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WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

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feaito

Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby feaito » February 2nd, 2013, 11:09 am

Sounds like a film I'd like Christine. Thanks for writing about it.

MikeBSG
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby MikeBSG » February 6th, 2013, 9:12 am

Yesterday, I watched "Evil" (2003) directed by Mikael Hafstrom.

It was a Swedish film set in the Fifties about a troubled teen who goes to a rather exclusive private academy because he has been kicked out of public school. He finds a fascistic power structure among the students there and rebels against it.

I had mixed feelings about this film. It was very well done. I believed the characters and I wanted to see what happened next. However, it seemed like I already knew what was going to happen next. When "Evil" was over, I felt that the German film "Before the Fall" (2004), directed by Dennis Gansel, set in a Nazi-era boarding school (more or less) did a far better job and was more involving.

I didn't dislike "Evil." There are some good performances, particularly Andreas Wilson as the hero and Gustaf Skarsgard as his chief tormentor. But it didn't wrap me up as completely as it could have.

It did make me want to see "Dead Poets Society" again.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » February 6th, 2013, 9:54 am

I watched Anima Persa today, a film directed by Dino Risi and starring Vittorio Gassman and Catherine Deneuve. This Risi film is nothing like his other movies that I've seen, it fits into Giallo films, it's a haunting story, very reminscient of Don't Look Now, it's set in Venice, in a huge old house only part of which is used by the family. The nephew of the family comes to stay and study in Venice, he uncovers a family secret which has many layers it's rather like peeling an onion. For me the film's delight is in the portrayal of the married couple played by Gassman and Deneuve and also in the depiction of Venice. Deneuve is lit to look very pale and fragile, Gassman is a well dressed and groomed gas engineer.

I'm not sure I understood all the facets of the story though, I'm not even sure I was meant to. I spotted straight away who was playing the professor, I've seen the actor in enough films to know that this is the kind of role he enjoyed. Did the porfessor ever exist? Does the marriage exist? Did Beba exist? Is Beba, Elise? And why the prostitute if he has Beba? feel free to PM me if you don't want to reveal too much.

Great performances and although I saw who was the professor I didn't guess all of it.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

kingrat
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby kingrat » February 12th, 2013, 7:34 pm

I want to defer an extended discussion of THE ORGANIZER until Wendy has had a chance to see it, but really, it and MAFIOSO are films I'd recommend to just about anyone willing to read subtitles. Scripts, performances, direction, and cinematography are all at a high level, and for me everything worked together in a very accessible way. The print TCM used for THE ORGANIZER, presumably from the Criterion Collection, was gorgeous.

Can some of our foreign film buffs recommend more films by Alberto Lattuada and Mario Monicelli? Quite a few are available on DVD, but not many have English subtitles. I've never seen VARIETY LIGHTS, the film Lattuada and Fellini co-directed, but have seen Monicelli's BIG DEAL ON MADONNA STREET, which was good but not at the level of I COMPAGNI. The American distributor evidently didn't think THE COMRADES would be a marketable title in 1963, but THE ORGANIZER works just as well.

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Robert Regan
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby Robert Regan » February 12th, 2013, 8:40 pm

Kingrat, I heartily recommend Lattuada's Anna. It was the first Italian movie I ever saw, probably dubbed back then. A clip is shown in Nanni Moretti's Caro Diario, another gem. Silvana Mangano plays a novitiate who is given a furlough from the convent to make sure she is certain before she takes her vows. Now, what does a poor, innocent girl do when she goes to the big city? Why, of course, she gets a job singing and dancing in a nightclub. During this time she has two dubbed numbers including the perennial Non Dimenticar, and she is torn between Raf Vallone and Vittorio Gassman. A girl about twelve sitting in front of me says to her companion at this point, "Oh, I hope she goes back to the convent!" I don't think all viewers have that reaction.

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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby MikeBSG » February 12th, 2013, 10:08 pm

"The Great War" (about Italy's experience in WWI with Alberto Sordi and Vittorio Gassman) is an impressive film that Monicelli directed.

