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The Parish Hall => Arts and Leisure => Topic started by: Livenotonevil on August 30, 2018, 08:41:27 PM

Title: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Livenotonevil on August 30, 2018, 08:41:27 PM
Here's an idea for a thread.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Livenotonevil on August 30, 2018, 08:44:33 PM
And here's an great film that I recommend - it's a little abstract and can be weird at points, but it's a film called "Repentance." It was a Georgian film made in 1984, but it was censored in the Soviet Union until Gorbachev allowed it's publication in 1987.

It's a film about a Georgian dictator (named Varlaam) with a mustache who persecutes people unjustly. Ringing any bells?

It discusses two main topics - how to deal with Stalin when people realized HOW horrible he really was, but secondly, and more importantly, religion in society, and the Soviet Union's injustice.


It's not a perfect film, but it has some of my favorite scenes and quotes from cinema.

The film ends with the lines













"Does this road lead to a Church?"
"No, it's Varlaam Street, it will not lead you to a Church."
"What good is a road if it doesn't lead to a Church?"

Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: martin88nyc on August 30, 2018, 09:17:01 PM
"The Decalogue" by Kieslowski
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Heinrich on August 30, 2018, 09:23:27 PM
Der Untergang
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Matto on August 30, 2018, 09:34:39 PM
These are some of my favorites. I used to watch foreign films, but I was never an expert.
Anything by the Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu. If you watch only one of his movies, watch Tokyo Story. It should make you cry.
This one is for you, Livenotonevil, Andrei Rublev. Warning, there is some nudity.
I also have a soft spot for The Leopard (Il Gattopardo)
Ordet
And I guess I should include a Kurosawa film, so Ikiru.
I would like Pon de Replay to contribute to this thread.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Maximilian on August 30, 2018, 10:51:34 PM
The Russian movie, The Island.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0851577/

(http://www.lovemadevisible.eu/web/images/lmv_examplesimage100044.jpg?w=314&h=390)

This is perhaps the best movie ever.

Another great Russian movie is Sergie Bondarchuk's War and Peace. It's the most spectacular epic ever made, and it can never be reproduced today.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063794/

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AfOg87O3ics/T0Bc13b0mEI/AAAAAAAAArI/Zz5CFcJsVYk/s400/war-and-peace-68-1.jpg)


For Kurosawa, I think there is no doubt that his later movies were his best.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080979/mediaviewer/rm3907533056?ref_=tt_ov_i

(https://japaneseculturereflectionsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/kagemusha51.jpg)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089881/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

(https://images.store.hmv.com/app_/responsive/HMVStore/media/product/288375/01-288375.jpg?w=950)




Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Jacob on August 30, 2018, 10:54:03 PM
Diary of a Country Priest.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: martin88nyc on August 31, 2018, 12:08:10 AM
Life Is Beautiful (1997)
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Lynne on August 31, 2018, 08:02:17 AM
Diary of a Country Priest.

Someone gave me a digital copy of that. I need to ask him if I can share it here... It was excellent.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on August 31, 2018, 08:39:36 AM
My favorite Japanese movie is Kwaidan (1965), which is a quartet of ghost stories.  It has the best color photography I've ever seen in a movie.  Most of it was filmed on soundstages and sets, and many of the backgrounds are painted.  It has a rich, dream-like atmosphere.  It's one of the rare cases of artifice resulting in beauty.

But most of my favorite foreign films are by the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. If Kwaidan has the best color cinematography, then Bergman's movies often have the best black-&-white.  Of my Bergman top five, only one is in color—Fanny & Alexander.  It has a philo-Semitic sequence that some might find distasteful, when the children go to live with a Jewish family.  But it's a note-perfect ode to Judaica: pawn shops with attics and basements full of antiques and junk and candelabras, bearded men in black coats, and fey and mysterious children.  The engimatic Jewish boy, Ismael Retzinsky, is even played by a female.  Bergman was not a believer but he was fascinated with Christianity.

