WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by JackFavell »

Thanks for all the info, kingrat.

Maven, I also tried to get a copy of I Wake Up Screaming for your visit, but Netflix couldn't find a copy in my region so it came the next day! Victor Mature must wait.

Purple Noon
is available at Hulu I believe, if you haven't already used up a free watch there. Otherwise it's like 31 bucks.

"Play...play.... for ME."

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Eat your heart out out Tyrone Power....
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CineMaven
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by CineMaven »

:oops: :oops: When you're right, you're right! :oops: :oops:
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com
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Robert Regan
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by Robert Regan »

Theresa, all the talk about Purple Noon reminds me that I think you would really like Patricia Highsmith's books. She is unique among "crime writers", too creepy for some, but I don't think that would bother you! The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train are a coupler of her "nicer" books.
feaito

Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by feaito »

Ann Harding wrote:
feaito wrote:Hi Chris....Is the Clair film available with subs?
There is a DVD with Spanish (Castillian) subs: here. Looks like bootleg, but no trace of a DVD with English subs.
It's a bootleg all the way Christine. Thanks for the response.
kingrat
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by kingrat »

Robert, I'm also a big fan of Patricia Highsmith's work, though I don't know some of her later novels. Her best books are very unsettling: murder or attempted murder may become just another event, not singled out as something special. One of my favorites, which I don't think has been filmed, is called THOSE WHO WALK AWAY, which is the perfect title for a Highsmith novel.

She always received much more critical attention in Europe, and more of her books have been filmed by European directors (Clement, Chabrol, and Wim Wenders among them) than by English-language directors (Hitchcock and Minghella among them). Not too shabby.
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CineMaven
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by CineMaven »

Thanxx for the suggestion Bob. I've still got Woolrich's "FRIGHT" staring me in the face going unfinished. Gosh, it's so hard for me to concentrate when all these movies and little editing assignments fill my plate. Thanxx though. I'll keep Highsmith in mind. :)

Oh, did you see my message that I had a JANET SHAW" sighting when I watched my recording of "Torchy Blane in Chinatown"??
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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MikeBSG
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by MikeBSG »

Today I watched "City of God" (2002), directed by Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund.

Wow. This film about gangs in the slums of Rio de Janeiro deserves all the praise it has received. It moves like greased lighting and uses flashbacks and narration in an expert way. This is bold filmmaking that hooked me and held me until the last. A splendid film.
feaito

Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by feaito »

Saw two films over the weekend:

"A Royal Affair" (2012), a very well done Danish historical drama that was nominated for an AA this year in the Best Foreign Film Category. The cinematography and the sets are top-notch, as well as the performances in general. The plot tells the story of King Christian VII of Denmark, his British wife Queen Carolina (his first cousin as well) and his personal doctor and the triangle that become their intertwinded relationships (Alison, you'd love this film). The actress who plays the Danish Queen mother has an amazing and uncanny resemblance to the late Fay Bainter.

"Gloria" (2012) a Chilean film that is completely real -as real life is, at least in Chile- and devoid of all artificiality with a mesmerizing, nuanced performance by Paulina García, who won the Silver Bear at Berlin this year for her lauded portrayal of a middle-aged (in her 50s) divorced woman who searchs for love and companionship.
MikeBSG
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by MikeBSG »

I've heard of "A Royal Affair," and I will try to keep my eye out for it.
kingrat
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by kingrat »

Many, many thanks to JF and SansFin for recommending THE CRANES ARE FLYING (1957, Mikhail Kalatazov), a film which foregrounds the director’s imagination without forgetting the emotional impact of the actors, a film which starts as romance and veers into melodrama without losing sight of the gritty realism of wartime Russia. I could accuse Comrade Kalatazov of bourgeois formalism, but it would be intended as a compliment. The brief thaw after Khrushchev denounced Stalin allowed Kalatazov the freedom to make a war picture which fails to mention Stalin (a significant point, as one Amazon.com reviewer notes) and which universalizes the war. Private feelings count for more than political arguments, and Veronika and Boris seem more like characters in a fable than like figures in history.

