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WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 2nd, 2012, 2:18 pm

I'm sure I would get more out of it on second viewing, I see the parallel's to Gosford Park quite strongly but didn't make the connection to Le Grande Illusion and La Bete Humaine, the first film being another one I should revisit once again.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

feaito

Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby feaito » June 10th, 2012, 9:58 pm

Today I watched Jean Grémillon's excellent "Gueule D'Amour" (Ladykiller) (1937) with Jean Gabin as the ladykiller and Mireille balin as perhaps the first femme fatale of cinema history? Her duplicitous character who uses men and plays with their feelings is a kind of aunt of Jane Greer's character in "Out of the Past"? Maybe the ladykiller deserved what happened to him after toying with all the women who fell for him? Completely involving picture and perfectly directed. Balin is ravishing and cold as a snake and Gabin gives a subtle performance.

Yesterday I watched the Criterion Blu Ray release of Jean Cocteau's "La Belle et la Bête" (1946), the masterful & definitive adaptation of the classic story, full of fantastic imagery and magic elements. Henri Alekan's cinematography is amazing and the BRay edition has some outstanding extras. The great cast is headed by Jean Marais and Josette Day. One of the best fantasies I have seen in my life. Glorious and brilliant. Alekan's and Mila Parely's interviews are especially enlightening.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 11th, 2012, 6:07 am

I love both of those movies. Are you buying all your favourites on bluray? How are you deciding which ones to replace? Chris has kept me away from bluray so far, I think he's dreading me wanting to start replacing some of my favourites.

Thanks to Nancy I watched the original Japanese version of Shall We Dance remade in the US with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. I loved how subtle this movie is Koji Yakusho plays a salaryman, working hard to support his family and pay the mortgage on his new house, he sees the face of a girl in a dance studio on his way home from work on the train, soon he gathers the courage to visit the dance hall and soon finds himself enrolled in dance classes which he starts to enjoy. He doesn't tell his wife where he is going, she only knows his shirts smell of perfume so she employs a detective to follow him, they soon find out about the dancing. The salaryman is going through a bit of a midlife crisis being attracted to the younger girl but once she puts him off he starts to enjoy the dancing ending up entering a dance competition with an enthusiastic amateur. It's the most gentle of comedies, showing a look behind the scenes of the amateur and professional dance ranks. Everyone seems to learn from someone else and the result is a film that moves at a gentle and fond pace.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

feaito

Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby feaito » June 11th, 2012, 8:53 am

Hi Ali, I wasn't proclive to Blu Ray at first, but my brother began buying Classics in that format ("North by Northwest" (1959), "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946), etc.) and in some cases the difference and improvement is amazing. Since I also watch some contemporary films and Concerts I bought a B Ray player last year, or was it in 2010? Can't recall exactly. Now I own two players.

My motto is to buy any Classic that I don't own in B Ray, especially the Criterion or KINO releases. Also some films that I own in inferior copies or which new editions are supposed to be superior: "Bird of Paradise" (1932), "A Farewell to Arms" (1932), "Nothing Sacred" (1937), "A Star is Born" (1937), "To Catch a Thief" (1955), "The Robe" (1953) (The latter are amazing improvements over the previous releases I owned).

One particular film I have been reluctant to buy on BRay is "Design For Living" (1933), because i find superb the print used for The Gary Cooper Collection; But maybe in the end...I'll buy it anyway :wink:

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MichiganJ
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby MichiganJ » June 11th, 2012, 11:06 am

feaito wrote:One particular film I have been reluctant to buy on BRay is "Design For Living" (1933), because i find superb the print used for The Gary Cooper Collection; But maybe in the end...I'll buy it anyway


I doubled-dipped on it and am very happy I did. The Blu-ray offers considerably more detail, showing off the Art Deco sets, etc. As usual, there are also a boatload of worthwhile extras, including a complete British production of the play (introduced by Noel Coward).

To me, for most films, Blu-Ray is to DVD as DVD was to VHS.
"Let's be independent together." Dr. Hermey DDS

feaito

Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby feaito » June 11th, 2012, 11:17 am

Thanks for that valuable feedback Kevin.

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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby kingrat » June 11th, 2012, 11:47 am

Feaito, I'm glad you got to see Gueule d'Amour. TCM showed this last August during their one-day salute to Jean Gabin. He and Mireille Balin are both so good, as is Gremillon's direction.

feaito

Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby feaito » June 11th, 2012, 12:14 pm

I was glad indeed. The other day I was reading about Balin's sad life. Heartbreaking.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 11th, 2012, 12:52 pm

Those films you mention Fernando have never had good releases before, no doubt we'll go down that route before long but I shudder at the thought of what I should buy or replace. Can you play bluray on an ordinary DVD player or vice versa?
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

feaito

Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby feaito » June 11th, 2012, 1:50 pm

Hi Ali,

You can play DVDs, CDs, on a Blu Ray player, but not the other way round (Blu Rays only play on BR players).

