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For the sake of cultural insensitivity shortcut, because we're a UK forum, that would be films that are not in the English language. 

2 Questions

What are your favourites that people might not have seen, and what are your top 5 of all time?

Recently I watched the South American movie Monos, which was kind of like a mix between Lord of the Flies and Apocalypse Now. And was frickken AMAZING.

Last year the German comedy Toni Erdmann really caught me off guard with its performances and all round madness. 

Top 5 of all time? Thats almost impossible really innit, but I'll give it a shot

La Belle Et la Bete
Delicatessen
The Killer
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Seven Samurai

Maybe we should do a top 10? Hurts to not get City of God in there. Or Le Samurai. Or 400 Blows. Shit...


 

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I tend to watch more foreign films than western ones these days.

 

Off the top of my head, I’ll no doubt come back later with another 5 that escaped me,

 

Like Father Like Son

Dark Water

High And Low (almost impossible to choose when it comes to Kurosawa)

Raw

Chunking Express

 

 

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I watch a lot of foreign cinema - I think reading the subtitles forces me to watch them properly, and the acting always seems more believable when the actors aren’t household names. 
 

Far too many Great movies to mention, but rather than name the classics that everyone knows (Three Colours, La Haine, City of God etc.), here are some of my lesser known faves:

 

Liza the Fox Fairy - A young woman is convinced that she is cursed and responsible for the deaths of all her suitors - the truth is far stranger. It’s a sweet and funny film that’s essentially the Hungarian Amelié, if Amilé did a bunch of gruesome murders.

 

Love Exposure - A four hour dissertation on Christianity and upskirt photography, this bonkers movie manages to has all the pace and pop culture snappiness of a Tarantino movie, married to the Catholic guilt of a Scorsese pic. All of Japanese Director Sion Sono’s films are great (or at least interesting), but this is my favourite. 
 

The Lure - That Polish Mermaid Murder (mermurder?) movie you’ve heard so much about. I mentioned it was a musical too, right? 
 

Marathon - amazing Korean movie about a special needs kid training for, you guessed it, a marathon. I defy you to watch this and not cry. 
 

My Sassy Girl - One of the biggest Korean box office smashes of all time, still never officially released in the West. Possibly my fave rom-com ever. 
 

Intouchables - I found this French occupational therapy comedy heartwarming and hilarious. Much better than the awful remake. 
 

Matterhorn - Dutch comedy about a widow who takes it upon himself to look after a brain-damaged man who turns up on his doorstep one day. Just love this film.

 

Wild Tales - Argentinian anthology film that really lives up to its title. The first story is only a few minutes long - watch that, and if you’re not hooked then you’re probably clinically dead. 
 

Jacky in the Kingdom of Women - The closest thing I’ve ever seen to a modern version of a Monty Python film, this bonkers satire takes place in a fictional matriarchal society where men have to wear veils. It also has its own made up language, and features a very strange performance from Charlotte Rampling. Quite unique. 
 

Goodnight Mommy - This German film is one of the very few horror films of the last few years that got under my skin. Genuinely creepy and wrong. 
 

100 Yen Love - An obese female shut-in reluctantly decides to take control of her life and become a boxer. The actress actually put on and then lost the weight, in one of the most impressive bits of method acting I’ve ever seen. 

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I'm also watching more foreign films than western these days. They're good for mobile phone discipline and simply tend to be more interesting. 

I loved Son of Saul, though it is devastating, and this year, that one where the Chinese girl goes home to see her Gran was lovely.

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5 hours ago, jon_cybernet said:

I watch a lot of foreign cinema - I think reading the subtitles forces me to watch them properly, and the acting always seems more believable when the actors aren’t household names. 
 

Far too many Great movies to mention, but rather than name the classics that everyone knows (Three Colours, La Haine, City of God etc.), here are some of my lesser known faves:

 

Liza the Fox Fairy - A young woman is convinced that she is cursed and responsible for the deaths of all her suitors - the truth is far stranger. It’s a sweet and funny film that’s essentially the Hungarian Amelié, if Amilé did a bunch of gruesome murders.

 

Love Exposure - A four hour dissertation on Christianity and upskirt photography, this bonkers movie manages to has all the pace and pop culture snappiness of a Tarantino movie, married to the Catholic guilt of a Scorsese pic. All of Japanese Director Sion Sono’s films are great (or at least interesting), but this is my favourite. 
 

The Lure - That Polish Mermaid Murder (mermurder?) movie you’ve heard so much about. I mentioned it was a musical too, right? 
 

Marathon - amazing Korean movie about a special needs kid training for, you guessed it, a marathon. I defy you to watch this and not cry. 
 

My Sassy Girl - One of the biggest Korean box office smashes of all time, still never officially released in the West. Possibly my fave rim com ever. 
 

Intouchables - I found this French occupational therapy comedy heartwarming and hilarious. Much better than the awful remake. 
 

Matterhorn - Dutch comedy about a widow who takes it upon himself to look after a brain-damaged man who turns up on his doorstep one day. Just love this film.

 

Wild Tales - Argentinian anthology film that really lives up to its title. The first story is only a few minutes long - watch that, and if you’re not hooked then you’re probably clinically dead. 
 

Jacky in the Kingdom of Women - The closest thing I’ve ever seen to a modern version of a Monty Python film, this bonkers satire takes place in a fictional matriarchal society where men have to wear veils. It also has its own made up language, and features a very strange performance from Charlotte Rampling. Quite unique. 
 

Goodnight Mommy - This German film is one of the very few horror films of the last few years that got under my skin. Genuinely creepy and wrong. 
 

100 Yen Love - An obese female shut-in reluctantly decides to take control of her life and become a boxer. The actress actually put on and then lost the weight, in one of the most impressive bits of method acting I’ve ever seen. 


