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Recommend some good non-Criterion foreign film DVD releases

Old 06-24-05, 12:59 AM
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Recommend some good non-Criterion foreign film DVD releases

Hey guys, I was hoping for some suggestions of some foreign films on DVD not released by Criterion. It seems kinda hard to distinguish the good from the bad as New Yorker seems to consistently put out crap and then other studios like Miramax will surprise you with a nice extras filled release of the Three Colors Trilogy. So, I'm asking for suggestions based on movie quality and DVD quality. Thanks.
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Old 06-24-05, 01:34 AM
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Anchor Bay's The Werner Herzog Collection and the Herzog/Kinski sets are lovingly done. The best sets on the market in my opinion, if you like Herzog (and who doesn't) or interested in his films these are must buys, I am slowly finishing up the Herzog/Kinski titles one by one.

NoShame's DVD's are supposedly pretty stellar I haven't got into them yet but look to get some down the line.
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Old 06-24-05, 01:49 AM
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unfortunately, when you eliminate criterion from the equation, the best DVD releases for most foreign films are not the Region 1 version. i'm sure you're familiar with dvdbeaver.com -- that was the site that convinced me to go region free. and as you can see by my collection, i rely on other regions to see the films i want to see. anyway, some region 1's i can recommend off the top of my head...

The Son great film. features interview with the filmmakers. transfer is good but the R2 is a little better.
Ingmar Bergman Collection by MGM. five features with commentary, interviews, featurettes, etc and the sixth has a feature length documentary.
Wim Wenders Collection not out yet but i think its going to have 8 discs. anchor bay.
The Decalogue changed my life.

but i urge you to go region free. the players are cheap so $$$ is not a concern unless you are destitute.

Last edited by Cygnet74; 06-24-05 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 06-24-05, 02:35 AM
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I feel strongly that all of the following films are very good, or great.

Region 1 NTSC
Talk to Her (Almodóvar/2002/Sony)
Amélie (Jeunet/2001/Miramax)
Day for Night (Truffaut/1973/Warner)
Bay of Angels (Demy/1963/Wellspring)
La Dolce vita (Fellini/1960/Koch Lorber)
Live Flesh (Almodóvar/1997/MGM) Barebones
The Return (Zvyagintsev/2003/Kino)
Les Bonnes femmes (Chabrol/1960/Kino) Barebones, but my fave Chabrol by a mile
La Vie criminelle d'Archibald de la Cruz (Ensayo de un crimen) & El (Buñuel/1955,52/Films sans Frontières) [France R0 NTSC]
A Man Escaped (Bresson/1956/New Yorker) Barebones & a PAL-to-NTSC transfer, but teh film trumps all criticism
Yi yi: A One and a Two (Yang/2000/Starmax) [Korea R0 NTSC] Avoid the Fox Lorber
Happy Together* (Wong/1997/Kino) Remastered Special Edition
Y tu mamá también (Cuarón/2001/MGM)
Man with the Movie Camera [silent] (Vertov/1929/Image)
Belle de jour (Buñuel/1967/Miramax) note: non-anamorphic and a little soft, but acceptavle to my eyes. I happen to like the commentary, but not everyone does. Possibly my favorite Buñuel.
All About My Mother (Almodóvar/1999/Sony) As you can tell, I really love Pedro


Region 2 PAL
The Apu Trilogy (Ray/1955,57,59/Artificial Eye) Everything the Sony releases should have been, and more. Be advised: the elements are in rough shape.
The Complete Jean Vigo (Artificial Eye)
The Son (Dardenne/2002/Artificial Eye)
Partie de campagne (Renoir/1936/bfi) Absolutely sublime.
Rosetta and La Promesse (Dardenne/1999,96/Artificial Eye)
The End of Summer (Ozu/1961/Artificial Eye)
The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Olmi/1978/Nouveaux) Soft picture, but the best of the three available versions according to DVD Beaver
Lilya 4-ever* (Moodysson/2002/Metrodome)
Un Chant d'amour* (Genet/1950/bfi)


Region 1 Great Films with less-stellar DVD presences
The Hole* (Tsai/1998/Fox Lorber)
Night of the Shooting Stars (Taviani/1982/MGM)
Beau travail* (Denis/1999/New Yorker)
Maborosi (Kore-eda/1995/New Yorker)


*Controversial. I love these films, but they're not for all tastes.
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Old 06-24-05, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Cygnet74
unfortunately, when you eliminate criterion from the equation, the best DVD releases for most foreign films are not the Region 1 versions
Indeed!!

