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@Chypmunk and @Takoma11,

I watched A Man Escaped (1956). This felt more like a documentary about how to break out of a prison than a movie. It was fascinating watching Fontaine planning his escape. He thought of things that I never would have thought of, and even though some of it he had to learn from someone else's mistakes, it was ingenious.

However, the prison guards seemed to leave a lot of room for him to succeed. They didn't notice him talking from his window to Terry in the courtyard. Plus, he worked on his cell door for a long time, but somehow the guards never noticed that the door was being damaged. That seemed a little far-fetched, although the movie is supposed to be based on a real escape, so maybe somehow it's true.

I wasn't sure whether or not he should trust Jost. I thought it was too coincidental that he got a cellmate around the same time that he learned his sentence. It would have made sense if Jost was put in there to find out if he was planning anything. He just seemed too innocent and naive.


This was one of the more interesting movies that I've watched recently. It was a learning experience, (but one that hopefully I'll never need to know .)

Thanks for the great recommendation.
A Man Escaped is a pure action film. Pure in this regard - that it shows the conditions of possibility for action rather than the observed outcomes of action. Because of its retrospective nature (the title is deliberate), it is also not meant to be read as a guide or toolbox for prison escape. In fact I would argue that the power of Bresson's film would still remain if the outcome was unsuccessful. A Man Escaped is less a prison film than a film about Bresson's own philosophy relating materialism and spiritualism. Here, we see the will of man reflected in his hands and inner voice - of description and of expression. This is not dualism but a Spinozist parallelism that correlates the visible image (of the present) and the invisible sound (of the past & future) without collapsing one into the other. When we observe that the Bressionian style is 'austere', what we mean is that he traces out the material and the ideal that form the two parts of reality. Thus believing as much in the action as in the thought of men, he also believed in the image as in the sound of cinema.



I don't think anyone recommended the movie The Exterminating Angel (1962), but it aired on TCM, and I've heard it's supposed to be a good movie, so I watched it.

This movie felt like a very long and slow paced episode of "The Twilight Zone". After watching the movie, I'm still not sure about why some things happened in the movie, but I guess they're just things that we're supposed to accept, and not understand. But while I can accept that these people were trapped in that room, I would have liked to see what happened if someone tried to leave. It just seemed like people stopped at the doorway, but they never explained what was keeping them from leaving.

It also seemed like most of the people in the room were unlikable because they were mean or self-centered, so I never really cared enough about them to care if they got out or not. I watched the movie more for the curiosity of how it ended, rather than to see if everyone got out safely. I think it might have worked better if these were good people who didn't deserve to be stuck in that room, but maybe that was the point of the movie. Maybe those people were "chosen" because they deserved to go through that ordeal. (I don't know which makes more sense, but I think it would have been easier to connect with these people if they were just nice people, instead of rich snobs.)

It's an interesting movie, but it seems a bit overrated to me.
Bunuel's world is a microcosm of how ideology, constituted by the bourgeoisie's linguistic games, has become so far detached from its material conditions. As an allegory of the impotent bourgeois class whose downfall could only be attributed to their own undoing, and of an outside world that could only peer from the outside in, watching, waiting helplessly. The bourgeoisie and proletariat have become so far estranged from each other that communication is impossible. Instead, participants of one game unconsciously follow its rules without realizing that they are pawns of ideology. It is through repetition that allows for escape - a rupture from within, the cycle repeats itself elsewhere within the religious game, perhaps only awareness of the moves that we have made unconsciously will help break us from the spell, but only temporarily.



Thanks for the recommendations, but I'm looking for specific recommendations for my tastes, rather than just general recommendations.

Your general recommendations might be more popular in this recommendations thread for the upcoming countdown.
ur welcome.
what kind of tastes?

I listed some helpful information about my taste in movies in the first post of this thread:

Now that it's official that the next countdown will be Foreign (Non-English) Movies, I need help finding movies to watch.

To be honest, I don't have much patience with subtitles, so I don't know how many movies I'll be able to watch, but I want to at least make an effort to watch enough movies to submit a good list. This means that I don't want people just throwing out a bunch of titles. That will just cause many of them to get lost in the shuffle. Please try to make an effort to recommend movies that you think might have a real chance to make my list.


This is a link to my favorite movie lists from the various countdowns that we've done here on MoFo. It should give you an idea of what movies I like.

https://www.movieforums.com/lists/custom/viewall/84622


For additional help with recommendations, here are a few guidelines:

I like romance and rom-coms.
I like musicals, but not loud, rock-music type of musicals. I like the classic musicals, like the ones from the 1960s and earlier.
I like comedy, but not raunchy comedy. Screwball comedies are okay too.
I like mysteries and suspense movies, as long as they're not too graphic.
I like sci-fi, but more the fantasy/sci-fi movies, NOT the horror/sci-fi movies. Time travel movies are good too.

