 8th, 2011, 11:34 am
by moira finnie
How old were you when you first saw La Strada, JF? I can remember seeing it as a kid and getting very upset with the Anthony Quinn character. I think that much of the early Fellini is very understandable to children, especially when they seem like fables, as La Strada does.

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 8th, 2011, 11:54 am
by JackFavell
I think I was in my early teens, but am not sure - I would have to have been older than 9, because we lived in Chicago - where they showed foreign films every Sunday afternoon on PBS. I'm guessing 13 years old.

I agree with you about La Strada being highly accessible for children, who sometimes are bullied or at least not listened to, and are closer to the magic in the world. And the tale is told so perfectly, without any artifice at all, it's a completely open movie, no tricks.

I also was completely taken with The 400 Blows at that time. I just went back to it, as I do every few years, and found it horrifying. The older I get, the worse it seems.

A recent discovery that comes in second on my list, is The Marseilles Trilogy - Marius, Fanny and Cesar. Another beautiful tale, full of life and great character performances by Raimu, Fresnay and Charpin.

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Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 8th, 2011, 1:48 pm
by charliechaplinfan
What a great idea a place for our foreign discussions. Are we going to transfer threads dedicated to foreign films and directors to this forum? I'll volunteer to do it if you would like.

I'm dashing out at the moment, I don't think I could narrow it down to one foreign film, perhaps I'll try to think of my favorite for every country. I love world cinema.

I was 35 when I first watched La Strada, I don't know what I would have thought of it as a child, been upset I wolud have thought and angry with Zampano, like you Wendy.

Fresnay and Raimu are great in the Fanny trilogy.

These are are high up in my nominations for best film.

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 8th, 2011, 3:25 pm
by mongoII
Although I'm not big into foreign films, there are a few that are exceptional to me. Due mainly to the wonderful performances of these actresses I'm into "Madame Rosa" with Simone Signoret, "Two Women" with Sophia Loren and "Shop on Main Street" with Ida Kaminska.
Also must not forget the divine "Cinema Paradiso".

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 8th, 2011, 3:30 pm
by Rita Hayworth
My favorite foreign film is the 1931 Satire

A Nous la Liberte - or Freedom for Us - Directed by Rene Claire.
Starring Raymond Corby, Henri Marchand, and Rolli France. - It was similar to Chaplin's Modern Times - there were a lawsuit associated against Chaplin ... but, I'm not going to elaborate on this.

This movie is about two convicts that escape from prison and trying to make something out of life in a deliciously, funny, sardonic, delightfully funny - while working in a phonograph manufacturing company. One went from convict to owner; while the other one trying to keep up the other one. This movie really cracks me up - and I only seen this movie once in my lifetime up on Harvard Exit back in early 80's during my College Days. There is a lot of twists and turns in this movie and I for one, remember that this movie deals with emotional baggage that "being escaped" can lead to serious consequences. There is a lot of morals being taught here and I learned that you need to keep up the latest trends - that is why this movie teaches you that life can have its ups and downs. At the end, they also learned how to deal with women and their desires to outfox the law - of which they managed time and time again! Good Movie - Its highly recommended to watch by the Staff of American Movie Classics.

I would love to see it again.

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 8th, 2011, 3:41 pm
by charliechaplinfan
A Nous de Liberte is a great film.

These are the films that jump out for me (and I'm sure I've missed loads). I can't even chose what country my favorite movies come from but I can narrow it to three countries. France, Italy and Japan

France
The Marius Trilogy
Madame De
Les Amants

Italy

Rome Open City
The Bicycle Thieves
LA Strada

Japan
Tokyo Story
Ikiru
Ugetsu Monogatari

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 8th, 2011, 4:12 pm
by JackFavell
I think you did well to narrow it to 9 films!

P.S. I love Rene Clair's films.

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 8th, 2011, 9:57 pm
by Lzcutter
There are many I respect, some I love dearly (The Seven Samurai, Ran, La Dolce Vida, I Was Born, But, Once Upon a Time in the West) but, hands down, the one I will stop anything for and sit down and watch:

Cinema Paradiso, the best valentine to film ever:


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEFugVbzsSo[/youtube]

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 9th, 2011, 5:17 am
by charliechaplinfan
Thank you Lynn, it is the best valentine to film. I'm actually planning to watch it again soon. I never tire of that clip.

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 9th, 2011, 4:04 pm
by MichiganJ
Lzcutter wrote:Cinema Paradiso, the best valentine to film ever

Just out of curiosity, which version do you prefer?

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 9th, 2011, 4:13 pm
by charliechaplinfan
JackFavell wrote:I think you did well to narrow it to 9 films!

P.S. I love Rene Clair's films.


I just went with the ones that popped to the top of my head but I know I've missed some gems. I love some of Ingmar Bergman's films but decided I loved those mentioned more.

I've only seen the Directors cut of Cinema Paradiso. Is there a great difference?

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 9th, 2011, 8:27 pm
by ChiO
The Passion of Joan of Arc is #1.

I can watch and re-watch almost any film by:

Dreyer
Bresson
Renoir
Murnau
Bunuel
Eisenstein
Ozu
Mizoguchi
Kurosawa
Herzog

Re: Your Favorite Foreign Film?

Posted: March 9th, 2011, 9:20 pm
by Lzcutter
Michigan,

It doesn't happen very often but in the case of Cinema Paradiso, I prefer the short version!