Loads there I haven't seen. Soon to be rectified! thanks

Whats a rim com ;)

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Underground, by the same director as Black Cat, White Cat, is also great.

Come and See is possibly the greatest and most depressing depiction of WWII ever committed to film.

The Cremator is a Slovak film about a man who allows his obsession with perfecting the cremation process to lead him down a very dark path. The editing is amazing.

Any Aki Kaurismaki film, but my favourite is probably The Man Without a Past.

Thelma by Joachim Trier. You're better off knowing as little as possible but it's broadly about an awkward girl who's led an isolated life striking out on her own for college and making some mistakes along the way. It's not a comedy.

Hard to be a God is an almost impenetrable adaptation of a Strugatsky bros novel but worth it for the atmosphere alone.

The Ascent is a very lyrical film about how bleak war is. Fairly hard to find in the UK though.

Why Don't You Just Die is a berserk Russian chamber piece about a lad who agrees to kill his girlfriend's dad. Slapstick violence and hyper kinetic editing.

 

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Just had a quick think and came up with this list, sure it would change if at home and look over my shelves of films, but atm these are the ones I could think of:

 

In the Mood for Love

Amélie

Wings of Desire

A Prophet

Pan's Labyrinth

Bicycle Thieves

Rififi

M

All About My Mother

Le Samouraï

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18 minutes ago, Benny said:

But honestly everyone should just work their way through Kurosawa.

 

What Benny said, except change Kurosawa for Éric Rohmer then it’s even more correct.

 

They are pretty similar really if you take out the sword fights.

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My fave foreign-language films of 2019 were:

 

Burning

The Candidate

An Impossible Love

Woman At War

La Belle Époque

The Farewell

So Long, My Son

One Cut Of The Dead

Rojo

The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil

Amanda

 

Haven't seen Monos yet, but looking forward to that and Parasite. 

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Seen a few following recommendations on the forum (In the Mood for Love, Train to Busan, Downfall). Aside from these, I tend to watch Japanese foreign films to help my comprehension. My recommendations for lesser known titles would be:

  • Fish Story - An absolute belter that should be watched with as little knowledge of the film as possible. The blurb, which dos not give anything substantive away, is "The oddball story of a song recorded by a Japanese punk band. Waxed in 1975, Fish Story not only got the musical jump on Britain and America's claims to have invented punk, but could also hold the key to saving Earth".
  • Departures - A young man who returns to his hometown after a failed career as a cellist becomes a mortician, in a society where this job is seen as shameful.
  • Tokyo Sonata - A father is made redundant and, instead of telling his wife, gets dressed each morning and pretends to go to work. The film looks at the four members of this broken family.
  • Soredemo boku wa yattenai (I Just Didn't Do It) - Based on the true story of a man accused of groping a girl on a busy train, who finds himself in legal battle against a system which has a 99% guilty conviction rate.
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Favourite in recent memory is A Prophet, which is a searingly brilliant crime thriller.


Thoroughly recommend A Fantastic Woman too, which is a beautifully delicate drama. It won the foreign language Oscar last year but feel like many might have overlooked it.


One plus of moving back to London in a couple of weeks will be more opportunities to see more foreign language films. Can’t wait :)

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The Lives of Others

Pans Labyrinth

 

Both in my top ten of all time, also agree I can't chose one Kurosawa. The man was incredibly ahead of his time, his autobiography is highly recommended by the way even if you don't work in film, it's inspirational and his advice of "just read books" is worth hearing. 

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I really want to watch more forgein cinema so this might be great thread to find ones I would have never heard about otherwise.

 

Not including Ghibli films my top 5 would be

 

Your Name

Pans Labyrinth

Train to Busan

Battle Royale

Parasite

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El Secreto De Sus Ojos/The Secret in their Eyes. Unrequited love, unsolved crime and political turmoil all wrapped together in a fantastic crime mystery across a nonlinear narrative. Wonderful. 

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13 hours ago, kerraig UK said:

that one where the Chinese girl goes home to see her Gran was lovely.

 

The Farewell? That was a real favourite of mine this year too. Funny, sad, and heart warming.  

 

My most favourite foreign language movie this year though has been Parasite. In fact, Parasite is my favourite film this year full stop.

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I might have a go at at a top 5 later but for now some of my favourites off the top of my head:

 

The Wailing

One Cut of the Dead

Like Father,  Like Son

In the House

The Cremator

Ida

Interrogation

Roma

Devil's Backbone

Rififi

One Deadly Summer

Fanny & Alexander

Millennium Actress

 

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I also like a lot of the obvious Japanese/90s HK films which many on this forum have mentioned over the years, but here are a few others I've enjoyed. I'm not saying they're good but they've entertained me over the years:

 

Tesis - Fairly standard serial killer fare but in Spanish.

The arrival of Wang - Aliens make first contact with the Italians. The detail I liked was that they speak mandarin because it is the most widely spoken language on the planet, which makes sense away from the hollywood-centric sci-fi blockbusters.

Juan of the Dead - Just stupid but entertaining.

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Somehow missed In the Mood for Love, which is one of my favourite films, foreign or otherwise. Also Infernal Affairs, The Lives of Others, The Drudgery Train, Capturing Dad.

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Big shout out to Italian & Spanish shock cinema of the 60s and 70s. Namely the Giallo, politizioteschi, spaghetti westerns and cannibal films. 

 

Movies that were in neither English nor Italian and both. 

 

Italian 70s cinema is some of the most beautiful there is, and with the best soundtracks. 

 

The Conformist being a personal favourite. But also:

 

Cannibal Ferox

Bird with the Crystal Plumage

Blood & Black Lace

The House With Laughing Windows

 

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