I do NOT like horror movies, especially bloody, gory, disgusting movies.
I do NOT like raunchy movies, or movies about sex, rape, etc.
I do NOT like movies where children and/or animals are hurt or killed.
I usually do NOT like long movies.


Thanks in advance for your help and recommendations.
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She is a good daughter brought up with traditional ideas in mind, e.g. parents are more important than anything else. Her deep love for her father is partly the result of this upbringing. When a Japanese woman got married back then, she would leave her family and become a part of her husband's family. Obviously, this wouldn't mean she couldn't ever visit her parents, but it indeed meant that she would no longer live with them. She would essentially, and largely symbolically, change her family. And cutting these ties, again symbolically, is something Noriko is grappling with.

A traditional Japanese woman is supposed to be unselfish and sacrifice her happiness for others. Period. If not for her father, then for her husband. However, once a girl reaches a certain age, she is expected to get married. There were both some men and women who never got married but that wasn't that common. Marriages of love were not unheard of, but arranged marriages were still going strong, and sometimes people who reached a certain "late" age simply got married to the first available suitor if only to escape the pressure of society. And then sometimes they were only married on paper and both had romances they both accepted... But then some never married period, resisting the pressure or being lucky enough not to be forced to. What's interesting, Setsuko Hara, the actress who played Noriko, never got married, so you could try and analyze this in a meta way...

Because that was Noriko's biggest wish even though she wasn't particularly opposed to the marriage. She not wanting to change would imply being traditional, but at the same time, she dared to confront tradition by being reluctant to marry... Many girls were reluctant, unsure, afraid, etc. but in the end were pressured to marry anyway, fulfilling their duty to society. But times were changing and more and more women started being independent and 'modern'. But that's another topic. Noriko not wanting to leave her father does not necessarily mean she doesn't want to marry. It's just the circumstances and the societal & traditional mantle that goes with the marriage that she is scared of.

Because that was expected of her. Period. In such traditional societies, you just got to marry and have children. Your choice not to, if any, was dependent on many things and could have many results. Family repeating 'you're old, you must marry' is not that terrible. This doesn't apply to this film, but for poorer families, it was of utmost priority that daughters get married as fast as possible so that the family has fewer mouths to feed, etc., etc. Japanese society back then was traditional, but some very progressive voices were there, too, so it wasn't as one-sided as you might think from my post. Read about the practice of Sati in India - when a husband died, a widow had to burn together with her deceased husband's corpse. If she didn't, she was most probably expecting to be mocked, abused, and thought a terrible, undeserving wife. But accounts wary... It's just to point out the Japanese weren't that bad But still, Ozu is a traditional director, so the conflicts in his films are traditional, too, even if he is extremely aware and up-to-date on the trends.

Both happy and sad. And this bittersweet feeling is what makes this (and other Ozu films) so powerful. Mono no aware. The father is happy because he did his job: he brought up his daughter to be a respected woman and wife. The father is also sad because he essentially lost his daughter and won't be seeing as much of her as before, so he is lonely. And him peeling an apple in an empty house is a powerful display of that loneliness.

Noriko is also both happy and sad because of that conflict of being a good daughter who provides and cares for her father vs. being a good wife and following what's expected from her.

Every girl who's seen the movie points that out. There is a mention of an American boyfriend in one of later Ozu films, too, but we never see him either. Let your imagination do the work.

Thanks for the explanation. If I understand correctly, it sounds like she was expected to get married due to tradition, even though she was brought up to sacrifice her happiness for her family. It's basically a double-edged sword.



I don't think the ending is necessarily bleak, but I don't think it's that happy either.

WARNING: spoilers below

I mean, Noriko seems to feel miserable through the whole wedding preparation and once she's out, we never get to see her again, which might be a symbol of her individuality and freedom disappearing because of tradition, while the father is last seen pensive and sad while alone at his home. Again, it's not that black or white, but there's a lot to unpack in their decision to go on with the marriage.

Maybe "happy" isn't the right word, but I thought Noriko liked the man she was marrying, so that should make her happy, and her father should have been happy because he wanted her to get married. Plus, Noriko's friend said she would visit Noriko's father often, so he wouldn't be lonely.

That sounds like both Noriko and her father should both basically be happy.



