I was invited to participate in putting together a list of Favorite Foreign Language Films at Edward Copeland’s blog recently which is now open to online voting and I hope my blog readers will cast their vote for their 25 favorites from the films that are now eligible.
The criteria was: 1) No film more recent than 2002 was eligible; 2) They had to be feature length; 3) They had to have been made either mostly or entirely in a language other than English and 4) Documentaries and silent films were ineligible.
I also made a rule for myself. I only allowed myself to pick one film per director.
Out of the 25 films I suggested only 13 managed to make it onto the final list of nominations linked above. I was mostly disappointed that out of the six Japanese directors I included in my own list of 25 favorite films, only one (Akira Kurosawa) made the final cut. I refuse to believe that I’m the only person who likes Teshigahara, Suzuki and Imamura’s films*. I’m also dissappointed that the work of some of my favorite directors such as Mario Bava, Jess Franco and Alejandro Jodorowsky was not found eligible. Many of my other favorite directors such as Fellini, Godard and Wong Kar-Wai have multiple films on the list, but some of my favorite work from them such as Satyricon (1969), Weekend (1967) and Happy Together (1997) are nowhere to be found.
But enough complaining! On the bright side, here are the 13 films I submitted that managed to make it onto the final list (in alphabetical order):
- Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972, Werner Herzog)
- Beauty and the Beast (1946, Jean Cocteau)
- Cleo From 5 to 7 (1961, Agnès Varda)
- Contempt (1963, Jean-Luc Godard)
- Eyes Without a Face (1960, Georges Franju)
- High and Low (1963, Akira Kurosawa)
- Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959, Alain Resnais)
- Jules et Jim (1962, Francois Truffaut)
- La Dolce Vita (1960, Frederico Fellini)
- L’Eclisse (1962, Michelangelo Antonioni)
- Le Samourai (1967, Jean-Pierre Melville)
- M (1931, Fritz Lang)
- Rocco and His Brothers (1960, Luchino Visconti)
I was especially happy to see that my three favorite Alain Delon films made the final list of nominations. You can never get enough Delon!
So what were the 12 films I voted for that did not make the final list? You can read my thoughts on them here.
If you haven’t seen any of the 13 movies I listed above I highly recommend giving them a look. They are all deeply loved films that I enjoy without reservation and they are easily available on DVD (most from Criterion). If you plan on voting I hope you will consider my nominations. I will try and do some more serious campaigning for them before the Sept. 16th voting deadline arrives.
* It looks like one of Hiroshi Teshigahara’s films made the final cut after all which is great news!