Fanny & Alexander (1982)

Hour of the Wolf (1968)

The Magician (1958)

The Seventh Seal (1957)

The Virgin Spring (1960)
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Jacob on August 31, 2018, 10:28:05 AM
My favorite Japanese movie is Kwaidan (1965), which is a quartet of ghost stories.  It has the best color photography I've ever seen in a movie.  Most of it was filmed on soundstages and sets, and many of the backgrounds are painted.  It has a rich, dream-like atmosphere.  It's one of the rare cases of artifice resulting in beauty.

But most of my favorite foreign films are by the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. If Kwaidan has the best color cinematography, then Bergman's movies often have the best black-&-white.  Of my Bergman top five, only one is in color—Fanny & Alexander.  It has a philo-Semitic sequence that some might find distasteful, when the children go to live with a Jewish family.  But it's a note-perfect ode to Judaica: pawn shops with attics and basements full of antiques and junk and candelabras, bearded men in black coats, and fey and mysterious children.  The engimatic Jewish boy, Ismael Retzinsky, is even played by a female.  Bergman was not a believer but he was fascinated with Christianity.

Fanny & Alexander (1982)

Hour of the Wolf (1968)

The Magician (1958)

The Seventh Seal (1957)

The Virgin Spring (1960)

Kwaidan: color better than Black Narcissus?

And Black and White Bergman?  I notice you don't mention Winter Light.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on August 31, 2018, 10:54:24 AM
Kwaidan: color better than Black Narcissus?

Emphatically yes, IMO.

And Black and White Bergman?  I notice you don't mention Winter Light.

If I had made it a top ten, all three entries in the "trilogy of faith" would probably be included.  I love the conversation the pastor has with the cripple in Winter Light.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Bernadette on September 11, 2018, 12:15:32 AM
Babette's Feast and Tree of Wooden Clogs
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Lynne on September 11, 2018, 07:15:08 AM
Babette's Feast and Tree of Wooden Clogs

I still haven't watched those!  :doh:
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: clau clau on September 11, 2018, 07:20:13 AM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_de_Florette

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manon_des_Sources_(1986_film)


edit: also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M_(1931_film)
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Bernadette on September 11, 2018, 01:27:41 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_de_Florette

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manon_des_Sources_(1986_film)


I need to watch these again. Haven't watched them since highschool French class.

I also like Children of Heaven and The Color of Paradise, by Majid Majidi.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Larry on September 12, 2018, 05:21:43 PM
La Dolce Vita is fantastic, with amazing shots of early 1960's Rome. It really exposes the nihilism of modern life.

The 400 Blows



The Bicycle Thief

Breathless(the original Godard film, not the Paul Schrader remake)

The Gospel According to Matthew

The Blue Angel

Black Sunday

Suspiria

Murnau's Faust

Grand Illusion

La Poison

Purple Noon

And I'm sure I've forgotten some.




Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on September 15, 2018, 12:00:02 PM
Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)

Diary of a Chambermaid (2015)

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)

Into Great Silence (2005)

Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Shadow Magic (2000)

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964)

The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring (2003)

The Turin Horse (2011)

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)

Vampyr (1932)

Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (1989)
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on September 15, 2018, 12:15:59 PM
Those are some non-Bergman favorites that come to mind.  I didn't include films already mentioned on this thread.  Three that Matto mentioned would be on the list: Andrei Rublev, Ordet, and The LeopardThe Leopard is my favorite Italian film by far.  It's possibly my second favorite period movie after Barry Lyndon; it's a masterpiece with a single flaw: the casting of Burt Lancaster.  Nothing against the great man, but the presence of a recognizable American actor with dubbed Italian dialogue just sets the whole thing off-kilter.  Lancaster's smirking face was perfect for something like Elmer Gantry, but it's all wrong for the Prince.  I don't know if Visconti did it to appeal to a US audience, or if he genuinely liked Burt Lancaster for the role.  An Italian actor would've really made it.  It's a marvel to look at, though.  "Sicilian rococo decadence."  The young Claudia Cardinale was beautiful to say the least.  Larry included Black Sunday, which even though it wouldn't make my list still has probably some of the best black-&-white horror photography ever shot.  "Coffins in cobwebbed catacombs."  There are some early Roger Corman  films, from when he was mining the Lovecraft and Poe canons, that are equally as good color movies.  But all of them suffer from melodrama and excess.


Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Matto on September 15, 2018, 12:52:42 PM
I really liked Ugetsu
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/Ugetsu_monogatari_poster.jpg/330px-Ugetsu_monogatari_poster.jpg)
and Sansho the Bailiff
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8f/Sansho_Dayu_poster.jpg)
by Mizoguchi. I thought they were both excellent. I particularly liked Sansho and want to see it again. I thought it was great. I like Japanese films over any other foreign country, including Anime.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Christe Eleison on September 15, 2018, 02:08:37 PM
I really liked Ugetsu
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/Ugetsu_monogatari_poster.jpg/330px-Ugetsu_monogatari_poster.jpg)
and Sansho the Bailiff
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8f/Sansho_Dayu_poster.jpg)
by Mizoguchi. I thought they were both excellent. I particularly liked Sansho and want to see it again. I thought it was great. I like Japanese films over any other foreign country, including Anime.

Happy Belated Birthday, Matto! :cheer:  :cheeseheadbeer:

Many Blessings for the coming year! :pray3:
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on September 15, 2018, 02:40:30 PM
Happy belated birthday, Matto.  You mentioned it on another thread a few days back and I didn't acknowledge it.  I don't think I have a favorite country for foreign films.  Many of my favorites would probably be Swedish, but that's strictly on account of Bergman.  I haven't seen as many Japanese movies as most other cinephiles, owing to my dislike of samurai movies.  Like their American counterpart, the Western, I just don't get it.  But there is always an exception to the rule, and Harakiri is precisely that.  It's a mannered and disciplined samurai movie.  I don't know if you've seen it, but it's one of my favorite Japanese movies after Kwaidan.  Kurosawa directed a lot of samurai movies, but I like his Ikiru.  Anime is another Japanese export that baffles me.  But I also like a surrealist picture called The Woman in the Dunes, as well as a lurid ghost story called Kuroneko.

(https://static.rogerebert.com/uploads/review/primary_image/reviews/great-movie-harakiri-1962/hero_EB20120223REVIEWS08120229987AR.jpg)
Harakiri (1962)

(https://mindreels.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/spooky-woods.jpg?w=1000)
Kuroneko (1968)
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on September 15, 2018, 03:01:12 PM
I also want to retract my dismissal of Black Sunday as "not being on my list."  I haven't seen it in many years, but I looked at some images to refresh my memory and the photography is even better than I remembered.  It's a seminal movie in the horror genre, so maybe its moments of going over the top ought to be excused.  I currently have a DVD on loan from Netflix called The Butterfly Room, which has Barbara Steele in it, and the director deliberately chose her due to her iconic status.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Jacob on September 15, 2018, 07:41:09 PM
PdR, what baffles you able the Western?
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on September 15, 2018, 08:26:28 PM
PdR, what baffles you about the Western?

One thing that doesn't baffle me is the landscape.  I love deserts and prairies.  Two of my favorite films, Days of Heaven and The Reflecting Skin, have western backdrops.  But they couldn't be called Westerns.  I don't even think Badlands could really be called a Western.  It's probably the characterizations.  They're usually simplistic.  I have nothing against stoicism, but the stoicism of Western characters is usually a kind of grizzled, show-offy, cocksure stoicism.  It tends to be a caricature.  There just seems to be this primitivist, anti-intellectual vein coursing through Westerns.  The "action movie" is probably the proper descendant of the Western.  And maybe it's all correct, as the Old West was a lawless and chaotic place where things got necessarily reduced to the basics.  Maybe that's why my favorite Western, if I have one (and if it could even be called a Western) is the current TV series Westworld, because it recognizes that the Old West of the Western is a macho fantasy-land.

The characterizations are similar in samurai movies.  As soon as you see some taciturn, curmudgeonly, sake-swilling old goat, you immediately know he's going to turn out to have a heart, or a soft spot, or do the right thing against everyone's expectations.  It's usually just too easy.


Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Padraig on September 27, 2018, 04:16:02 PM
Italian -- Tree of Wooden Clogs (Honorable mention: 8 1/2)
Swedish -- The Seventh Seal
Greek -- Electra
Russian -- Ostrov
Korean -- Deongjang
Chinese -- To Live (Honorable mention: Farewell My Concubine)
Japanese  -- Rashomon

Animated  -- 5cm per Second

Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Josephine87 on September 27, 2018, 07:51:51 PM
Come and See (1985).  Crazy war movie about the SS ruining poor Slavs in Byelorussia, told from the POV of a young boy.  To me, this is a real horror movie.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Jacob on September 27, 2018, 10:22:41 PM
PdR, what baffles you about the Western?