I'm sure you've seen some of these-
Pepe Le Moko
@cricket,

I watched Pépé le Moko (1937). This is a great movie that reminded me of Casablanca. Jean Gabin has a charisma that rivals Bogart. He's a criminal, but he's so likable that he makes the police seem like the bad guys. I love the strange relationship he had with Inspector Slimane. Pépé trusts him, but he also seems to know that he can't fully trust him.

With the maze of narrow streets and the small rooms, the setting of the Casbah gives the movie a claustrophobic feeling. Plus the fact that Pépé can't leave without being arrested makes it even more closed in, but somehow he seems to have made a life for himself there, with help from the people who have all sorts of ways to warn him when the police are coming.

The movie seems to be moving at a steady pace, until Gaby steps into his life, and she turns his life upside-down. He starts by watching her jewelry, but when he falls in love with her, he lets his guard down. That's when the movie builds up the most tension, and it just keeps getting better until the shocking ending.

Thanks for the great recommendation.



Still Walking and Departures - both deal with death but in a reflective sort of way. Still Walking is about a family coming together who are still grieving the death of a son who died many years ago, Departures is about a cellist who becomes an undertaker's assistant which is sort of funny and sentimental at the same time.

@Thursday Next,

I watched Still Walking (2008). After reading your description of this movie, ("Still Walking is about a family coming together who are still grieving the death of a son who died many years ago"), I expected this to be a depressing movie, but the feeling of this movie was more tense than depressing. (That's not a bad thing. In fact, it made it very easy to relate to these people because I've been to many family gatherings that were that tense.)

The grandfather, (the doctor), reminded me of my father because he had a grumpy side when he wanted to be left alone, but even when he wanted to be left alone, he came out of his room as soon as he smelled the food on the table. I think that's why I liked this character, (maybe a little bit more than I should have).

This movie flows through many different emotions as we go along. It's obvious that Ryota's family is a bit less welcome there than his sister's family. You can feel the pain that Ryota feels when his father tells a story about something that he said many years ago, but he credits that line to the older brother instead. His father doesn't hide the fact that the brother who died was his favorite son, and that weighs heavily on Ryota.

The ending was kind of bittersweet, but I love how the movie went full circle at the end when we hear Ryota telling his children the same things that we heard his mother saying earlier in the movie.

Thank you for a great recommendation.



If you're looking for something on the newer side, I just watched Another Round (2020). I believe it's nominated for best director and foreign film. I rented it on Prime and it was excellent. Wifey enjoyed it as well.



I have one for you GBG that should be to your liking, The Bélier Family (Eric Lartigau 2014). Have you seen that before?
I haven't heard of The Bélier Family, but it sounds interesting.


If you're looking for something on the newer side, I just watched Another Round (2020). I believe it's nominated for best director and foreign film. I rented it on Prime and it was excellent. Wifey enjoyed it as well.
I don't watch many current movies, but I'll check out Another Round (2020) if I get a chance.


Thanks for the recommendations.



Some choices I think you might like...

Fantasy/Sci-fi:
The 10th Victim (Italy)

@Thief,
I watched The 10th Victim (1965). This is a fun movie, but it gets a bit goofy at times. It almost feels like an old spy spoof movie.

WARNING: "SPOILERS about the ENDING of "The 10th Victim"!!!" spoilers below
The biggest problem with the movie is that it felt predictable. I knew that Marcello and Caroline would somehow end up fooling everyone into thinking that they each killed the other, but they would somehow end up alive together. I just didn't know how they would do it. That made it easy to predict the twists at the end of the movie.


I haven't seen The Hunger Games movies, but this movie made me wonder if this was basically an early version of those movies.

Thanks for the recommendation. This movie was a lot of fun to watch.



Of Kurosawa's more sentimental works that I think you may enjoy, (although his entire oeuvre is spectacular):


One Wonderful Sunday

*Note: Most of his works display some degree of humanism and sentimentality. Although these are the ones that stand out to me.

@Dog Star Man,
I watched One Wonderful Sunday (1947). This movie reminded me a little bit of It's A Wonderful Life because the title makes it sound like it's going to be a happy, uplifting story, but it's just one depressing thing happening after another.

But while It's A Wonderful Life has characters that we really care about and a happy ending, this movie has characters that I didn't really like, and an ending that just didn't work for me. I liked Masako at the beginning, when she was trying to stay happy and find ways to have fun with Yuzo. But when Masako tried to get the audience to clap at the end, it reminded me of a bad copy of kids trying to save Tinkerbell.

I liked when they went to the zoo, (probably because I love going to zoos), but to be honest, I kept wondering why they were spending their money on such trivial stuff when they could hardly afford to buy food.

