The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame III: Foreign Language Edition

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The Earrings of Madame De... (Max Ophüls 1953)

Good choice for me. I really enjoyed the grandeur of this period piece melodrama.

At the start of the film, when we're introduced to Madame De...she's in her boudoir choosing what to wear to that night's festivities. When she opens her closet it's full of ornate shelves that go right up to the ceiling. I love that scene because it visually defines in a personal way, the type of luxurious life that Madame De lives.

Much of the film is composed of these wonderfully elaborate sets and costumes...and is coupled with creative tracking shots and selective lighting that gives the film a deep richness. I just have to say wow to all that and especially to the gown she wears to the last ball. I would loved to seen that in color, I bet it was red.

Danielle Darrieux who played Madame De...gave a wonderful portrayal. She reminded me a bit of Luise Rainer in The Great Ziegfeld. She had the perfect combination of frivolousness & self indulgence and driven by the boredom of excessive wealth and status.

And hey, it's the director of my new favorite foreign language film Bicycle Thieves...Vittorio De Sica. And a shout out to Charles Boyer who I've of course seen before.

So good film I liked it, except for the duel at the very end. I would've ended the film on a lighter note by having Charles Boyer getting rid of those pesky earrings once and for all by giving them to someone who would never ever part with them.....the nanny.





This one was from me, so I'm glad you got something out of it. Even though I think I rate it higher than you, I kinda agree with your last statement. But like Aguirre, it is a film that kinda stuck with me afterwards.

Two scenes in particular that stuck with me, and both occur in the first half...

1) The scene where the steamboat is about to turn into that other river (was it the Pachitea?) and there's this fear from the crew about what they'll find. I thought that was one of the most edge-of-your-seat, tense scenes I've experienced recently as we are sitting there dreading what will happen. Even if nothing happened, it had me biting my nails off.

2) The scene where Fitzcarraldo arrives at that abandoned train station that's being taken care of by a poor man and his family. To me, the station, which was part of a past project from Fitzcarraldo, exemplifies one of the themes of the film, which is how the working people are subject to the whims of the wealthy, however fleeting and meaningless they are. This was a massive project that was discarded and forgotten without any regard for this man and his family, who has been giving it sweat and blood for years, without the "bosses" even noticing.


Anyway, based on your favorites, which I felt leaned towards grand-scale, adventuresque films (Ben-Hur, Raiders, Jaws), I thought this would be a good fit.
1) That was one of the scenes were Herzog the Doc. Dir. stands out. All he's doing is showing us the banks of the Amazon and ANYTHING could be two feet from the shore and you wouldn't know it. It's the what you don't see is sometimes scarier than what you do see thing, a thing that I'm a firm believer in.

2) That scene was one of the high points for me. I felt so bad for that guy.

It is a good fit and it's something I'll watch again and will probably notice things that will bump up it's rating. It's not a movie that will depreciate with multiple viewings, that I can tell already. The good stuff is just too good.




The Earrings of Madame De... (Max Ophüls 1953)

Good choice for me. I really enjoyed the grandeur of this period piece melodrama.

At the start of the film, when we're introduced to Madame De...she's in her boudoir choosing what to wear to that night's festivities. When she opens her closet it's full of ornate shelves that go right up to the ceiling. I love that scene because it visually defines in a personal way, the type of luxurious life that Madame De lives.

Much of the film is composed of these wonderfully elaborate sets and costumes...and is coupled with creative tracking shots and selective lighting that gives the film a deep richness. I just have to say wow to all that and especially to the gown she wears to the last ball. I would loved to seen that in color, I bet it was red.

Danielle Darrieux who played Madame De...gave a wonderful portrayal. She reminded me a bit of Luise Rainer in The Great Ziegfeld. She had the perfect combination of frivolousness & self indulgence and driven by the boredom of excessive wealth and status.

And hey, it's the director of my new favorite foreign language film Bicycle Thieves...Vittorio De Sica. And a shout out to Charles Boyer who I've of course seen before.

So good film I liked it, except for the duel at the very end. I would've ended the film on a lighter note by having Charles Boyer getting rid of those pesky earrings once and for all by giving them to someone who would never ever part with them.....the nanny.


I need to rewatch this. I really loved it the first time. If I remember right, it was quite a bit funnier than I thought it would be. Could contend for a spot on my list.



I need to rewatch this. I really loved it the first time. If I remember right, it was quite a bit funnier than I thought it would be. Could contend for a spot on my list.
I guess I missed the humor. At first I thought it was going to be a light French-Farce type of movie, but it did seem to get more serious as it went on. Truth be told I'd preferred it to be lighter. Still, a well made film and looks great.



Earrings looks like a film I should check out.
For, I didn’t realize you hadn’t seen. Feels like something you will like.



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I loved Fitzcarraldo and The Earrings of Madame De was very impressive, but I had a hard time getting into it. Maybe I could now several years later.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
And now, a bit of catching up. . .

