The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame III: Foreign Language Edition

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Diabolique was very good. I've recommended it a couple of times for these HoF's and it seems to be a pretty safe pick.

Was down to my last pick for Cricket unless I went with a blind nomination. I still think you might like the Terrorist if you can ever find a copy. La Ceremonie I saw for the first time just before this HoF started and thought, yeah, that was pretty good. It has an uneasiness running through it the entire time, keeps you on edge even when it seems like nothing is happening. Isabelle Huppert is someone that I haven't seen often but what I can tell from the few I have seen is that she's pretty fearless when it comes to selecting roles.

Wasn't terribly impressed with Bicycle Thieves, thought it was a little slow in the middle, but that ending bumped it up significantly. For some reason French New Wave and Italian neorealism don't hit for me as often as I wish they would but I keep trying 'em!



Diabolique is pretty good indeed.

For what it's worth, I've benched this a bit until I finish the HOF24, which ends next week. But I already have plans for a bunch of my recs for the second half of the month.
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
It's been a couple of decades since I saw Diabolique to the point where it would be all new to me again. Definitely need a revisit.
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Kagemusha (1980)



As I've said many times before, Kurosawa is one of my favorite directors. This was the main movie from his filmography that I hadn't seen yet, and a movie I considered to be one of the biggest overall blind spots for me. I was very happy it was chosen for me, much like Ran in a previous Personal Rec HoF. My feelings for this are very similar to how I felt about Ran, though I believe Ran is a bit better.

It's a 3 hour movie, and like anyone else, that's not a problem depending on how it plays out. Unfortunately I did feel the film's length. A Warlord's brother meets a petty criminal who looks exactly like the warlord. They discuss the possibility of the man being able to act as his double if something should happen. Of course something does happen. I was more interested in seeing if the double could pass to the son, mistresses, and horse, than his own and opposing army. For me to really love the film, it would of course had to have been the other way around. The majority of the movie, especially the final two thirds, was only moderately interesting to me. As expected it's a technical marvel on every level. A good to great film depending on the viewer.




Children of Paradise (1945)

Good choice...at first I thought I wouldn't like this as it starts out with the courtesan in a shop with the 'dandy' thief...I didn't know what they were talking about and I feared the rest of the film would be just as confusing. To make things worse the copy I watched had the subs cut off on the bottom third. I could read them but it took my effort and made it harder to concentrate...but not the film's fault.

As it turned out I did really enjoy this and I respected the director's colossal view of Paris street life. Another director might have got a few dozen extras to be in the opening street fair scene. But Marcel Carné not only packs the scene with people from front to back as far as the eye can see, he even has action taking place up on the balconies, like the can-can dancers. Through out the film I was amazed at how the camera moved fluidly with tracking and dolly shots. Modern films could learn a thing or two about staging from this movie.

I thought the actors were all well cast and fit the personas of their characters. For such a long movie, I never got bored in fact after the first 10 minutes which were bumpy, I was fully into the film and waiting to see what would happen next to the lovely courtesan and her four suitors.

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I'm surprised you liked it so much CR. That's cool though.

I'll go with Whisper next probably.



I'm surprised you liked it so much CR. That's cool though.

I'll go with Whisper next probably.
My wife liked the movie too, so that helps Children of Paradise to me seems a bit like La Dolce Vita in that one can just spend time with the characters and their world, without being too worried about the outcome of the story. For me it was more about the individual moments that the overall ending.



I had so much more I could've said. As I was watching the movie I had all these ideas for a write up...but then several days passed before I could review it. So I just hit the high notes for me in the film. You know it must have been a very expensive film to make, it sure looks like it would cost a lot.



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Shoplifters (2018)



I knew nothing about the movie going in. However I was hoping it'd be chosen for me because I had recently added it to my watchlist due solely to positive write ups on the forum.

I think I'd enjoy it even more on a second viewing since I felt like I picked up on the whole family dynamic a little late. At first I just thought it was going to be a consistently solid film, but it turned out to be much more than that. It's definitely a movie that I wouldn't want to give much away of. For me the strength is the wide variety of thoughts and emotions it left me with. A terrific film.




JJ chose Shoplifter's for me after I dropped a hint I'd really like to see it, as someone else had watched it in Suspect's Personal Roulette and really liked it. The movie seems to be having a chain effect on MoFo. Good film!







Jiro Dreams of Sushi(2011)


85 year old (now 95 year old) Jiro takes us on a journey through his small successful business. This is one of those slice of life documentaries which typically doesn't appeal to me which is why I never watched it.


My opinion of the film is that it's very well made the actual filming is impressive. It's beautifully scored and shot and as we learn about his family we are drawn in pretty well. My biggest complaint of the film is that at the end of the second act we get a little drama and it's just put on the side of the film and not really addressed.


Part of me wishes that the film had more story but the philosophy and wisdom that Jiro possesses is incredibly powerful. This was a very good watch and pick for this Hall for me.



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Vengeance is Mine (1979)



This is on the Ebert list, and it's a movie I just discovered as the foreign language countdown was announced and I was going through the lists. When I looked it up, I thought to myself this looks awesome how did I not know about it. I put it on my watchlist right away, and was hoping it would be chosen for me here, but I didn't expect it since I don't recall anyone posting about it. The member who picked it hasn't even seen it but obviously they know what I like. It's from the same director who made Black Rain, which I watched a week ago and is also brilliant.



Again, I was really looking forward to this and I knew from the opening scene I wouldn't be let down. The police are bringing in a wanted killer that they'd been searching for played by Ken Ogata, who was terrific. As the police are talking to him at the station, the film brings us back in time to show us his story from early on; his family, the women in his life, and his crimes from being a con man to a killer. This director is a major talent and it shows here not only with how the movie is filmed but also with how the story is told. It's probably the best Japanese crime film I've seen.




Congratulations Cricket, you are the 4th member to finish!
Congrats! The funny thing is I noticed that you capitalized your user name there


btw, I'm working on this steadily and I believe I have some really neat films left to watch. So far I've seen some great stuff!



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Congrats! The funny thing is I noticed that you capitalized your user name there


btw, I'm working on this steadily and I believe I have some really neat films left to watch. So far I've seen some great stuff!
I capitalize as a general rule. When I joined, it was the first forum I ever joined, and I just did it quick with my only intention being to post a question in the question thread.