The scene where the world spins around the dying soldier and he imagines his wedding made me think that Ken Russell might have been influenced by this film. In fact, Kalatazov is rather like a Ken Russell with more talent, more control, and way more taste. Only better. The opening moments give us unrealistically bright lighting, close shots of the appealing young lovers, then a sudden cut to an overhead crane shot, and when they return home there’s a big traveling shot as Boris chases Veronica up the stairs. This is some of the basic vocabulary of the film: very close shots, including a remarkable upside down close-up of Veronica; a more detached, faraway, godlike (or author-like) view; and fluid tracking shots where one of the lovers is running. The cinematographer, Sergei Usurevsky, does remarkable work.

Favorite moments include Veronika returning after the air raid to find her home a bombed-out shell and Mark playing his concerto on the piano in an attempt to win over Veronika as the bombers strike yet again. One weakness is that we don’t know whether Mark rapes her or whether she gives in to him but regrets it; I’m guessing that Soviet censorship was the problem here, just as the Hollywood code couldn’t let us know about a similar moment in CITY FOR CONQUEST.

There is much more to be said about THE CRANES ARE FLYING, where our very closeness to Veronika’s feelings could be seen as a political statement as well as an artistic credo. You can follow the emotional trajectory of a beautiful young woman or share the exultation of a director delighting in his powers. Better yet, both.
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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by JackFavell »

I'm SO glad you watched Cranes Are Flying, Kingrat! Your review is splendid, and captured the film perfectly. You got it completely! especially the political content that is never mentioned but imbues the movie. One can enjoy the movie on all levels, bu it's nice to talk to someone who knows the history and background of the film. I'm sure Russian audiences who watched the film all knew what was unspoken - they had an even stricter 'code' than we, but perhaps that makes for great filmmaking.

Before any country goes to war, this should be required viewing. I should have warned you to bring a hanky with you when you watched as I was a mess after seeing it. It's a BRILLIANT film - not only does it have something to say, it says it so well. The filmmaking, the story, the acting everything about it is pretty near perfectly done. I'm so glad Sansfin mentioned that it was going to be on again, I was completely stunned by the film when I first saw it, it's so personal, so feeling. It deserves a bigger modern audience.
MikeBSG
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by MikeBSG »

Here's another vote for "The Cranes are Flying." I think it is a very powerful film. Among the scenes I remember are the father drinking toasts while he says the "correct" things but utterly without spirit; the scene at the railroad depot as the soldiers depart for the front; and the death of the soldier.

In the USA, it seems like "Ballad of a Soldier" has more popularity/availability than "The Cranes are Flying," but I think "Cranes" is the far better movie.
MikeBSG
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by MikeBSG »

Today I watched "Rosenstrasse" (2003) directed by Margarethe von Trotta.

This is a story about women who tried to protect their Jewish husbands during the Nazi era. The focus of the film is on a public protest in Berlin in late winter 1943, but the movie shifts between the present and 1943 with a brief glimpse at the Weimar era as well.

I was very much impressed by this film. (I don't consider myself a big von Trotta fan. I got nothing out of her film about Rosa Luxemburg.) "Rosenstrasse" juggles a large cast, the shifts in time, and gives a glimpse of the class structure in Nazi Germany with great skill and assurance. It also deals with inter-generational issues. I was really impressed by this film, and it will make me seek out more of von Trotta's work.
MikeBSG
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by MikeBSG »

Back to "The Cranes are Flying." Mark raped Veronika. That's the impression I got, and that is what every writer I've encountered on the film believes. (Interestingly, a lot of commentators find this the weakest part of the film, seeing it as too melodramatic.)
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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Post by JackFavell »

I definitely agree, Mark raped her.
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