Saturday, August 25, 2007

25 Favourite Non-English Language Films

Inspired by this list, 25 of my favourite non-English language films. (One restriction - only one representation per director allowed)

1. L'avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni)
2. Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman)
3. Ordet (Carl Dreyer)
4. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Bunuel)
5. Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu)
6. The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo)
7. Mouchette (Robert Bresson)
8. The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice)
9. M (Fritz Lang)
10. Weekend (Jean-Luc Godard)
11. Teorema (Pier Paolo Pasolini)
12. Bicycle Thief (Vittorio de Sica)
13. Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini)
14. Hiroshima mon Amour (Alain Resnais)
15. Playtime (Jacques Tati)
16. Ugetsu Monogatari (Kenji Mizoguchi)
17. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa)
18. The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci)
19. Aparajito (Satyajit Ray)
20. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
21. Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky)
22. Woman in the Dunes (Hiroshi Teshigahara)
23. Ashes and Diamonds (Andrezj Wajda)
24. The Last Laugh (F. W. Murnau)
24. Loves of a Blonde (Milos Forman)
25. Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville)

19 comments:

Falstaff said...

interesting. I agree with almost all of your choices of directors (except that I would have included Truffaut and Kieslowski) but almost none of the films you pick from them (the only exception being Aparajito, and maybe The Conformist).

Alok said...

Except for may be three or four choices the list as i see it now is pretty conventional. almost text-bookish. definitely not the "personal" list I was trying to make.

how about putting up a list on your blog sometime?

Jabberwock said...

Cool, will probably do something like this myself, just for fun. But should The Last Laugh be included here (not just silent film but silent film that tells its story almost entirely without title cards)?

Jabberwock said...

Thing is, I tend to think of silent movies, even the ones with lots of narrative (via title cards), as transcending the language barrier - they are universal in a sense a talking picture (which, even when it has subtitles, can be fully appreciated only if you understand the language, all the inflexions of speech etc) can't be.

Alok said...

you are correct, I didn't really think about that. I was thinking of it as a "German" film that's all. In fact now that i look at the original poll on the blog, they have disqualified silent films as well.

may be a separately poll for silent films!

jyothsnay said...

Excellent choice Mr Zembla.
As expected, my eyes ran through the list to find at least one movie from Fassbinder.I move in tandem with you on the second ranked "Wild Strawberries" and would love to push "Bicycle Thief" a bit up..I prefer to keep
"The Battle of Algiers", "Breathless" by Godard, The 400 Blows-Truffaut,Andrei Rublev-Andrei Tarkovsky in my top list..

Alok said...

Yeah Fassbinder should have been a little up. Ordering will naturally be a little arbitrary... it is just a harmless and interesting exercise.

jyothsnay said...

Trapped Between Sleep & Waking, my eyes seemed to have skipped over Fassbinder at the fence..sincere apologies Mr Zembla...
I would display "Angst essen Seele auf" & "Mutter Küsters’ Fahrt zum Himmel" from the master...

antonia said...

alok, in my ususal backwardness i have to confess i have seen none of them, might be a good list for reference....once i start catching up.

Alok said...

jyothsna: I love all three films too. they are three of his best. (with Merchant of Four Seasons and Effi Briest in company too.) But I love the theatrical setting of the film and the wonderful acting of all the actresses in Bitter Tears...

antonia: finally one area in which I am ahead of you :)

Udge said...

A very interesting list, I'd sometimes have chosen a different film but your list of directors is very good.

Alok said...

Hi Udge, I was trying to give it a little personal touch. The list of directors is more or less canonical.

Antonia said...

thats true alok :) youre jolly far ahead indead. I think the list of sort of important films i have seen would not be even surpass the number of 20.

Bombay Addict said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bombay Addict said...

Alok - nice list..any reason you've not included any Iranian director? I think this is a great idea and want to take it forward too, but doubt I'd do any justice! Thanks very much.

Alok said...

Hi, will be glad to see your list.

I agree Kiarostami should have been there somewhere, A Taste of Cherry or Ten.

Cheshire Cat said...

I'm surprised you left Tarr out. I thought he was your favorite film-maker...

Alok said...

yes Tarr, Kiarostami and Haneke all are missing. I thought about them but felt their films are still too recent to be a part of the personal canon i was trying to make.

Cheshire Cat said...

OK, that's a relief. I thought you left Kiarostami out because you didn't really care for him :)