FANTASTIC PLANET
(1973, Laloux)


Set in the mysterious planet of Ygam, Fantastic Planet follows the clashes between the human-like Oms and the giant, blue humanoid Draags that are trying to eradicate the former from their planet, while also keeping them as pets. Terr (Eric Baugin) is a young Om that has been kept as a pet since infancy by Tiwa (Jennifer Drake). But when he accidentally starts to absorb knowledge from his captors, he ends up leaving Tiwa and joining a group of rebel Oms in order to oust their captors.

I found this film both amazing and mesmerizing for so many reasons. I'll start by saying that the opening scene was such a perfect way to capture what this world is about, to expose the themes without spelling them out, but rather with haunting and eerie visuals. Second, the animation was so effective, and you feel like it suits the plot and the era so well. The use of colors and certain angles only helped to amplify the eeriness of this world. Third, the creativity with which director René Laloux and co-writer Roland Topor build this planet and set its environment and rules is nothing short of impressive. Finally, the music is so cool and helps to establish the trippy mood extremely well.

Fantastic Planet was a troubled project to begin with; not only for its themes and ambitions, but also because of the circumstances surrounding its production. While production started in France, it was animated in Czechoslovakia which had more resources in that field. Halfway through, Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Soviet Union in an effort to suppress a reform movement in the country. Casually, co-writer Topor was of Polish-Jewish descent and had to spend his childhood hiding from the Gestapo. All of this adds more weight to the themes of oppression and subjugation that permeate through the film.

I still have some issues with it. Even though I understand it's not the film's goal, but the lack of character development and depth hinders its effect a bit. Plus, the resolution feels somewhat abrupt and a bit too convenient. Still, I would definitely say that this was one of the most interesting film-watching experiences I've had recently.

Grade:
I did not know about the circumstances during productions; thank you for mentioning that. It does add some internal gravitas to the subject matter.
And like @Captain Terror remarked, getting high for this flick is a bit of a bonus, lol.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie This is on shaky ground in my Watchlist simply because of my own hesitations, but they have eased nicely after reading your review, @Hey Fredrick, which I did enjoy in itself. It's still a bit shaky, but I feel that I should brave through it and discover - what I may discover.

La Grande Illusion when I saw that this was nominated for @Takoma11, I could see this going either way and truly am glad it went on a more enjoyable route for you.
Like you, I truly love a good prison camp escape film and found this to be a wondrously unique experience. Making my introduction to Renoir a marvelous one. Since then, I've explored La Bęte Humaine and have both Madame Bovary and The Rules of the Game on my Watchlist.

Day for Night This is one that needs a second viewing for me. Since I found myself enjoying it more afterward as I thought about it than while watching it.

Shoot the Piano Player this does look very worthwhile, but having only seen one Truffaut film, the above mentioned, Day for Night, it's hard to gauge if I truly desire to make room for it on my Watchlist. I will be watching 400 Blows for this HoF, so that'll be a strong decision-maker for me.

Smiles of a Summer Night With as serious as the few Bergman's I've seen, I am genuinely surprised that he has a comedic endeavor under his belt. Hmm.
With these HoFs, I have been on a gradual introduction to Bergman that has varied for me. Though with all the high praise I've heard from folks that I value their thoughts very highly, this next venture, Wild Strawberries should be a positive side of viewings.

Contempt I have bounced back and forth on whether or not to watch this film. Having only seen one Goddard, Pierrot le Fou. BUT, I do have Alphaville and Band of Outsiders on my Watchlist, so that should help establish whether I simply respect or enjoy Goddard films. And should I find both, I could very well check this out. I'm already curious about seeing another Brigitte Bardot film after the amazing Le Vérité and my REVIEW. Not to mention Fritz Lang's appearance in this film.

Rocco and His Brothers I Have not heard of this, but I am a fan of Alain Delon.

The Marriage of Maria Braun Enjoyed this one during a previous HoF and looked like a good fit for you, @Thursday Next.

I watched Stray Dog (1949). Directed by the legendary Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, and Keiko Awaji, the film is about a rookie detective whose gun is stolen on a scorching hot day. He spends the rest of the day trying to track down his gun. I thought the film was good, but not great. Acting is good, especially by Mifune, and the story is interesting but not as consistently gripping as I would have expected. I did like the look of the film. I've seen 13 Kurosawa films, and this one would not be in my top 10, but I'm glad I watched it. My rating is a
.
I picked this one for you. With the films in TUS' Movie Roulette, this looked worthwhile for you. I agree it is not a top Kurosawa, but definitely, a very good one, that's worth seeing.

Fitzcarraldo Herzog films, so far, have been more of respect than enjoyment. I have heard of the utter chaos of this film's making, with Herzog and Kinski literally fighting with one another.

Au Revoir Les Enfants I Have not seen this, and with hearing cricket/thief/CR's enjoyment of it, along with reading that it is based on a childhood experience by the Director, Louis Malle, really seals it as an addition to my Watchlist.