With this said there have been some very good foreign films that came to R1 land.

1. Per Fly's ARVEN (The Inheritance). Could have easily become part of the Criterion collection.

2. C. Boe's RECONSTRUCTION

3. Andre Techine's STRAYED (excellent transfer)

4. Jacquot's School of Flesh

5. La Finestra di Fronte (Facing Windows)

6. Colin Nutley's Under the Sun

7. any Almodovar...and esp. All About My Mother

8. Cinema Paradiso (perhaps the greatest nostalgia Italian film)

9. Betty Blue (the face of extreme love....)

10. La Reine Margot....

11. The Return

12. Since Otar Left (great Georgian production)

13. Zelary...etc.

With this said, only so you could see this film....



you HAVE to become region-free. And NO this film will never make it to the US (straight from the horse' mouth).


If you become region-free I will provide you with a link to my collection...and then you can explore all you want.

Ciao,
Pro-B
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Old 06-24-05, 02:45 AM
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Wow, The Girl on the Bridge really isn't ever gonna come to the US? Hmm..I may start browsing for region free players. I think you might have me convinced.
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Old 06-24-05, 03:01 AM
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The non-Criterion foreign films in my collection:

8 Women
All About My Mother
Amores Perros
Amélie
Baise-moi
Broken Wings
City of God
Crime of Padre Amaro, The
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Das Boot
Dolls
Good Bye, Lenin!
Hero
House of Flying Daggers
Ichi the Killer
Intacto
Irreversible
Legend of Drunken Master, The
Maria Full of Grace
Motorcycle Diaries, The
Open Your Eyes
Run Lola Run
September 11
Sex and Lucía
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring
Swimming Pool
Tae Guk Gi
Talk to Her
Y tu mamá también

-JP

Last edited by NatrlBornThrllr; 06-24-05 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 06-24-05, 03:02 AM
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Not as well versed as the others, but I will recommend

Oldboy
Chungking Express
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Amores Perros
Funny Games
Irreversible
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Old 06-24-05, 03:04 AM
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Maria Full of Grace
Sex and Lucia (try to get the unedited version if you can)
Y tu mama tambien (unedited)
Goodbye Lenin!
The motorcycle diaries
Ju-Rei for a good Japaneese horror movie
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Old 06-24-05, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
Wow, The Girl on the Bridge really isn't ever gonna come to the US? Hmm..I may start browsing for region free players. I think you might have me convinced.
It was announced in one of the regular chats on this forum back in the days of Martyn Blythe (did I spell his name correctly). Even though Paramount has it on their web-site. Just like they hijacked Mihaileanu's Train de Vie.

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Old 06-24-05, 09:41 AM
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As another said, I'm not as well versed as others on these types of films, but I have seen and agree with these choices:

Amélie
Das Boot
Irreversible
Sex and Lucía
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Old 06-24-05, 09:47 AM
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The current Ran: Masterworks Edition is decent, but the picture looked liked VHS even on my small TV screen. Although I've heard the special features are okay, personally, I'd wait for the Criterion version this winter. But it is an example.

Also from Kurosawa, the Warner edition of Dreams certainly looks good. No features, but very pleasing picture and sound.

I'll second The Decalogue, though. And along those lines, Buena Vista did a good job with Bleu, Blanc, and Rouge. For some reason, I recall there being some issue with one of them...but I didn't notice anything, and they are excellent films, well worth picking up (or renting).

Last edited by Skoobooz; 06-24-05 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 06-24-05, 10:47 AM
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Wow, not one mention yet for The Bicycle Thief?
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Old 06-24-05, 10:58 AM
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I rented Demy's Donkey Skin and was very impressed with the video transfer and the extras.
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Old 06-24-05, 11:38 AM
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City of God
King of Hearts

Last edited by Newfrd; 06-24-05 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 06-24-05, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD King
Wow, not one mention yet for The Bicycle Thief?
With all due respect I think (correct me if I am wrong) that the original poster is looking not only for a good foreign film but a nice presentation that would come with is as well (extras, trasnfer, etc). The Bicycle Thief's release in my opinion is not such a choice....

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Old 06-24-05, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
With all due respect I think (correct me if I am wrong) that the original poster is looking not only for a good foreign film but a nice presentation that would come with is as well (extras, trasnfer, etc). The Bicycle Thief's release in my opinion is not such a choice....

Best,
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Agreed---that's why I left it off my list. Ditto for La Terra trema
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