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What I'd like to do is expand my knowledge of World Cinema, but don't know where to begin. I have six or seven films by Akira Kurosawa, and intend to increase that number; also in the "collection" are such films as Stalingrad, Das Boot, Battle Royale, The Warrior, Amelie, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Irreversible & Intacto. The most recent addition is Casshern - bought blind - and most disappointing (especially when paying £15-20 for World Cinema titles!).
In walking into the local music/film stockists I'm overwhelmed by the selection of World Cinema available. Almost everything (unsurprisingly) is labelled "a classic" or "must see" ("must see" what? The lawyers about getting your money back having forked out on making such a quickly forgotten turkey?)
So, a few recommendations of true classics, or genuine "must see" films in the broad World Cinema genre would be very much appreciated. All very subjective, I know...
The Life of Oharu, Ordet, The Seventh Seal with Ingmar Bergman starring, The 400 Blows, The Rules of the Game directed by Renoir, The Lady from Shanghai, if you don't have Ikiru by Kurosawa, pick it up, Pyaasa, Umberto D.
Caveat - I very much like Amelie, but I also like Once Upon A Time In The West.
Keep the tissues handy . . .
The early Yakuza movies of Sejin Suzuki were also recommended to me and I bought a couple (Branded to Kill, Underworld Beauty) and quite enjoyed them.
I did try to watch some Takashi Miike movies, but I jumped ahead of myself and saw "Ichi the Killer" too so which has discouraged me somewhat from seeing any more of his work.
I have seen the first movie, the second is by Chan Park Wook also and the third movie was recommended to me. The fourth movie was free when I bought the first three (I have heard it is meant to be good though.)
there is also
"Porco Roso" pretty good
and one aboult wwII piolots from europian conunrty that is invaded by germany. they go to England to fight. very good "Into the Blue" or somthing like that.
Kind hearts and Correnets and that other alec ginness movie aboult the bank job. of course if you are paying in pounds then those wouldn't be forgin to you.
Kama Sutra... ok so it's a little umm revialing (thats a good word for it) but still a realy good movie.
You should see Hero at least once but I wouldn't recomend buying it.
If (World) war (II) movies are your interest, I (and others) highly recommend Talvi Sota [imdb.com] ("Winter War"), directed by Pekka Parikka. It's a long movie, over 3 hours. That red blood on the white snow.....
Movies directed by famed Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki [imdb.com] are to be recommended. For some goofy comedy, try Leningrad Cowboys Go America [imdb.com], and the follow-up, Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses [imdb.com]. (Some folks might care about this: Nicky Tesco, of The Members fame, appears in both flicks.) For a humourous stab at Shakespeare, the film noire Hamlet liikemaailmassa [imdb.com] ("Hamlet Goes Business"), is worth checking out.
Want drama & some romance? The loose trilogy Varjoja paratiisissa [imdb.com] ("Shadows In Paradise"), Ariel [imdb.com], and Tulitikkutehtaan tytto [imdb.com] ("The Match Factory Girl") are worth looking into.
I really liked the noir infused Sword of Doom, starring Tatsuya Nakadai. One of my all time favorites, it's a spooky samurai movie.
I really love Beat Takeshi in Fireworks. That's a must see movie. He also remade Zatoichi, which is 100% entertaining. Also a must see movie.
As far as Asian Flicks, here are my faves that I can watch over and over and over again:
Comrades, A Love Story (stars Maggie Cheung)
The following contain charming and nuanced performances by Faye Wong, Maggie Cheung, and Tony Leung. The stories are well paced, never boring, and at certain points take your breath away from the inventiveness of the plot and dialogue (yes, even in subtitles)
If you're looking for well done Asian cheese, you can't go wrong with So Close. It has high production values and beautiful actresses running around in hot pants kung-fu'ing the hell out of everything in sight.
Kung Fu Hustle is a really funny movie. By the same guy who made Shaolin Soccer (if you get Shaolin Soccer, avoid the American release, it's reportedly been butchered). It's a fantasy movie, surreal, but funny and entertaining. Easily recommended.
Shall We Dance (the Japanese original) is good.
The Eye is scary without being explicit about gore. It just freaks you out like when someone relates their ghost story to you.
Talking about scary, The Devils Backbone is pretty good. If you enjoyed the guy from Motorcycle Diaries as well as Amores Perros, be sure to catch him in Almodovar's Bad Education. Wow, what a fascinating movie! If you aren't familiar with Almodovar, then you must see "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," "All About My Mother," and "Talk to Her." Every one of those flicks are excellent.
A Pedro Almodovar film fest is in order for me. I need to revisit his movies.
Favorite French Flicks:
Menage [imdb.com] (aka Tenue de soirée) starring Michel Blanc and Gerard Depardieu.
Jean de Florette (also with Depardieu)
The Closet (also with Depardieu)
The Hairdresser's Husband [imdb.com], starring the wonderful actor, Jean Rochefort.
Ridicule [imdb.com] was also a thouroughly entertaining movie, also starring Rochefort.
As far as Italian flicks:
Nights of Cabiria by Fellini. Wow!
Divorce Italian Style, hehe really funny. It's Marcello lusting after Claudia Cardinale. Unfortunately he's married and divorces were hard to come by, unless he was the cuckolded. But his wife adores him. So goes to tremendous lengths to get her into an affair, and afterwards, goes to great lengths making a public show of being grief stricken, all in an effort so he can kill her and be let off by the court system... Yes, it's black humor at it's darkest.