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Foreign Cinema Recommendations


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Can a brotha get some recommendations perhaps? Preferebly Asian and/or German? I've been out of the loop and can't seem to find a good source for all of my Korean and Japanese film needs. I used to watch loads of Asian cinema back in the time of VCR and DVD rentals but alas... it is now 2016 and I don't know where to go. :(

 

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Off the top of my head...

 

Recent-ish Asian Films:

 

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Ilo Ilo

A Touch of Sin

The Missing Picture

Like Father, Like Son

Like Someone in Love

The Act of Killing

The Look of Silence

Wolf Children

Drug War

Wolf Daddy

Poetry

A Simple Life

Fish Story

 

Older Asian Films:

 

Yellow Earth

Ju Dou

[url=http://letterboxd.com/lordcookie/film/fires-on-the-plain/]Fires on the Plain[/url]

[url=http://letterboxd.com/lordcookie/film/black-rain-1989/]Black Rain[/url]

[url=http://letterboxd.com/lordcookie/film/legend-of-a-duel-to-the-death/]Legend of a Duel to the Death[/url]

After Life

Oasis

Goyokin

Pitfall

The Face of Another

Woman in the Dunes

 

Recent German Films:

 

Stations of the Cross

Phoenix

Lore (although directed by an Australian)

 

Older German Films:

 

[url=http://letterboxd.com/lordcookie/film/the-deathmaker/]The Deathmaker[/url]

The Free Will

 

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4 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:

Probably my favourite film of the last 5 years is a Korean movie called 'A Hard Day'. It's on Amazon Prime. Don't watch the trailer, go in blind.

A Hard Day seemed to neatly sum up the problems with Korean thrillers at the moment. Any rational plot took a back seat to sequences the director thought would be cool. 

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12 minutes ago, lordcookie said:

A Hard Day seemed to neatly sum up the problems with Korean thrillers at the moment. Any rational plot took a back seat to sequences the director thought would be cool. 

I thought the exact opposite. The fact it ties so brilliantly together with no plot holes and no loose ends is what made it work so well. Most Korean thrillers start at an already ridiculous state of heightened drama, then keep ratcheting up until they get to a point of ridiculousness, still with about 45 mins to go.

 

A Hard Day's very last scene is pressing at the boundary of credibility, but in a fantastically, stylishly entertaining way befitting the rollercoaster ride that brought us to that point. In a similar vein to OldBoy, it gives us a satisfying ending to the story in the way many thrillers fail to do.

 

It's a perfect film.

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I do agree with you about Korean thrillers these days. They dial it up to 11 and they either become ridiculous or they lose the purity of the original plot thread. The Host, Chaser, I saw the devil... they all suffer from this.

 

I don't think A Hard Day does. It gets fairly 'out there', but always in service of the three most important things, the plot, the characters and entertaining the audience. 

 

It's a saturday night popcorn flick, designed to thrill, amuse and surprise an audience with a succession of elaborate set pieces and gags. I compare it to American movies such as The Untouchables, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang or Fargo. Quirky charcaters in quirky high stakes situations with a streak of black humour. 

 

The scene at the end of The Untouchables where Elliot Ness throws a hitman off the roof of the court house while the Al Capone trial is under way is patently ridiculous. It is a ridiculous scene. It's also totally awesome and a brilliant end to the movie, giving us revenge the Chicago way. For me that's the line Hard Day treads, where it goes as far as it can go, but gets the balance bang on.

 

Sorry to go on about it, but I thought it was an interesting discussion point.

8 minutes ago, ZOK said:

Have you seen Edward Yang's The Terrorizers? It's Taiwanese, from 1986 and a masterpiece to boot.

 

For anyone who has seen it already there is a good video essay on the flick here: http://blogs.indiewire.com/pressplay/video-essay-edward-yangs-yi-yi-presented-by-the-seventh-art

Great fucking film

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My recent favourite is Liza the Fox Fairy, which is kind of like a Hungarian Amelie, only with a lot more graphic murder and Japanese pop songs. It's fucking ace. 

 

I's also recommend lots of Sion Sono, who's incredibly prolific and bonkers. 

 

Tokyo Tribe and Why Don't You Play in Hell are two of my recent faves of his, although Love Exposure, a four hour film about the world's greatest up skirt photographer is pretty good too. 

 

Needless to say, he's good mates with Suda 51. ;)

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My favourite ones that have not been mentioned (edit: at time of starting post..), think a lot are well known, have appeared on Netflix, but anyway

 

City of Life and Death - really powerful and beautifully directed, one of my favourite films. Beyond just a harrowing story being told, it's ambitious

Suicide Bus - has a magnetic dreamlike tone to much of it, go in blind

Confessions of a Dog - has maybe my favourite opening to any film ever (aside from Mother), and like The Wire which it has been compared to, is so dry and real. 