[...]

Now that I think about it, I seem to recall us having exchanged a few words on Westerns before.  I don't know what all you've seen, but the Man with No Name is not the end all be all of Westerns.  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance for instance is a movie I think you might enjoy based on what you're looking for.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Maximilian on September 27, 2018, 10:54:14 PM
Italian -- Tree of Wooden Clogs (Honorable mention: 8 1/2)
Swedish -- The Seventh Seal
Greek -- Electra
Russian -- Ostrov
Korean -- Deongjang
Chinese -- To Live (Honorable mention: Farewell My Concubine)
Japanese  -- Rashomon

Animated  -- 5cm per Second

It's surprising to see "Doengjang" and "5 cm per Second" on this list, since the others are routinely considered for lists of the greatest movies of all time. But then when I give the matter more consideration, I have to admit that they belong there.

Korean cinema has become a major player. It now has an enormous footprint in world popular culture, which was not true even a few years ago when we started watching it. Of all the movies made in that time-span, are there any better than "Doenjang"? Not that I have seen. I hear rumors that this movie or that movie are classics. But of the ones that I have viewed, "Doengjang" is the best. It also deserves its special status by virtue of its stated goal to seek for the heart and soul of Korea.

It's search for the soul of Korea reminds me of the conclusion of "Portrait of the Artist as  a Young Man" when James Joyce says " I go to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race."
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Bernadette on September 27, 2018, 11:31:43 PM
I saw To Live years ago, and it was excellent. I'd love to see it again, but it seems difficult to find to rent.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Jacob on September 28, 2018, 09:25:15 AM
Does anyone have any thoughts on the films of Wong Kar-wai?
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: martin88nyc on September 28, 2018, 11:59:43 AM
I saw To Live years ago, and it was excellent. I'd love to see it again, but it seems difficult to find to rent.
You can watch movies online for free.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on October 06, 2018, 09:56:13 AM
Does anyone have any thoughts on the films of Wong Kar-wai?

I find him to be lopsided in his talent, being usually superb on the visual end of things and sorely lacking on the story side.  With that in mind, my favorite of his is 2046, which has either a complicated plot or hardly one at all (it's difficult to tell) but is phenomenal on all other counts (photography, color, production design, costumes, &c., even the hair stylist should get a mention).  "Mandarin collars and cigarette smoking in decaying Western colonial apartment buildings, with some kind of existential mystery about the past and the future."

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-e81NGg6FUps/Ur28j9RifqI/AAAAAAAAJVQ/rkylKNDC3N4/s1600/20467.png)
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on October 06, 2018, 10:09:47 AM
Now that I think about it, I seem to recall us having exchanged a few words on Westerns before.  I don't know what all you've seen, but the Man with No Name is not the end all be all of Westerns.  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance for instance is a movie I think you might enjoy based on what you're looking for.

It occurs to me that the bare-bones plot of one of my favorite Bergman films, The Virgin Spring, could've been revised and tinkered with sufficiently to make a Hollywood Western.  But had that happened, I can only imagine that Max von Sydow's character would've been split into two different characters.  First you would have the wronged father, and then you would have a sullen moody gunslinger hired to take revenge.  It would rely more on a contrast of caricatures.  I'm not saying all Westerns are guilty of that, and maybe it isn't fair to compare them to The Virgin Spring, but that's generally how my (admittedly limited) experience has been.  I will add The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance to my watch list, though.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on October 06, 2018, 10:32:05 AM
I guess maybe another thing about Westerns is that during the "reign of the studio system" days, you had the Western on one hand and the film noir on the other.  I much prefer the latter.  Certainly the most iconic Western actor was John Wayne, and for noir it would probably be Robert Mitchum.  I think the difference between those two actors also sums up my personal preference.  I don't know why I'm so hung up on not liking Westerns here.  Sorry.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Maximilian on October 07, 2018, 12:41:58 AM

I guess maybe another thing about Westerns is that during the "reign of the studio system" days, you had the Western on one hand and the film noir on the other.  I much prefer the latter. 