The Earrings of Madame De... This was a film that has caught my attention when meandering through French films, and I was quite intrigued by it. Having read CR's review and hearing that sean enjoys it as well, it is now, officially, on my Watchlist.
Thank you, gentlemen!
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I watched Sonatine (1993) tonight. Written, directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano, this Japanese film is about Yakuza sent from Tokyo to Okinawa to end a gang war. The film has some nice dreamlike moments and lighter moments, along with some scenes with action and violence. There is some lovely scenery and some really nice looking moments. I also liked the way the film's use of music. The issue I had is that I personally didn't find the characters all that interesting and I couldn't get very invested in them or their fates. The acting was fine, but no one really blow me away. The story was somewhat interesting, but not as compelling as I would have liked. Good movie, but not a great one, in my opinion, although I am glad I watched. My rating is a
.

Now I have watched all 11 films recommended for me. Do I get a shiny gold star now? (I would like one, thanks.) Is there a final step I am supposed to do now that I have watched all 11?



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Registered User
I watched Sonatine (1993) tonight. Written, directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano, this Japanese film is about Yakuza sent from Tokyo to Okinawa to end a gang war. The film has some nice dreamlike moments and lighter moments, along with some scenes with action and violence. There is some lovely scenery and some really nice looking moments. I also liked the way the film's use of music. The issue I had is that I personally didn't find the characters all that interesting and I couldn't get very invested in them or their fates. The acting was fine, but no one really blow me away. The story was somewhat interesting, but not as compelling as I would have liked. Good movie, but not a great one, in my opinion, although I am glad I watched. My rating is a
.

Now I have watched all 11 films recommended for me. Do I get a shiny gold star now? (I would like one, thanks.) Is there a final step I am supposed to do now that I have watched all 11?
Congratulations Allaby, you are the 3rd member to finish!

At your leisure, rank them 1 to 11 and send it to me via pm.

When we receive all of the lists, I will reveal who made the best recommendations to win this spectacular HoF tournament thingy.



Congratulations Allaby, you are the 3rd member to finish!

At your leisure, rank them 1 to 11 and send it to me via pm.

When we receive all of the lists, I will reveal who made the best recommendations to win this spectacular HoF tournament thingy.
I ranked them and sent you the list in a pm.



Wow, three people finished in 2 weeks, that's some sort of record.
And here I am going into June I would bet!



And here I am going into June I would bet!
I'll be right there beside you, my friend
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Au revoir les enfants (1987)

Julien Quentin: You scared?
Jean Bonnet: All the time.

This is the first film I've ever seen from Louis Malle and it's very, very good. I remember seeing this being reviewed on At the Movies when it was released and for whatever reason I never forgot about it but also never watched it, obviously. The story is about Quentin and his friendship with the new kid in school, Bonnet, two students at an all boys boarding school in German occupied France. Bonnet is a quiet even for a new kid. It gets Quentin to start doing some snooping and finds out a secret that Bonnet and the school are trying to hide. Bonnet is not Bonnet. He's really Jean Kippelstein

The child actors were very believable and I liked how they were real. These are young boys and they act like it. They know everything yet know nothing. Malle does a nice job with the more intense scenes and the final few scenes are wonderfully done. When called for, he allows tension to build through silence, something I'm a big fan of. The movie is a heartbreaker. I was prepared for the Nazi's being awful (they aren't a huge presence but they're always there) but the French turning on their own was especially tough to take. The film does highlight the heroics of several of the school staff, Father Jean in particular, who has been protecting Jewish kids for apparently some time. There were a bunch of scenes that really stick out but the one that got to me in particular was the look on Father Jeans face when Bonnet, after Bonnet has had an encounter with German soldiers, tries to take part in communion. Another great nomination and would highly recommend this one anyone who hasn't seen it.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Un Unofficial Review





The Earrings of Madame De. . . (1953)

Comtesse Louise de...: It's when we have the most to say that we can't speak.

While this most likely could have easily gone in the Latest Movie Thread, it felt more apropos. To go from an addition to my watchlist and now to my favorites.

Ahh, amore and all its nuance, cadence and, it's sublime parting.
Featuring Danielle Darrieux in a truly remarkable performance. Her arc from the confident Comtesse indifferently pursuing amusements to the state she is rendered to from being unable to commit to a true love comes in the gallant Baron Fabrizio Donati (Vittorio De Sica). What begins, as many, amusing flirtation, builds, blossoms into a passion that is never consummated. In part, by the smooth, chalant machinations of her husband, Général André de... (Charles Boyer)

Those moments of despair, agitation, and loss of his wife's love are kept beneath a - not so secure, the care-free appearance of gracious gaiety.

As befitting a romantic period piece, it is elegant pageantry where the human heart's fragility is displayed in poetic cinematography, sublime performances, and both witty and world-weary dialogue.

I was utterly enchanted, invested, and quite amazed by the ending.

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