There is an Italian comedy from the early Sixties about WWII called "Everyone Go Home" that stars Alberto Sordi that is terrific. "The Fascist," also from the same era, stars Ugo Tognazzi and is also quite good.

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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby MikeBSG » February 12th, 2013, 10:13 pm

Yesterday, I saw "Farewell my Queen" (2012) directed by Benoit Jacquot.

It is a very impressive movie about the first week of the French Revolution, as seen by the woman who was one of Marie Antoinette's servants, the one designated to read to the queen. We see the routine at Versailles and then how it comes apart when news of the storming of the Bastille arrives. Jacquot uses a moving camera and sudden pans to pull us into the action and get us close to the characters.

Oddly enough, I want to compare this movie to "Downfall," in that both movies convey a sense of an era coming to a close and the people who are wrecked by the changing times. There is a rising sense of hysteria and doom in "Farewell My Queen" that is quite compelling.

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » February 12th, 2013, 10:47 pm

Don't defer conversation on my part! I will try to get to the movies soon, but please continue if you like, I can check for spoiler alerts, and just skip over, no problem.

MikeBSG
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby MikeBSG » February 23rd, 2013, 5:15 pm

Today I rewatched "Smiles of a Summer Night" (1955) directed by Ingmar Bergman.

I first saw this movie about 30 years ago on the big screen. This was at a time in my life when I didn't like Bergman, largely because of the people around me, who loudly insisted that Bergman was the greatest director of all time and if you didn't like his films, you just weren't cerebral enough. When I saw "Smiles of a Summer Night," it didn't really work for me. It wasn't until a few years later that I saw a Bergman film I liked ("Cries and Whispers") and began to rethink Bergman.

So I finally decided to give "Smiles of a Summer Night" a second chance. It still didn't work for me. It took too long to give the lawyer his comeuppance, and the film was too wordy. I kept thinking of Sjoberg's "Miss Julie" as I watched this and thought how much more I enjoyed that film. "Wild Strawberries" and "The Magician" are two Bergman films from this vintage that I like a lot better. (And "Monika.")

Now I probably should see "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" again. I haven't seen that since it first came out.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » February 24th, 2013, 11:55 am

I felt that way the first time I saw Bergman films, when I revisited the two I watched first, Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal, I found that I really appreciated the former but still didn't much like the latter.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 6th, 2013, 4:21 pm

Thanks to Christine I watched a most wonderful French movie The Last Adventure/Les Adventuriers with Alain Delon, Lino Ventura and Joanna Shimkus, directed by Robert Enrico and made in 1967. It's unmistakeably 60s, the soundtrack in itself is one of the best I've heard in a long time. Delon plays a pilot who is subject to a practical joke, flying under the Arch De Triumph, which is draped in a flag on the day in question putting paid to his stunt and his pilots licence. Ventura is his sidekick/mechanic/mentor and Joanna Shimkus is a girl artist who makes things out of scrap metal who shares there life and is loved by both men although the relationship remains platonic. the set off on a great adventure to the Congo to uncover treasure that is in a plane under the sea. There they are joined by the pilot of the plane, from there the plot thickens, the treasure is also sought by others and life isn't plain sailing from then on. The threesome's relationship is most tenderly handled, the location shooting is a joy to behold, the story one of the best adventure stories ever told.

It's nice to see Lino Ventura who I've watched in Lift to the Scaffold and also in Touchez Pas Au Grisbi. Alain Delon, a man with beautiful looks, perhaps I should call him the French Tyrone Power Theresa, because he has such a beautiful face although boyish, he chooses his films really carefully, all of his movies that I've watched from this time period are good and this is one of his best.

A lovely movie, why it hasn't been released on DVD is anyone's guess.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Robert Regan
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby Robert Regan » March 6th, 2013, 10:40 pm

Theresa, tell about your encounter with Joanna Shimkus!