As far as "The Robe", "To Catch a Thief" and "Bird of Paradise" (A ROAN Group release), I thought I had fine prints, but especially in the case of the two former I was in awe of the differences between the DVD and BRay! :shock:

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » June 11th, 2012, 5:50 pm

I saw Geule d'Amour on that Jean Gabin SUTS day and thought the movie was great. It's surprising it isn't better known.

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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby MikeBSG » June 11th, 2012, 9:21 pm

I watched "A Very Long Engagement" (2004) this afternoon.

I was very impressed by this film. What a cunningly designed plot. It constantly played with the viewer's expectations but in a fair way. You had to keep watching to see how you would be surprised next. In a way, the structure of the plot suggested "Citizen Kane" and "Man of Marble" to me.

The World War I (and aftermath) detail was very impressive, and the cast was first rate.

The one thing that threw me was the appearance of Jodie Foster as one of the women. I kept sitting there wondering if it were Jodie Foster or a French actress who looked like Foster. I convinced myself that it was a Frenchwoman, only to see in the credits that it was Foster herself.

feaito

Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby feaito » June 17th, 2012, 5:33 pm

Yesterday I watched "Jeux Interdits" (Forbidden Games) (1952) and after reading Wendy's wonderful essay on this thread I have little more to add except that I loved this haunting film about childhood, innocence, love, war...., that it was a wondrous experience; the small actors Fossey and Poujouly are nothing short of formidable. And that Narciso Yepes' music is rightfully evocative and melancholic.

Today I watched a contemporary French film: "Ne Touchez pas La Hache" (2007) (The Duchess of Langeais), an impressive oeuvre about a doomed love and hate relationship, a struggle between two souls who want to dominate one another in a hypocritical society; a tour de force for both leading actors; based upon a novel by Honoré de Balzac; powerful and very sad. Guillaume Depardieu (Gérard's son) is impressive as Armand, the General that is captivated by the flirtatious, childish Madame la Duchesse de Langeais (Jeanne Balibar), who also gives a very good performance... a melancholic film :cry: ...I need a comedy! :wink:
Last edited by feaito on June 18th, 2012, 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 18th, 2012, 4:03 am

I watched Incendies a recent French movie about a refugee from Palestine who dies and leaves two letters to be delivered by her twins before they are allowed to bury her. One is addressed to the brother of the twins, the other to the father. The film takes us back in time to the end of the sixties and forward to the present time and juxtaposes the mother's life against the twins. The twsit to this plot is devastating but very well done.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Ann Harding
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Re: WHAT FOREIGN FILMS HAVE YOU WATCHED LATELY?

Postby Ann Harding » June 18th, 2012, 8:56 am

feaito wrote:Today I watched a contemporary French film: "Ne Touchez pas La Hache" (2007) (The Duchess of Langeais), an impressive oeuvre about a doomed love and hate relationship, a struggle between two souls who want to dominate one another in a hypocritical society; a tour de force for both leading actors; based upon a novel by Honoré de Balzac; powerful and very sad. Guillaume Depardieu (Gérard's son) is impressive as Armand, the General that is captivated by the flirtatious, childish Madame la Duchesse de Langeais (Jeanne Balibar), who also gives a very good performance... a melancholic film :cry: ...I need a comedy! :wink:

Balzac's La Duchesse de Langeais was adapted very often. I am not familiar with this modern version. But I have seen a few others. First, there is a German version by Paul Czinner called Liebe (1927) with Elizabeth Bergner as the duchess. I wrote something about it when I saw it at the CF:
Yesterday I went to the Cinematheque to see a rare Paul Czinner called Liebe (1927) with Elisabeth Bergner. It's an adaptation of a Balzac novel called La Duchesse de Langeais which has been adapted several times including in 1922 by Frank Lloyd with Norma Talmadge as The Eternal Flame. The story centers round the Duchess of Langeais (E. Bergner) who seems impervious to love as she cruises through all the famous Parisian salons. That is until one day, when she meets Armand de Montriveau (Hans Rehmann). She decides to seduce him. The man falls madly in love but she keeps him at a distance. then, fed up with that treatment, he leaves her. Desperate, she realises she is passionately in love with him. Realising he'll never come back, she enters a convent. Years later, when they meet again in the convent, she dies suddenly. I felt Elisabeth Bergner gave a marvellous performance as the lady of the world passionately in love with a man she can't get. Her acting was restrained and still provided us with plenty of clues to her ordeal. The final scene was beautifully done as Montriveau finds her dead inside her convent cell. The main character has a lot in common with some of the great lovers like Marguerite Gautier or Madame De... I thoroughly enjoyed the film.

Then there is the 1942 version called La Duchesse de Langeais with Edwige Feuillère and Pierre Richard-Willm. It boasts a very good script by the great playwright Jean Giraudoux with two excellent theater actors in the parts of the Duchess and Montriveau. As an aside, in the 40s, Max Ophüls was planning to make a new version with no less than Greta Garbo. The divine made a few screen tests, but the film was never made....what a shame...


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