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Attention: Grimfarrow (Re: Non-English Speaking Films)

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Attention: Grimfarrow (Re: Non-English Speaking Films)

Old 01-28-02, 06:26 PM
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Attention: Grimfarrow (Re: Non-English Speaking Films)

Grimfarrow,

I would like to ask a favor of you. Can you name to me the absolute ten best non-English speaking films you have seen from 1997 to 2002?

Why do I ask? I'm trying to broaden my horizons and I would like to know of some foreign films that you gave 5 out of 5 stars to (I've seen that you go by a scale of 5 stars) and you seem very knowledgable when it comes to foreign cinema, and you clearly have more exposure to it that myself.

For example... here are the non-English language speaking films, since 1997, that I gave 4 out of 4 stars to (I go by 4 stars):

Maborosi (Maboroshi no hikari)
The Celebration (Festen)
Insomnia (Den Som Synder Sover Ikke)
Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl (Xiu Xiu he ta de nan ren)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long)
Amelie (Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain)
Under the Sand (Sous le sable)
In the Mood for Love (Fa yeung nin wa)
The Princess and the Warrior (Der Krieger + die Kaiserin)


Granted, I've seen about 10 or 15 other foreign language films since 1997, these were the best.

I would really like to know what films you would list, so I can have a starting place to view other films...
Old 01-29-02, 12:08 AM
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Re: Attention: Grimfarrow (Re: Non-English Speaking Films)

Thanks SightandSound! Of course, a film's quality is rather dependent upon one's own colored perception, so what I consider to be great may not be to others' cup of tea. I do appreciate that you value my opinions though

Here are some relatively recent films that I really liked. Of course, note that some are not out on DVD or even VHS! But if you come across them in film retrospectives or art house cinemas, definitely check them out. I omitted films that are already on your list so that you can have new stuff to see

In no order:

1) Made in Hong Kong (Fruit Chan) 1997 (Hong Kong, in Cantonese)
2) Eureka (Shinji Aoyama) 2000 (Japan, in Japanese)
3) Werckmeister Harmonies (Bela Tarr) 2000 (Hungary, in Hungarian)
4) Songs from the Second Floor (Roy Andersson) 2000 (Sweden, in Swedish)
5) Eternity and a Day (Theo Angelopoulos) 1998 (Greece, in Greek)
6) Happy Together (Wong Kar-Wai) 1997 (Hong Kong, in Cantonese)
7) Cure (Kiyoshi Kurosawa) 1997 (Japan, in Japanese)
8) Beau Travail (Claire Denis) 2000 (France, in French)
9) Peppermint Candy (Lee Chang-Dong) 2000 (South Korea, in Korean)
10) The River (Tsai Ming-Liang) 1997 (Taiwan, in Mandarin)

Other notables:

The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami) 1999 (Iran, in Farsi)
Suzhou River (Ye Lou) 2000 (China, in Mandarin)
Not Forgotten (Makoto Shinozaki) 2000 (Japan, in Japanese)
The Road Home (Zhang Yimou) 1999 (China, in Mandarin)

There is a commonality between all of the films I have listed above, believe it or not. I tend to lean toward films with incredible cinematography that is typically laced with symbolism and a sense of depression. None of the movies I listed above can be considered "happy" films (with the possible exception of "The Road Home" which is more touching than anything else). But watching films like "Eureka" is akin to a religious experience - you have never experienced transcendance until you see this film. Each one if powerful in its own way, whether in the weighty, Apocalyptic, and symbolic shock value (The River, Werckmeister Harmonies), the astounding visualizations of the darkly comic (Songs from the Second Floor), or the emotionally crushing sense of doomed romanticism (Made in Hong Kong, Happy Together).

Hope this helps!
Old 01-29-02, 07:45 AM
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Hey Grimfarrow,

I too have bought some movies after reading your posts before. I have very similar taste and am really into cinematogrophy. I recently bought Suzhou River and Happy Together which I both really liked. My favorite movie of the past year was In the Mood for Love. I have a question though, where did you see Fruit Chan's Made in Hong kong? I've only been able to find this on vcd but I did by his dvd of The Longest Summer which I haven't fully watched yet. I hear his new movie Durian Durian is excellent. I will be ordering the region 2 dvd of Eureka at the end of February when it's out. Thanks for your posts!
Old 01-29-02, 03:13 PM
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Thanks Biggen. I saw Made in Hong Kong on VCD. It is, unfortunately, the only medium that you can currently find it. I love Eureka, but its 3:40 runtime and slow pace may put some people off. I was never bored for a second.
Old 01-29-02, 03:18 PM
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Yi Yi is quite long too but I enjoyed that very much. I guess i'll go ahead and order the VCD of Made in Hong Kong. Please post anymore movies you may have forgotten that I should see. Actually, have you seen Kairo(Pulse) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa? I haven't seen any of his films but would like to start with either this one or the Cure.
Old 01-29-02, 05:08 PM
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I haven't seen Pulse yet - I missed it when it played in Hong Kong last September (I was there for business).

I have seen two of his films, "Seance" and "Cure". Seance is incredibly *BAD*. Avoid it at all costs. I have no idea what Kurosawa or Yakusho were thinking with that film. "Cure" is great though.

As for recommendations, you want those from 1997-2001 as well? Or any time period?
Old 01-29-02, 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by Grimfarrow
Seance is incredibly *BAD*. Avoid it at all costs. I have no idea what Kurosawa or Yakusho were thinking with that film.
One more time... Nonsense! I have no problem with you saying you hated the film but screaming right and left that it should be avoided at all costs is downright irresponsible. I liked it, a number of people I know liked it and it won 2 Awards at Cannes and at the Fantasia Film Festival. Of course, you are aware of that fact but you choose to ignore it...
Old 01-29-02, 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by eXcentris


One more time... Nonsense! I have no problem with you saying you hated the film but screaming right and left that it should be avoided at all costs is downright irresponsible. I liked it, a number of people I know liked it and it won 2 Awards at Cannes and at the Fantasia Film Festival. Of course, you are aware of that fact but you choose to ignore it...
Oh please. Moulin Rouge won Best Musical/Comedy at the Golden Globes, but I still think it is one of the worst films in 2001. Just because some awards were given to a film doesn't mean I have to like it. Biggen was asking for *my* opinion on films, and that's what I gave. If he has asked you ina nother thread, then you can give your praises to Seance all you want. I still think the movie is terrible. Plus, you didn't like The Princess and the Warrior at all, and we did. That speaks volumes about how our taste matches up with yours.

We've already gone over this, so I don't intend to do so again. If you want, start another thread. But please at least let us stay on topic here.
Old 01-29-02, 06:44 PM
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Grimfarrow,

Obviously people value your opinion and your knowledge of film. Now with that comes some responsibility don't you think? Especially with lesser know films. What if yours is the only opinion a person receives? Yes, I know, in this case you were specifically asked for *your* opinion. I'm not asking you to change it. Simply to not make it sound as if your opinion is the universal truth about the film.

I'm sure you understand what I mean so I'll stop bothering you. Sorry about the intrusion. Carry on.
Old 01-30-02, 01:01 AM
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Originally posted by Grimfarrow
We've already gone over this, so I don't intend to do so again. If you want, start another thread. But please at least let us stay on topic here... ME!!!!

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