The MoFo Top 100 Foreign Language Film Countdown

→ in
Tools    





Two I was pretty underwhelmed by. It’s been a long time for both though. Add them to the list of a thousand rewatches I should get to.



Allaby's Avatar
Guy who likes movies
La Strada is an absolute masterpiece and was number 10 on my ballot. Grave of the Fireflies is excellent, but didn’t make my ballot.



Thursday Next's Avatar
I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Never seen La Strada. Grave of the Fireflies is very powerful but not in my top 25.

Tomorrow's pair is an interesting combination



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Fellini's first international hit is a simple, powerful, neorealstic parable which shows him stretching his neorealist roots further than I Vitteloni. He focuses on three characters, each who seems to represent a different side of humanity, in a road trip movie where often the simplest action or reaction draws a direct connection with the audience. Gelsomina (Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina) is the plain, simple, innocent sister of a woman who left with the brutish traveling strongman Zampanò (Anthony Quinn) years before. Now that the sister has died (under unexplained circumstances), Zampanò returns to pay the poor mother 10,000 lira to use Gelsomina as his new assistant. Thus, Gelsomina becomes a possession for the strongman to use in whatever way he sees fit, including sexually.

The thing is that the strongman only takes and never gives. He basically thinks about making money, eating, drinking, and "lovemaking", so if that means that he finds another woman he's attracted to, he'll just dump Gelsomina on the street and take off with the other woman for the rest of the night on his outsized motorcycle which includes something akin to a small truck bed behind it. Eventually, an antagonist of Zampanò's, "The Fool" (Richard Basehart), turns up. He's dexterous, both in the body and the brain, but he's also a fatalist who's learned to love life while he can, but he loves it in the opposite way of Zampanò. Instead of doing the same tired act over and over, like the Strongman, The Fool is unpredictable, in not only the way he performs his high wire act, but also in the way he treats most people charitably, except for the Strongman. The Fool never misses a chance to bust Zampanò's balls.

While there's certainly more to discuss, I don't feel the need at this time to delve further into the plot, disect the characters, analyze the visuals, etc. The one thing I will mention is that Nino Rota's score, with its multiple themes, is an inviting entryway into the film's realistic, yet still magical, world.

The haunting Grave of the Fireflies is one of the great anti-war films and certainly could have been on my ballot. It is incredibly sad and beautiful.
__________________
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page



Graves is great but it missed my 25.

La Strada was decent.



I had Grave of the Fireflies at #24. The only animated film on my list but it was a coin toss with another.

5. Close-Up (1990)
6. Chungking Express (1994)
7. Playtime (1967)
13. Sonatine (1993)
14. The Battle of Algiers (1966)
15. The Mirror (1975)
17. Red Desert (1964)
21. Caché (2005)
22. Pather Panchali (1955)
24. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
25. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (2004)
__________________
"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."



Haven't seen either, but intend to at some point. I only really delved into Studio Ghibli last year when Canadian Netflix got a bunch of their films. Grave of the Fireflies was one of the only exceptions for whatever reason.



minds his own damn business
None of the last several were on my list, but Sansho, Close Up, Pather Panchali, Playtime and Graves of the Fireflies are all great examples of the casualties of the brutality of condensing the greatest films ever made into a tight little 25 list. I imagine that much of the remaining list will also be a graveyard of "probably shoulda" choices and unfortunate priorities.

Out of them, I was most seriously considering Ray's film, as I was calculating that only one of his films may show and that this was his more well-known and more likely film to support. In the end, I went with the one I slightly prefer.
__________________



La Strada and Grave of the Fireflies are both films I haven't seen, but I should see them. No question.

Speaking of Fireflies, my one big regret about accidental omissions is similarly themed. Barefoot Gen was my first anime and a mindblowing experience about life in Hiroshima during the last days of World War 2. Remembered it for years. But when it came time for putting it on the list, I think I brushed it off because it was about 20 years since I've seen it and I have no idea how I'd rate it now. It might have battled for a spot in my top 10-15 had I included it.



This countdown has been more of a learning opportunity for me than something I could make a real contribution to. (I have only seen a couple hundred foreign films, most of them French) I have only had two hits so far and they were both Fellini.

8. Nights of Cabria
12. Lastrada


Seeiing a lot of interesting movies so far, and starting to see where I can locate some of them.



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
La Strada and Grave of the Fireflies are both films I haven't seen, but I should see them. No question.

Speaking of Fireflies, my one big regret about accidental omissions is similarly themed. Barefoot Gen was my first anime and a mindblowing experience about life in Hiroshima during the last days of World War 2. Remembered it for years. But when it came time for putting it on the list, I think I brushed it off because it was about 20 years since I've seen it and I have no idea how I'd rate it now. It might have battled for a spot in my top 10-15 had I included it.
Never heard of that before, I'd like to see it.



I haven't been online the past few days so I'm playing catch-up with the last few movies. I watched 4 of these movies for this countdown with various results.

I watched Pather Panchali, but the first time I tried watching it, I turned it off after about a half hour because I found it a bit boring and too depressing to watch. On the second watch, it wasn't much better, but at least I finished it. I guess this movie just isn't my type of movie.

Princess Mononoke was okay, but it's a movie that I respected more than I liked it. I had higher hopes for this movie because I usually like the Ghibli movies.

I liked Playtime, but I didn't love it as much as I thought I would have. It's an enjoyable movie that I think I might like more on a rewatch.

I watched La Strada a few years ago for a HoF, and I liked it, so I rewatched it for this countdown. I liked it more this time, and I considered it for my list, but it didn't make my top 25.

Grave of the Fireflies was on my watchlist, but I didn't get a chance to watch it.

I haven't heard of Close-Up.
__________________
.
If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.
OPEN FLOOR.



Both La Strada and Grave Of The Fireflys are impactful watches that I'm perfectly happy seeing on a list such as this, neither made an appearance on my personal ballot though.

Seen: 42/58 (Own: 25/58)


Faildictions ((バージョン 1.01):
42. Todo sobre mi madre [All About My Mother] (1999)
41. Au hasard Balthazar (1966)
__________________
201620172018201920202021+
NomsPre-1930 Countdown


Fashionably late to every party since 1473!




Grave of the Fireflies was my #4. Saw it for the first time when a friend took me to a showing at the cinema. It was a profound cinematic experience. It's the only animated feature on my list, since I'm not the greatest fan out there of that fare, but that film bears testament at number four of what it did to me. Watching and enjoying Porco Rosso (though that wouldn't have made my list) really has given me impetus to see more animated films, especially those on this list. I'm supposing Akira might make an appearance later on, and that's another I've always rated highly. Thinking back to the beginning of Fireflies is more emotional once you've seen it, and I imagine the film will still have a firm grip on me when I watch it again. It's why I love movies. To see one, and get that feeling. Like you've witnessed a miracle (which, when you consider how many bad and average films we watch between every great one, does indeed seem miraculous.)

La Strada is the very next Fellini film I plan to watch. Mostly because Giulietta Masina is in it.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Films I've seen : 15
Films that have been on my radar : 5
Films I've never even heard of : 34
Films I've heard of : 4

Films from my list : 3

#43 - My #4 - Grave of the Fireflies - (1988) - Japan
#57 - My #21 - Memories of Murder - (2003) - South Korea
One pointer - My #25 - Audition - (1999) - Japan



Not seen La Strada, while I did record Grave Of The Fireflies as it sounded excellent. Sat down to watch it... It's anime. **** it, it sounds so good I'm going to give it a go.... Made about 5 minutes. Sorry, it's just not for me which, in the case of this film, I'm sure is my loss.
__________________
5-time MoFo Award winner.