The MoFo Top 100 Foreign Language Film Countdown

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Two from my list have shown up, Woman in the Dunes all the way at #3 and Cinema Paradiso at #20. Ran is a masterpiece, though I think my favorite samurai film might be Throne of Blood.

My List:
2. The 400 Blows (#35)
3. Woman in the Dunes (#22)
4. Playtime (#45)
7. Three Colours: Red (#54)
9. High and Low (#41)
10. Let the Right One In (#40)
12. The Wages of Fear (#67)
14. Diabolique (#69)
20. Cinema Paradiso (#20)
21. The Cranes are Flying (#28)
23. A Man Escaped (#60)
24. Le Trou (#81)
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Ok, since there have been a bunch of really good ones from my list popping up recently, I should ask...

I loved Woman in the Dunes. Is there any other film from Hiroshi Teshigahara that's worth checking out?

Also, I just found out right now that Giuseppe Tornatore was roughly 35 when Cinema Paradiso came out. Wow. Any other film of his worth a try?

Finally, this one's a bit stupid but since I've been diving into Kurosawa, there's no harm in asking. So far I've seen...
  1. Ran
  2. Throne of Blood
  3. Seven Samurai
  4. Rashomon
  5. Yojimbo

I suppose that the next logical steps could be anything from Ikiru or High and Low to Kagemusha or Sanjuro, maybe The Hidden Fortress? But which other of his "lesser known" films is worth prioritizing?
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But which other of his "lesser known" films is worth prioritizing?
Definitely Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru [The Bad Sleep Well].
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Fashionably late to every party since 1473!




Ok, since there have been a bunch of really good ones from my list popping up recently, I should ask...

I loved Woman in the Dunes. Is there any other film from Hiroshi Teshigahara that's worth checking out?

Also, I just found out right now that Giuseppe Tornatore was roughly 35 when Cinema Paradiso came out. Wow. Any other film of his worth a try?

Finally, this one's a bit stupid but since I've been diving into Kurosawa, there's no harm in asking. So far I've seen...
  1. Ran
  2. Throne of Blood
  3. Seven Samurai
  4. Rashomon
  5. Yojimbo

I suppose that the next logical steps could be anything from Ikiru or High and Low to Kagemusha or Sanjuro, maybe The Hidden Fortress? But which other of his "lesser known" films is worth prioritizing?

Pitfall is the Teshigahara in his 3 disc Criterion set that is rarely mentioned, and while it might not be as obviously impactful as the other two, I think it holds its own with them. That whole collection is probably one of the best things Criterion has ever released, as far as I'm concerned.


As for lesser known Kurosawa's, Stray Dog and The Bad Sleep Well are two of my favorites.




Love Cinema Paradiso, the ending hits me right in the feels every time. A real cinema lovers favorite, have it at #3.

Movies Seen: 42/82

My Ballot: 12/25
25. Mongol (1-pointer)
22. The Wages of Fear (#67)
21. Fireworks (#78)
19. In The Mood For Love (#34)
17. High and Low (#41)
11. Le Samouraï (#30)
7. Samurai Rebellion (#79)
6. The Battle of Algiers (#56)
5. War and Peace (#59)
4. Das Boot (#25)
3. Cinema Paradiso (#20)
2. La Haine (#53)




Cinema Paradisio was one of my final cuts, a film I never expected to like but ended up being one of the most touching films I've seen. Tear jerker for sure. Ran is cinematically beautiful, but did very little for me outside of that. Sometimes the invincibility of these Japanese films make me lose touch
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Cinema Paradiso (1988)

When Cinema Paradiso was over and the credits rolled, I started to think about the underlying theme of the movie. Some might describe this as an uplifting tale of a boy who loves the magic of movies and grows up to be a successful director..and that is what the film shows you...But that's not what it's truly about. Those happy coming of age aspects hide the devastating truth from plain sight and in that truth lays the films greatness.

The film projectionist warns the boy that the life of film is no life at all, and that he will become isolated from the world as he watches movies 100s of times over. But the boy falls under the spell of film and escapes into a world of movie fantasies and that's what we see...the older director looking back at his boyhood and seeing the town and it's people as if they were characters in a film.

The boy loses himself into a world of movies and by that escapism ruins his own life. Cinema Paradiso warns us not to live inside a dream, and that the illusion of cinema is so strong that one can live a lie, instead of living a life.

That's why Cinema Paradiso is a great film.



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I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
It's not a bad movie, but "Cinema Paradiso" is probably the most overrated foreign movie.
Bold claim when you haven't seen what's in the rest of the top 20 yet...



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I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
FWIW, I didn't love Cinema Paradiso as much as I thought I would, but it's been a long time.

Ran I did love and it was on my list at #19. Kurosawa made a lot of black and white films, but it's the colour in this one that I really like.






191 points, 10 lists
18. Amelie


Director

Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001

Starring

Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta









207 points, 11 lists
17. The Passion of Joan of Arc


Director

Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928

Starring

Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, Andre Berley, Maurice Schutz






Yahoo! I loved watching Amelie! Such a charming movie...it was my #7.

The Passion of Joan of Arc is good too for a movie made of rejected outtakes

After completing the original cut of the film, director Carl Theodor Dreyer learned that the entire master print had been accidentally destroyed. With no ability to re-shoot, Dreyer re-edited the entire film from footage he had originally rejected.



I've seen Amelie a few times. I like the look of the film and the overall weirdness, but I detest the character of Amelie. She's creepy and unethical.

I watched The Passion of Joan of Arc many years ago when I was exploring silent cinema. I didn't care for it, but should probably give it another chance.



I haven't seen Amelie, but I might get to it eventually. I haven't really prioritized it.

The Passion of Joan of Arc is a masterpiece and is also a Rockatansky favorite. Here's what I wrote on it a while ago:

For quite a while, my relationship with Dreyer has been a bit of a mixed bag. I thought Ordet was quite good, Vampyr was pretty decent, but I didn't care that much for Day of Wrath. For that reason, I put off watching this film for quite a while until a few days ago when I decided that my tastes likely evolved since watching his other films (it's been a couple years since I watched one of his films). Fortunately, I was correct in this assumption as this proved to be quite an impressive feat which nails certain aspects with such perfection that it sometimes feels more like a horror movie than a drama. One of the tactics which gives it this effect is the brilliant camerawork. While earlier films experimented in close-up shots, they don't possess the same effect as this film. The shots of the judges and the clergymen are shot in high contrast often at low angles and are bathed in bright light. The lack of makeup reveals the cracks and crevices of their faces, making their appearances seem quite menacing. By contrast, the shots of Joan are filmed with softer grays which further drive home how overwhelmed she is. Since she doesn't have any makeup as well, her appearance seems solemn. Also, the fact that the set design consists primarily of blank walls helps to bring extra attention to these details. This film is also quite fascinating to watch due to Falconetti's brilliant performance. To capture all her finely balanced nuance, Dreyer filmed the same scenes multiple times, so he could pick just the right expression for each one. His work clearly shows, because yes, the film contains a lot of repetition, but I think Dreyer's handling of Falconetti brings nuance to the repetition as every shot of her seems meticulous and precise in the way how subtle differences in her reactions can be clearly observed. Overall, she gave a truly phenomenal performance and she deserves all the praise she received. Along with Richard Einhorn's evocative soundtrack, this film definitely blew me away. Now, maybe I might want to consider rewatching some of his other films to see if my opinion changes on them.

With that being said though, I didn't include it on my list. Vampyr was the Dreyer I chose (which, as you can probably tell, I wasn't so keen on when I wrote this, but it grew on me over time).

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