Sunday, September 02, 2007

Foreign into Fall: Part IV

Part I, Part II & Part III can be read by click on the links. Here's my most recent Foreign Film's viewed for this series and have been selected from Edward Copeland's best of non-English film nomination list.

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
(West Germany)
In a touchingly intimate film, an older widow and Moroccan Arab have a chance meeting and learn that they can satisfy each others loneliness and need for compassion, yet at the same time must be ostracized by their various close communities, especially once they get married.

Although there was a couple turns in this film that I didn't particularly track with, I thought the character portrayals, especially that of Brigitte Mira playing the elderly Emmi was touching and real.

Seven Samurai (1956) directed by Akira Kurosawa
This very long movie was enjoyable, but very long (3.5 hours). Despite it's length, I enjoyed how it played out in chapters, with different stages in the story, from the recruitment of the Samurai, to the preparing in the village, to the battle with the bandits. I thought the level of production that went into this 1950s Japanese film was incredible, from sets and the staged fighting, to use of slow motion during fight scenes.

The message I saw in this film, especially with Kambei Shimada's final lines saying "Again we are defeated. The farmers have won. Not us." Is definitely a powerfully and partially uncomfortable unique message this film has, I would like to delve into this message further.

Eyes Without a Face (1962) directed by Georges Franju
If there was ever a horror movie worth redoing, especially with current film fascinations with torture, it would be this one. It has such a haunting style that is as engaging as many Alfred Hitchcock films. The story is about a surgeon and his assistant who kidnap young girls, remove their faces and tries to perform a successful face transplant on his own daughter, who otherwise wears a mask and is presumed dead to the world.

This film is engaging and his tremendous special effects and makeup, there were certainly points where I was squeamish and squealing as I watched it.

Related Tags: , , , , , ,


Terence Towles Canote said...

I think I have mentioned this before, but The Seven Samurai is my favourite film of all time. Many of Kurosawa's other films rank up there too.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for stopping bye. What was cool was that was not our pastor. We go to a different church altogether. At any rate, nice meeting new people around the blog!

Lorna said...

i passed on the Disney 5 because I am not a Disney fan, but I am a Seven Samurai one. But since I also liked The Three Amigos, my comment probably doesn't count for much.

Sam Brooks said...

Just by watching The Seven Samurai, you can totally tell why it's a classic.

Edward Copeland said...

Man, you really are getting through your "homework." My rental queue hasn't gotten to Ali or Eyes yet, though Seven Samurai has been one of my favorites for a long time.

Jordan M. Poss said...

Interesting you should mention Ali. The course I took in Germany this summer included a film seminar, and we watched just enough of Ali--not to mention Metropolis, M, and Wings of Desire--to get me interested but not to satisfy. I'll have to check it out.

Magnus said...

See Throne of Blood and Yojimbo and Sanjuro if you haven't already.

RC said...

@ mercurie, Lorna, Brooke, & Ed, glad to have seen one of your favorites. I'd love to know what makes it your favorite.

@ jordan...see Ali, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

@ magnus...i have yet to see any of those three titles. The month of foreign film viewing ends this upcoming week. I'll see what I can do.