I'm a huge Raymond Chandler fan; however, I find that it's very difficult to translate the qualities of good detective fiction to the screen.


Certainly the most iconic Western actor was John Wayne, and for noir it would probably be Robert Mitchum.  I think the difference between those two actors also sums up my personal preference.

Robert Mitchum does nothing for me. I had a high-school teacher who showed us "Night of the Hunter," but I didn't find it believable.

For John Wayne, on the other hand, you just need 2 words "True Grit." I'm not bad-mouthing the new version of the movie, since I haven't seen it, and it might be very good, but for me the original is the classic.

On a side note, if you read the book, which was a big best-seller of the sixties, it's all about predestination. And it's much better on that subject than any discussion that I can recall here on SD.

Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Gardener on October 07, 2018, 08:36:04 AM
The character Mattie Ross is a Presbysterian, and thus, Calvinist.

So I'm not surprised your heretical mindset finds her otherwise dreadful theology enjoyable in addition to her delightful repartee.

A better character study of the same era, of those of that same belief, is found in Isabella Bird's "A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains", a series of letters home to her sister in England regarding her travels in the west. In it, she describes a family with whom she briefly stayed named the Chalmers.

In part:

Quote
But oh! what a hard, narrow life it is with which I am now in contact! A narrow and unattractive religion, which I believe still to be genuine, and an intense but narrow patriotism, are the only higher influences. Chalmers came from Illinois nine years ago, pronounced by the doctors to be far gone in consumption, and in two years he was strong. They are a queer family; somewhere in the remote Highlands I have seen such another. Its head is tall, gaunt, lean, and ragged, and has lost one eye. On an English road one would think him a starving or a dangerous beggar. He is slightly intelligent, very opinionated, and wishes to be thought well informed, which he is not. He belongs to the straitest sect of Reformed Presbyterians ("Psalm-singers"), but exaggerates anything of bigotry and intolerance which may characterize them, and rejoices in truly merciless fashion over the excision of the philanthropic Mr. Stuart, of Philadelphia, for worshipping with congregations which sing hymns. His great boast is that his ancestors were Scottish Covenanters. He considers himself a profound theologian, and by the pine logs at night discourses to me on the mysteries of the eternal counsels and the divine decrees. Colorado, with its progress and its future, is also a constant theme. He hates England with a bitter, personal hatred, and regards any allusions which I make to the progress of Victoria as a personal insult. He trusts to live to see the downfall of the British monarchy and the disintegration of the empire. He is very fond of talking, and asks me a great deal about my travels, but if I speak favorably of the climate or resources of any other country, he regards it as a slur on Colorado.

They have one hundred and sixty acres of land, a "Squatter's claim," and an invaluable water power. He is a lumberer, and has a saw-mill of a very primitive kind. I notice that every day something goes wrong with it, and this is the case throughout. If he wants to haul timber down, one or other of the oxen cannot be found; or if the timber is actually under way, a wheel or a part of the harness gives way, and the whole affair is at a standstill for days. The cabin is hardly a shelter, but is allowed to remain in ruins because the foundation of a frame house was once dug. A horse is always sure to be lame for want of a shoe nail, or a saddle to be useless from a broken buckle, and the wagon and harness are a marvel of temporary shifts, patchings, and insecure linkings with strands of rope. Nothing is ever ready or whole when it is wanted. Yet Chalmers is a frugal, sober, hard-working man, and he, his eldest son, and a "hired man" "Rise early," "going forth to their work and labor till the evening"; and if they do not "late take rest," they truly "eat the bread of carefulness." It is hardly surprising that nine years of persevering shiftlessness should have resulted in nothing but the ability to procure the bare necessaries of life.