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Ann Harding
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby Ann Harding » March 7th, 2013, 4:31 am

I knew you would love it, Alison! :) It's a really a fun picture and it used to be shown regularly on TV when I was young. What really caught me at the time is that the film was shot partly on a small island (Ile d'Aix) off the coast of La Rochelle, a place I knew very well. The three characters are so interesting and the plot so enjoyable! I love it. 8)

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » March 7th, 2013, 8:05 am

I suppose what I am about to say is like comparing Lord Love a Duck to Citizen Kane, but the description of Les Adventuriers sounds to me very much like Underwater! from 1955, with Jane Russell Richard Egan and Gilbert Roland, which is a pleasant adventure story about a sunken ship. Trying to keep the human sharks from finding their 'treasure' is more difficult than retrieving the goods. The little film generates a lot of enjoyment just because the three leads are so relaxed and are having fun together.

I looked up some videos on youtube from Les Adventuriers, and it looks beautiful! And I'm not just talking about Alain Delon either. :D

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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby CineMaven » March 7th, 2013, 12:17 pm

JackFavell wrote:...I looked up some videos on youtube from Les Adventuriers, and it looks beautiful! And I'm not just talking about Alain Delon either. :D

...Not that there's anything wrong with that. And Delon is a gooooooood place to start.

Robert Regan wrote:Theresa, tell about your encounter with Joanna Shimkus!

Jiminy!! What a memory. Wow Bob.

Well, I was coming back from the Bahamas in 1974. And from my first row seat in Coach I could see in First Class Sidney Poitier come through there with his wife Joanna Shimkus and their two little kids ( girls. ) I had a big movie book with me that had movie stars and their filmographies with fotos. And turning to Sidney's page was a scene where he was getting the crap beat outta him by Shelley Winters in "A Patch Of Blue." ( And when you're beaten up by Shelley Winters, you've got a real butt-kicking! ) There was just a curtain separating first & coach and a sliver of it was open. When it was time to land, I didn't put my seat belt on b'cuz I knew when we landed I was bolting over to him to get his autograph.

Plane lands, we all deplane and I make a bee-line over to him, along with a throng of people. But I had my big ol' movie book with me. ( I don't remember the name of the book ) but when it was my turn to squeeze over to him, I turned to the page where he & Shelley appear and I politely asked for his autograph. He autographed my book. YAY!!! :lol:

But there was Joanna Shimkus standing over to the sidelines ( you know, where wives and the non-famous are relegated to. ) She had the two little girls with her. I remembered seeing her a few years before in "The Virgin & the Gypsy." No one was talking to her; she was alone to the side. So I went over with my movie book and I said something like "Ms. Shimkus, I remember seeing you in "The Virgin & The Gypsy" and you were very good in it. I enjoyed your performance. Would it be okay to get your autograph?" ( 0r words to that effect. ) She was sooooooo happy, that she signed my book as well. I think she was happy to be remembered for herself and not just being Mrs. Sidney Poitier. And I walked away a happy traveling movie fan that day.

Image
SYDNEY POITIER - the daughter of Sidney Poitier & Joanna Shimkus

Wow Bob. I hadn't thought of that in soooooo long. Thanx!

* * * *

A little aside: I had two English teachers who really liked me as a student. They both gave me books, school books, the actual Board of Ed school book for books they were teaching in class, because they saw I really really eventually got into the book(s).

11th grade, Mrs. Eliff gave me "The Virgin & the Gypsy" because we were learning D.H. Lawrence. AND she & her husband took my sister and I to Radio City Music Hall to see "True Grit" along with her two little sisters who were visiting from the mid-west.

10th grade, Mrs. Schonberg gave me "My Antonia." I was hating the book, didn't do my book report. Struggling. Had to make up the work. Something something kicked in. Maybe it was just the fact of staying after class with Mrs. Schonberg. At the end of the term she actually gave me the book and told me not to tell anyone.

I still wasn't able to make it through all of "The Portrait of An Artist As A Young Man." If only "The Love Machine" had been assigned. (( Sigh! ))
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