Demy and Truffaut and Kieslowski… these are a few of my favourite foreign films

Posted on January 10, 2019


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My editor asked me to follow up last week’s column with a list of foreign-film favourites, and there are two ways to go about this. One is to follow the establishment-approved route, and talk about Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, Jiří Menzel’s Closely Watched Trains, Fritz Lang’s M, Jean Renoir’s Rules of the Game, one of the many Buñuels, Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima Mon Amour, so on and so forth. These are all… worthy films. They are all… must-sees. They are all… landmarks in the history of cinema. They are all… not the films that instantly spring to mind when I think of “favourites”.

In the sense that these are films that I admire, that I have seen several times, that have taught me a lot – and yet, they’re not the films I’d reach for unless I’m in the mood. You know the mood I’m talking about. It’s the mood that says “I think I’ll have some steamed broccoli for dinner”. Hence, the other route, which is a list of films I don’t just admire but also love. These are films I’d sit down to watch anytime. They’re personal. For various reasons, they speak to me. And if I’ve not mentioned two absolute favourites (Pedro Almodóvar’s Talk to Her, Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También), it’s because I have spoken about them many times and I wanted to make space for other films.

Continued at the link above.

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