Of Mrs. C. I can say less. She looks like one of the English poor women of our childhood—lean, clean, toothless, and speaks, like some of them, in a piping, discontented voice, which seems to convey a personal reproach. All her waking hours are spent in a large sun-bonnet. She is never idle for one minute, is severe and hard, and despises everything but work. I think she suffers from her husband's shiftlessness. She always speaks of me as "This" or "that woman." The family consists of a grown-up son, a shiftless, melancholy-looking youth, who possibly pines for a wider life; a girl of sixteen, a sour, repellent-looking creature, with as much manners as a pig; and three hard, un-child-like younger children. By the whole family all courtesy and gentleness of act or speech seem regarded as "works of the flesh," if not of "the devil." They knock over all one's things without apologizing or picking them up, and when I thank them for anything they look grimly amazed. I feel that they think it sinful that I do not work as hard as they do. I wish I could show them "a more excellent way." This hard greed, and the exclusive pursuit of gain, with the indifference to all which does not aid in its acquisition, are eating up family love and life throughout the West. I write this reluctantly, and after a total experience of nearly two years in the United States. They seem to have no "Sunday clothes," and few of any kind. The sewing machine, like most other things, is out of order. One comb serves the whole family. Mrs. C. is cleanly in her person and dress, and the food, though poor, is clean. Work, work, work, is their day and their life. They are thoroughly ungenial, and have that air of suspicion in speaking of every one which is not unusual in the land of their ancestors. Thomas Chalmers is the man's ecclesiastical hero, in spite of his own severe Puritanism. Their live stock consists of two wretched horses, a fairly good bronco mare, a mule, four badly-bred cows, four gaunt and famished-looking oxen, some swine of singularly active habits, and plenty of poultry. The old saddles are tied on with twine; one side of the bridle is a worn-out strap and the other a rope. They wear boots, but never two of one pair, and never blacked, of course, but no stockings. They think it quite effeminate to sleep under a roof, except during the severest months of the year. There is a married daughter across the river, just the same hard, loveless, moral, hard-working being as her mother. Each morning, soon after seven, when I have swept the cabin, the family come in for "worship." Chalmers "wales" a psalm, in every sense of the word wail, to the most doleful of dismal tunes; they read a chapter round, and he prays. If his prayer has something of the tone of the imprecatory psalms, he has high authority in his favor; and if there be a tinge of the Pharisaic thanksgiving, it is hardly surprising that he is grateful that he is not as other men are when he contemplates the general godlessness of the region.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on October 07, 2018, 08:51:43 AM
Robert Mitchum does nothing for me. I had a high-school teacher who showed us "Night of the Hunter," but I didn't find it believable.

For John Wayne, on the other hand, you just need 2 words "True Grit." I'm not bad-mouthing the new version of the movie, since I haven't seen it, and it might be very good, but for me the original is the classic.

I've seen both versions of True Grit, although to be fair, I was probably about ten or eleven when I saw the original.  I remember us kids had misbehaved during the day and lost our privilege of going to the video store and having a voice in selecting that weekend's movie rental.  When Dad came back from the video store he announced, "I got one of the greatest movies ever made."  I didn't think it fit the billing.

Like you, I was in my teens when I saw Night of the Hunter.  It remains probably my favorite Robert Mitchum movie.  I consider it rare among films from its time in how commendably heavy it is on mood and atmosphere.  I haven't read the book for True Grit, but I will certainly agree with you on discussions of predestination here.  If they're illustrative of anything, it's in how thoroughly the Augustinian doctrine has fallen into rejection among Catholics.  Add it to the list of doctrines, perhaps, along with infallibility, indefectibility, and Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, for which it's "game over."
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Gardener on October 07, 2018, 09:10:46 AM
The Augustinian approach was foreign to the entire East, and was never consistent even in the West (for Augustine was inconsistent). "Catholics" in this sense is a very small subset of the entire Church.

Ask Max his opinion on infallibility and Vatican 1.

Maybe he'll deliver his soliloquy in French, on video, to keep with the thread theme. I suggest black and white with a plaintive soundtrack of minimalistic piano and a lone accordion somewhere interspersed. Perhaps there will be a Calvinistic sub-theme, with sprinkles of praise for Jansenism thrown in to ensure the listener definitely finds Sartre uplifting in light of it.

 ::)
-------

On topic:

While not a completely foreign film, and with scenes which are inappropriate, I found Babel to be a fascinating look at the interconnectedness of pain in disparate narratives. Utterly depressing, which my wife would say is why I liked it.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on October 07, 2018, 09:31:50 AM
The Augustinian approach was foreign to the entire East, and was never consistent even in the West (for Augustine was inconsistent). "Catholics" in this sense is a very small subset of the entire Church.