Himizu - 70% gruelling, 20% i think I actually care about these characters, 10% speechless, young actors giving it their all, speaking about loneliness, depression, isolation

The Yellow Sea - genuinely in awe at some of the things in this film, I expected a comprehensive study of the issue, rather than a springboard for a violent thriller.

The Clone Returns Home - Andrei Tarkovsky-esque, it made me contemplate my own mortality, half way through I got that terrible sudden realisation you get sometimes where you realise you'll die one day and your brain can't comprehend what is left if there is no life because that's all you know. It was extremely unnerving actually, a person bombards themselves with trivialities every day that distract them from confronting death, and the film is so pure it has that power of washing all that away. It is special, but maybe it was just a freakish moment that others don't experience too, but i have to recommend it to everyone to find out !

Bullet Ballet - my favourite film

Lessons of The Evil - absolutely go in blind, that is essential. Don't look at the cover or any images, or read the premise. It's key to how someone will respond to how the film plays out.

Black Coal Thin Ice - Really inventive direction, beautifully shot, classy noir thriller where not a lot happens but everything captured is so effectively done. Watch this film and afterwards see if you don't want to direct a film as well.

Sea Fog - I might be in the minority of loving this. Again, go in blind. But to me it at least got close to the direction of some of the best Korean thrillers in simply how effective it is.

New World - thriller, cool direction, tense moments, i cared at least.

Castaway on the Moon - odd and whimsy

Save the Green Planet -  utterly mad with its intense surreal passion

Bedevilled go in blind, no synopsis check on imdb, avoid the poster, It's a shame just one word description can ruin a film like this.

Kotoko - devastating

As The Gods Will - a lot of fun, great cgi that proves creepy, incomparable really to anything else.

The Con Artists -  fun slick action film not to be taken seriously

The Thieves - see above

Confession of Murder - and again..

Why Don't You Play In Hell? - Sion Sono drags scenes out beyond anyone caring, but I don't mind, i just accept it's part of the way he directs in his impressionistic way, I think like PS2-era Rockstar i am simply fond of his way of doing things, his punk poet attitude, I take the good with the bad, i forgive the repetition, the misogyny, the tedium sometimes*, because..I don't know. I guess he's an antidote to the stuffy precious professionalism of most film makers. I didn't grow up listening to punk, but i want to see that ethic in films and games. It seems rare.

*but not Guilty of Romance which was rotten.

Intruders - terrific, low budget mystery thriller that doesn't seem to do much but inspires a love for it

The Unjust - is initially confusing and complex but grows into an engrossing film

Cold Eyes (remake) - reminded me of 24, lots of surveillance, extended foot chases through alleyways in the pouring rain,

Greatful Dead - !!!

Traffickers - enjoyable stupidity

The Client and Whistleblowers are very good, tv style direction but gripping stories

Tetsuo 2 Body Hammer - like if Red Dwarf and Eraserhead had a baby

Tokyo Fist - feels like being electrocuted and surviving

The Flu and The Tower are very enjoyable Hollywood influenced disaster movies, with some of the most heartwarming and lovely human interaction moments before chaos erupts, predictable and manipulative but satisfyingly large scale

Symbol - slapstick and transcendent

Montage - another thriller, police procedural, lots of twists and turns

 

I use this site for reviews:

http://www.easternkicks.com/

 

my favourite asian films

http://letterboxd.com/aehii/list/favourite-asian-films-watched-always-updated/

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@d ebolenk

Heh actually seen a few of those, loved Bedevilled, As the Gods Will and Why Don't You Play in Hell. What's Intruders doing on that list though? :P (unless it's not this one?)

 

I'm trying to find Lesson of the Evil but can't really find anywhere to watch it. Well I did on some site called Viki in 480p but that just feels wrong. Any tips? 

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2 minutes ago, VN1X said:

@d ebolenk

Heh actually seen a few of those, loved Bedevilled, As the Gods Will and Why Don't You Play in Hell. What's Intruders doing on that list though? :P (unless it's not this one?)

 

I'm trying to find Lesson of the Evil but can't really find anywhere to watch it. Well I did on some site called Viki in 480p but that just feels wrong. Any tips? 

 

It's not that one ! It's this

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3118758/

 

 

 

 

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This thread delivers! Well done rllmuk. Just seen Lesson of The Evil and while it dragged on a bit during the second half (which seems to be a staple of Takashi Miike's films) it sure was a... blast to start off with. Funnily enough it had a recurring German music theme. :P

 

Up next City of Life and Death which I had on my HDD for years but only just realised I still hadn't seen it. Thanks for reminding me ebolenk! 

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