CineMathematics or CinemaThematics. Your choice

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

No Speak-a di English

If I'm going to be completely honest, I'm a little hurt that I wasn't included in the nominating committee for the Top Foreign Language Films List as organized by Edward Copeland of Edward Copeland on Film. But then again, he was probably right. My knowledge of foreign film is pedestrian at best, though I'd like to think I could have helped, say Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown or The Virgin Spring get one step closer to the list. But what's past is past, and there are 121 wonderful options to choose from. For complete rules and regulations, click here.

I've been attempting to expand my knowledge of film a lot in the past few weeks, but little of that has come in the field of foreign film. The convenience of TiVo and Turner Classic Movies has allowed me great access to old Hollywood, and I need that as much as foreign films at this point in my life. It's a constant choice, one which I hope becomes easier as I need to see fewer Tracey and Hepburn films and more Godard and Fellini. In fact, of the 121 nominees for the list, I have only seen 30. I cannot in any good conscience select 25 films to be the greatest of all time when I haven't seen 91. And so, having learned Piper's lesson, I will not be participating in this poll. I will, however, list below the 91 films I have not seen and the ballot I would submit if I were submitting. Feel free to skip over them and watch Sunrise. Better yet, please give me some tips on which to tackle first. Other than Breathless and 8 1/2, I have no idea where to begin.

The 91 films that have now significantly risen on my To-See List:

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Amarcord directed by Federico Fellini
Amores Perros directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Andrei Rublev directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Ashes and Diamonds directed by Andrzej Wajda
Au Hasard Balthazar directed by Robert Bresson
The Battle of Algiers directed by Gillo Pontecorvo
Beauty and the Beast directed by Jean Cocteau
Belle de Jour directed by Luis Bunuel
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Three Colors: Blue directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
The Blue Angel directed by Josef von Sternberg
Breathless directed by Jean-Luc Godard (Okay, this one can't rise any more. It is #1 on my To-See List)
Celine and Julie Go Boating directed by Jacques Rivette
Chungking Express directed by Wong Kar-Wai
Cleo From 5 to 7 directed by Agnes Varda
Come and See directed by Elem Klimov
The Conformist directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
Contempt directed by Jean-Luc Godard
The Cranes Are Flying directed by Mikheil Kalatozishvili
Cries and Whispers directed by Ingmar Bergman
Das Boot directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Day of Wrath directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer
The Decalogue directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Dersu Uzala directed by Akira Kurosawa
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie directed by Luis Bunuel
The Double Life of Veronique directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
8 1/2 directed by Federico Fellini
Exterminating Angel directed by Luis Bunuel
Eyes Without a Face directed by Georges Franju
Fanny and Alexander directed by Ingmar Bergman
Farewell My Concubine directed by Chen Kaige
Forbidden Games directed by René Clément
The Gospel According to St. Matthew directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
The Great Silence directed by Sergio Corbucci
High and Low directed by Akira Kurosawa
Hiroshima Mon Amour directed by Alain Resnais
Ikiru directed by Akira Kurosawa
La Dolce Vita directed by Federico Fellini
La Strada directed by Federico Fellini
Last Year at Marienbad directed by Alain Resnais
L'Atalante directed by Jean Vigo
Late Spring directed by Yasujiro Ozu
L'Avventura directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
L'Eclisse directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
The Leopard directed by Luchino Visconti
Le Samourai directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
Lola Montes directed by Max Ophuls
The Marriage of Maria Braun directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Masculin-Feminin directed by Jean-Luc Godard
My Night at Maud's directed by Eric Rohmer
Nights of Cabiria directed by Federico Fellini
Nosferatu the Vampyre directed by Werner Herzog
Open City directed by Roberto Rossellini
Ordet directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer
Orpheus directed by Jean Cocteau
Persona directed by Ingmar Bergman
Pickpocket directed by Robert Bresson
Pierrot le fou directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Playtime directed by Jacques Tati
Raise the Red Lantern directed by Zhang Yimou
Three Colors: Red directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
The Red Desert directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Rififi directed by Jules Dassin
Rocco and His Brothers directed by Luchino Visconti
Sansho the Bailiff directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Satantango directed by Béla Tarr
Scenes from a Marriage directed by Ingmar Bergman
Seven Beauties directed by Lina Wertmuller
Shoot the Piano Player directed by Francois Truffaut
Smiles of a Summer Night directed by Ingmar Bergman
Sonatine directed by Takeski Kitano
Stolen Kisses directed by Francois Truffaut
Story of the Late Chrysanthemums directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Suspiria directed by Dario Argento
Tampopo directed by Juzo Itami
Throne of Blood directed by Akira Kurosawa
The Tin Drum directed by Volker Schlöndorff
To Live directed by Zhang Yimou
Ugetsu monogatari directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Umberto D directed by Vittorio de Sica
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg directed by Jacques Demy
The Vanishing directed by George Sluizer
The Wages of Fear directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Three Colors: White directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Wild Strawberries directed by Ingmar Bergman
Wings of Desire directed by Wim Wenders
Woman in the Dunes directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
Yi Yi: A One and a Two directed by Edward Yang
Y Tu Mama Tambien directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Z directed by Costa-Gavras

The first 11 features on the next list made my own personal Top 100, but they were not the only ones. It's too bad that El Topo or Hard-Boiled didn't make the nominees . . .

1. The Seven Samurai directed by Akira Kurosawa

2. The Bicycle Thief directed by Vittorio de Sica

3. Yojimbo directed by Akira Kurosawa

4. In the Mood for Love directed by Wong Kar-Wai

5. M directed by Fritz Lang

6. Day for Night directed by Francois Truffaut

7. Aguirre, the Wrath of God directed by Werner Herzog

8. Band of Outsiders directed by Jean-Luc Godard

9. Viridiana directed by Luis Bunuel

10. Talk to Her directed by Pedro Almodovar

11. The Seventh Seal directed by Ingmar Bergman

12. The Rules of the Game directed by Jean Renoir

13. Black Orpheus directed by Marcel Camus

14. The Earrings of Madame De... directed by Max Ophuls

15. Rashomon directed by Akira Kurosawa

16. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser directed by Werner Herzog

17. Children of Paradise directed by Marcel Carne

18. Spirited Away directed by Hayao Miyazaki

19. The 400 Blows directed by Francois Truffaut

20. Grand Illusion directed by Jean Renoir

21. Tokyo Story directed by Yasujiro Ozu

22. Army of Shadows directed by Jean-Pierre Melville

23. Ran directed by Akira Kurosawa

24. Jules and Jim directed by Francois Truffaut

25. City of God directed by Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund

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Blogger Piper said...

You make good points. While I submitted 9 for consideration, I am not well versed enough to help narrow this list so I will be bowing out of that part. And I have loaded my Netflix so that when this comes around, I will be more prepared.

Here are some suggestions though.

The Vanishing is excellent.

La Dolce vita as well.

Raise The Red Lantern

The Double Life Of Veronique

And I actually prefer Murnau's Nosferatu to Herzogs.

And if you haven't seen either, I did very much love My Mother's Castle and My Father's Glory.

1:00 PM

Blogger Dan E. said...

I wish I had Netflix . . . and the time to watch all these films. Thanks for The Vanishing. I actually hadn't heard about it before this, and it's exactly the sort of off the beaten path suggestion I'm looking for. Of course, I need to consume the canonical texts to better understand cinema as a whole and better judge lists like these. But at the same time, I revel in the opportunity to explore a less well known area of film and be able to point people in that direction.

5:24 PM

Blogger Jill said...

Yay for M!

7:55 PM


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