I really wanted to love this movie because it sounded like my type of movie, and I did like it, but these people were just too depressing for me to care if they made it through the day.

Thanks for the recommendation.



High and Low--a thrilling mystery/police procedural from Kurosawa. Criminals try to kidnap the child of a wealthy man, but end up grabbing the chauffeur's child instead. Will the wealthy man still pay the ransom? This is one of my favorite movies ever.
Based on the above and lists:

High and Low (Kurosawa - but not a samurai film, essentially the first kidnapper/cop film)

@Takoma11 and @rbrayer,
I watched High and Low (1963). I thought I had seen this movie already, but I must have confused it with something else because I definitely had never seen this movie before. I would have remembered it.

This was one of my favorite foreign movies that I've watched so far. I didn't read about it before watching it, so at the beginning, I thought it was going to be a boring business movie about a company takeover, but it quickly changed to a terrific kidnapping film. (I would have known that if I had reread the notes quoted above, but I'm glad that I didn't. It made this movie a very pleasant surprise. )

At the beginning, I felt all the tension that Gondo was feeling when he was trying to decide whether or not to pay the ransom. I could easily see the pros and cons of either decision, and it was a tough decision for him to make.

I loved watching how the ransom drop played out, and the movie never got boring, all the way through to the end. It felt like I was watching one of those 1970s cop shows on TV, only better. I would have liked the kidnapper to have a better motive for the kidnapping, but it made sense in the context of the movie.

This was a great movie. Thanks for the recommendation.



^ Watched it yesterday, loved it! Co-sign Kon-Tiki as a rec for gbgoodies as well.
Woohoo! Glad you liked it.
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@Thief,
I watched The 10th Victim (1965). This is a fun movie, but it gets a bit goofy at times. It almost feels like an old spy spoof movie.

WARNING: "SPOILERS about the ENDING of "The 10th Victim"!!!" spoilers below
The biggest problem with the movie is that it felt predictable. I knew that Marcello and Caroline would somehow end up fooling everyone into thinking that they each killed the other, but they would somehow end up alive together. I just didn't know how they would do it. That made it easy to predict the twists at the end of the movie.


I haven't seen The Hunger Games movies, but this movie made me wonder if this was basically an early version of those movies.

Thanks for the recommendation. This movie was a lot of fun to watch.
There is indeed a certain goofiness to it, but it's part of the style and time it was released. Glad you liked it.



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Registered User
@Takoma11 and @rbrayer,
I watched High and Low (1963). I thought I had seen this movie already, but I must have confused it with something else because I definitely had never seen this movie before. I would have remembered it.

This was one of my favorite foreign movies that I've watched so far. I didn't read about it before watching it, so at the beginning, I thought it was going to be a boring business movie about a company takeover, but it quickly changed to a terrific kidnapping film. (I would have known that if I had reread the notes quoted above, but I'm glad that I didn't. It made this movie a very pleasant surprise. )

At the beginning, I felt all the tension that Gondo was feeling when he was trying to decide whether or not to pay the ransom. I could easily see the pros and cons of either decision, and it was a tough decision for him to make.

I loved watching how the ransom drop played out, and the movie never got boring, all the way through to the end. It felt like I was watching one of those 1970s cop shows on TV, only better. I would have liked the kidnapper to have a better motive for the kidnapping, but it made sense in the context of the movie.

This was a great movie. Thanks for the recommendation.
So glad you enjoyed it! It really invented the entire genre just like Seven Samurai invented the action movie. Kurosawa is such a huge part of cinema history - and so unbelievably talented.



Tokyo Sonata would be a film I would highly suggest here.

@DocHoliday,
I watched Tokyo Sonata (2008). I liked this movie, despite not liking the father at all. I understood why he was lying to his family about being unemployed, but he just seemed like a mean person most of the time. I liked the mother through most of the movie, but I lost interest in her when she didn't protect her son from getting hurt by his father, and even more when she went back to the guy who kidnapped her, after she could have easily gotten away from him. I know that she was upset when she saw her husband working at the mall, but that was just a reason not to go home. It was not a reason to go back to a stranger who could easily have killed her.

However the younger son, Kenji, was the character who made this movie worth watching He seemed like a good kid who wanted to better himself. He found a passion for music, and even found a way to follow his musical dreams after his parents told him no. When the music teacher said he was a prodigy, I really wanted to see him play something for them, so they could hear how good he was, and let him go to music school. I thought that it took a bit too long to get to that point, but it was worth the wait.

Thanks for the recommendation.