Foreign Films For Dummies

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Foreign Films For Dummies

Postby kriggy » Wed Jan 08, 2003 11:30 pm

Okay, at the risk of sounding like a hick-airhead, I have come seeking Foreign Film advice. I have to admit I've only seen two ("Amelie", and "Babette's Feast"), but I have enjoyed both experiences and would definitely like to get into this. Any suggestions or recommendations? If it helps I really really loved "Amelie", so lets start out with something nice and easy, then maybe I could branch out....Oh dear God I'm so typically American-tourist(sigh)!

Re: Foreign Films For Dummies

Postby Gaz » Thu Jan 09, 2003 12:40 am

Delicatessen might be a good place to start if your mind is dark enough.

Louis Malle's Le Souffle au Coeur (Murmur of the Heart) is a lovely film, and very gentle too, if you can find it.

Truffaut's Les Quatre Cents Coups (The 400 Blows) is a great film if the subject matter appeals to you.

Perhaps try Mediterraneo? It's quite light.

Then there's always La Cage aux Folles - that's good for a laugh (the film The Birdcage was based on).

Just a few suggestions...

Re: Foreign Films For Dummies

Postby john-5 » Thu Jan 09, 2003 2:02 pm

Given that the two you liked were accessible, popular "feelgood" films then you may indeed like Le Souffle au Coeur, as suggested. Also Fanny and Alexander (like Babette's Feast, involves Scandinavian festive feasting), Cinema Paradiso (bitter-sweet nostalgia), The White Balloon (charming). For masterly action-adventure, Seven Samurai should be a good starting point. Or Aguirre Wrath of God. Try Sansho the Bailiff, L'Atalante (slightly eccentric, but loved by many), Spirit of the Beehive, Chungking Express, The Night of San Lorenzo, Raise the Red Lantern; all superbly made and involving. Of course it's virtually impossible to predict what you'll like on the basis of 2 films, and i may be way out. Many who loved Amelie also went for Life is Beautiful.

Then there are more serious and "arty" films by directors like Dreyer, Bergman, Tarkovsky and Bresson, not for all tastes. Read up a bit on the users' top 100, for a sense of what may appeal to you.

Re: Foreign Films For Dummies

Postby margot.kempton » Thu Jan 09, 2003 2:20 pm

As a relative beginner myself, I would recommend Hable Con Ella, Y tu Madre, or any film by Almovodar for example. Australian films of any kind are also recommended but Rabbit Fence is my latest favorite

Re: Foreign Films For Dummies

Postby aviv71 » Thu Jan 09, 2003 5:49 pm

I base my choices on many different things, but I like to follow a director or an actor. I find that if I like one movie a director makes, then chances are I'll find another I'll like.

Also, keep on reading this message board. You'll get ideas of what to watch.

Re: Foreign Films For Dummies

Postby Gaz » Thu Jan 09, 2003 6:00 pm

I'd forgotten about Almodovar - Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is fun.

Overlooked Fanny & Alexander too. That's enjoyable and accessible, if you have a day free.

Re: Foreign Films For Dummies

Postby tyndale » Thu Jan 09, 2003 6:40 pm

In addition to checking out some of the films mentioned here, you also might want to try a few tactics: for example, go to your local video store and inquire which foreign films are being rented the most (if they keep that kind of info); head to your local bookstore and thumb through books on world cinema; do a search on the web for the foreign films that have won Oscars for Best Foreign Film -- these will give you ideas on where to start and what to see. Granted, the films that get rented the most or that win Oscars may not necessarily be what foreign film buffs would consider the "best" films -- but that's ok. It's just a way to get your feet wet and figure out what you like. Also, check out the Criterion Collection web site, as well as the Criterion Collection forum (I don't have the URL for it, but if you do a search on google for "criterion collection forum," you should find it).

Re: Foreign Films For Dummies

Postby paredes » Wed Feb 26, 2003 5:19 pm

The film books generally say that the best place to start is Kurosawa's HIDDEN FORTRESS, probably because it was the basis of Star Wars, and it's his least obscure film.

Re: Foreign Films For Dummies

Postby gratefultiger » Wed Feb 26, 2003 10:02 pm

the best place to start is the beginning & work your way forward.they did make foreign films before the 50's though you wouldn't know it form some of the messages here.
renoir 'clair,rossellini,mizoguchi,ozu,eisenstein,dhovzenko etc.then you have the 30's chinese stuff that hasn't come out of the vaults yet!

Re: Foreign Films For Dummies

Postby javajunkie75 » Wed Feb 26, 2003 11:38 pm

There is always "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" to wet your appetite. Another sweet film is Il Postino. Like some of my fellow posters, Almodovar is always a sure bet.




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