Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Foreign Films in the IMDB 250

These are all the foreign films that made the IMDB top 250 list
(Link to the complete IMDB 250)

1. Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, Japan, 1954) No. 13
2. City of God (Meirelles, Brazil, 2002) No. 19
3. Amelie (Jeunet, France, 2001) No. 46
4. M (Lang, Germany, 1931) No. 55
5. The Lives of Others (von Donnersmarck, Germany, 2006) No. 57
6. Das Boot (Peterson, Germany, 1981) No. 63
7. Life is Beautiful (Benigni, Italy, 1997) No. 69
8. Cinema Paradiso (Tornatore, Italy, 1988) No. 74
9. Pan's Labyrinth (del Toro, Spain, 2006) No. 76
10. Rashomon (Kurosawa, Japan, 1950) No. 81
11. Bicycle Thief (De Sica, Italy, 1948) No. 87
12. Metropolis (Land, Germany, 1927) No. 94
13. Downfall (Hirschbiegel, Germany, 2004) No. 95
14. Oldboy (Park, Korea, 2003) No. 97
15. Princess Mononoke (Miyayaki, Japan, 1997) No. 109
16. The Seventh Seal (Bergman, Sweden, 1957) No. 113
17. Yojimbo (Kurosawa, Japan, 1961) No. 123
18. Grave of the Fireflies (Takahata, Japan, 1988) No. 125
19. Ran (Kurosawa, Japan, 1985) No. 126
20. Wild Strawberries (Bergman, Sweden, 1957) No. 131
21. Amores Perros (Inarritu, Mexico, 2000) No. 159
22. The Wages of Fear (Clouzot, France, 1953) No. 166
23. Ikiru (Kurosawa, Japan, 1952) No. 167
24. Diabolique (Clouzot, France, 1955) No. 182
25. Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (Fellini, Italy, 1963) No. 187
26. The Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo, Italy, 1966) No. 194
27. The 400 Blows (Truffaut, France, 1959) No. 195
28. La Strada (Fellini, Italy, 1954) No. 197
29. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Schnabel, France, 2007) No. 201
30. Persona (Bergman, Sweden, 1966) No. 202
31. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, France, 1928) No. 210
32. Let the Right One In (Alfredson, Sweden, 2008) No. 214
33. Fanny and Alexander (Bergman, Sweden, 1982) No. 215
34. Nights of Cabiria (Fellini, Italy, 1957) No. 225
35. The Celebration (Vinterberg, Denmark-Sweden, 1998) No. 226
36. Infernal Affairs (Lau and Mak, Hong Kong, 2002) No. 227
37. A Separation (Farhadi, Iran, 2011) No. 228
38. Howl's Moving Castle (Miyazaki, Japan, 2004) No. 229
39. Three Colors: Red (Kieslowski, Fr-Switz-Poland, 1994) No. 245
40. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.. and Spring (Kim, Korea, 2003) No. 247

Note: one film I left off is Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima, which is a U.S. film but is mostly in Japanese, as it's based on letters sent home by Japanese soldiers there, and tells that side of the battle for Iwo Jima.

Some of these at the top are cinema masterpieces, notably Seven Samurai, City of God, The Lives of Others, and Cinema Paradiso. Many think Kurosawa's Seven Samurai is the best film ever made.

I'm not sure why Amelie gets ranked so high, personally I like two other Jean-Pierre Jeunet films more: A Very Long Engagement and Micmacs - check them out, they are both excellent. Also, where the heck are John Salles' two excellent films from Brazil, Central Station and The Motorcycle Diaries - that's totally baffling. Also missing is Twilight Samurai, which not only won numerous awards (37) but won 12 Japanese academy awards out of 14 nominations.

The films here that I reviewed I think are excellent. Some that I didn't review are worthy films, I just haven't gotten around to reviewing them yet, such as M, Passion of Joan of Arc, Diabolique, Bicycle Thief, Rashomon, Yojimbo, Wild Strawberries, and Fanny and Alexander.

Others I didn't review because I didn't think they were worthy - among these are Nights of Cabiria, Pan's Labyrinth, Ran, Life Is Beautiful, Persona, and Infernal Affairs. These are all good films, just not great, imo. Amores Perros is a good film, but is very tough to watch, especially some scenes involving dogs, watch that one at your own risk if you love animals.

My personal 10 favorites that made their list:
1. Seven Samurai (Kurosawa)
2. Cinema Paradiso (Tornatore)
3. City of God (Meirelles and Lund)
4. The Lives of Others (von Donnersmarck)
5. Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo)
6. The 400 Blows (Truffaut)
7. Das Boot (Peterson)
8. Oldboy (Park)
9. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.. and Spring (Kim Ki-Duk)

10. The Seventh Seal (Bergman)

Your results may vary; no wagering; void where prohibited; do not take while pregnant; may cause dizziness, blindness, heart attack, stroke, sudden death


Siddharth Joshi said...

Nice list. But you've missed Sergio Leone's trilogy.

José Sinclair said...

I didn't miss anything - it's from the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) - they keep a real time top 250 going, based on viewer ratings - but to be listed, a film has to have at least 10-15,000 ratings .. they publish the criteria and methodology there.. some great films don't have enough voters yet or would be high in the top 250

José Sinclair said...

PS- Leone's trilogy is average at best, not nearly as good as the westerns they parody, the John Ford ones.. Once Upon a Time was the most interesting, but they all suffer from overlong shots and scenes, extreme melodrama, ridiculous gunfights, then they revert to silliness in between the mock drama.. argh - this is sophmoric filmmaking - I walked OUT of the theater during The Good, Bad, Ugly, & the Boring -- Leone's best film by far is Once Upon a Time in America, the 4 hr epic about Jewish mobsters in NYC, with Robert De Niro, James Woods, Tuesday Weld, Elizabeth McGovern, William Forrest..