True.  The controversy itself was between two Latins, and may not've been the subject of such hot concern in the East.  But Pelagianism was solemnly condemned.  So was Arianism once, although it kept persisting in shades of semi-Arianism for centuries.  Thus did Pelagianism survive in cleverly evasive and watered-down forms: most Catholics (though they may spin it such that they deny the charge) hold to some shade of semi-Pelagianism.  I will concede that this isn't a recent development; Jansen was probably the last influential apologist for St. Augustine, and his side lost.  And even then he was in a minority.  For the Augustinian doctrine, it has been a slow, persistent, nearly a thousand-years-or-so slide into irrelevance.

Some doctrines are overturned with a swift chop of the axe, like at Vatican II.  Others die a death of a thousand cuts.

Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Maximilian on October 07, 2018, 03:27:10 PM

  Thus did Pelagianism survive in cleverly evasive and watered-down forms: most Catholics (though they may spin it such that they deny the charge) hold to some shade of semi-Pelagianism. 

No need to add "semi-" to "Pelagianism."

Most Catholics today are shocked to hear that predestination is a Catholic dogma. They are convinced that it is heresy. They'd be more willing to listen if you told them that reincarnation is a doctrine of the Faith.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: samguk yusa on October 07, 2018, 08:15:59 PM
1 litre of tears, roaring currents and the Admiral
All Japanese except roaring currents
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Maximilian on October 08, 2018, 01:19:22 AM

Certainly the most iconic Western actor was John Wayne, and for noir it would probably be Robert Mitchum.  I think the difference between those two actors also sums up my personal preference.

Good news -- just added to Amazon "Free with Prime":

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/917z3YY8SoL._RI_SX300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Pon de Replay on October 08, 2018, 08:59:03 AM
That's just in time, as I won't be letting my Amazon Prime subscription renew next month.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Heinrich on October 08, 2018, 11:42:45 AM
Has anyone mentioned the Pink Panther franchise?
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: drummerboy on October 10, 2018, 01:17:04 AM
Isn't the original The Italian Job a foreign job too? 

The Battle of Britain has a whole slew of classic British actors; the movie is a bit long, but very accurate in its presentation.    Zulu is good too.  And yes, they are all early Michael Caine films.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: drummerboy on October 10, 2018, 01:21:53 AM
Watched My Way, a Korean film a while back, that was good, based on the true story of a Korean man who was conscripted to fight for the Japanese against the Soviets in WWII, was captured, then fought the Germans for the Soviets, who then captured him, and ended up being captured by the Americans at D-Day fighting for the Germans.

The White Tiger is a good Russian movie you can find on youtube, lot of WWII tank action.

Valhalla Rising with Mads Mikkelsen is a something else
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Heinrich on October 11, 2018, 10:28:21 AM
Watched My Way, a Korean film a while back, that was good, based on the true story of a Korean man who was conscripted to fight for the Japanese against the Soviets in WWII, was captured, then fought the Germans for the Soviets, who then captured him, and ended up being captured by the Americans at D-Day fighting for the Germans.

Watched this last night. What a great production: effects, uniforms, languages, camera work, etc. The battle against the Russian tanks and the unending stream of weaponry and manpower wearing down the opponent, no matter the bravery(or stupidity) and tactics of the ideological opponent: the cold, misery, anger, solitude, despair all put on screen. A side analysis to note is "Anton's" conversion from peasant to Marxist fanatic. Gives good glimpse into what could have been the mindset of many of the (North) Koreans after WW2.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: Jacob on January 15, 2019, 05:00:08 PM
Has anyone mentioned the Pink Panther franchise?

The Pink Panther and its sequels are movies I think of as being "of their time."  From the animated opening credits to the romps through 60s society, they serve as cool capsules of a time and a place and a style that is now history.

They would not be my first thought when thinking of foreign films.
Title: Re: Best Foreign Films?
Post by: martin88nyc on January 15, 2019, 09:30:37 PM
Almost any movie with Louis de Funes or Pierre Richard.