Friday 30 March 2007

Best Foreign Film Poll

Over at the Guardian blog there's a call for punters to send in their nominations for the best foreign film ever made. There's a £200 gift voucher on offer--for UK participants only.

One wonders what is meant by "foreign films" - I'm assuming they are films made in a language that is not English, which rules out most Irish cinema, along with Australian and Canadian candidates. But perhaps they mean non-British.

Taking the former definition, in a couple of minutes I assembled a small list from a huge range of contenders:

Vittorio De Sica's Umberto D (1952), Thomas Vinterberg Festen (1998), Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954), Chan-wook Park's OldBoy (2003), Fritz Lang's M (1931), Krzysztof Kieslowski's Trois couleurs: Bleu (1993), Jean-Luc Godard's Le Mépris (1963), Ingmar Bergman's Persona (1966), François Truffaut's Les Quatre cents coups (1959), Kar Wai Wong's In the Mood for Love (2000), Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund's City of God (2002), Kaige Chen's Farewell my Concubine (1993), Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth (2006), Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Delicatessen (1991), Takeshi Kitano's Hana-bi (1997), Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding (2000), Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953), Mathieu Kassovitz's La Haine (1995), Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (1963), Ki-duk Kim's 3 Iron (2004), and Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Innocence (2004).
There are so many more; these are the films that I thought of immediately. I think it's impossible to select just one film. Films satisfy different needs at different times. Several of the directors I listed have other classics among their oeuvre.

What are your favourites?


Lianne said...

Very difficult to choose a definitive list as you say but some that come to my mind immediately would be Goodbye, Lenin! The Double Life of Veronique, La Haine, Pan's Labyrinth, Cache, 5x2, La Reine Margot, Infernal Affairs and La Haine. But as soon as I finish writing this I'm sure I'll think of many more that I've neglected!

Splinister said...

I thought of Goodbye Lenin! too. Lovely flick.

There is so many films from which to choose.

Joe said...

Here's my list of a few favourite foreign films from a Canadian viewer, not in any particular order:
The hairdresser's husband (France)
Woman in the dunes (Japan)
The Celebration / Festen (Denmark)
Happiness (US)
Under the sand (France)
Amelie (France)
Intimate strangers (France)
Elling (Norway)