Top Twenty-Five Non-English films

I was reading this fine Jim Emerson post on Scanners about Edward Copeland’s cool project to vote on the best non-English films (post, the 122 nominees who made it, link to the final ballot)

So, in the spirit of things, I worked up a list, but it went way over. When I cut it down to one film per director, I had twenty, and that seemed a reasonable list. (I cut a bunch of other Woo/Kieslowski/Miyazaki films). My tastes run to the enjoyable craziness of a Kung Fu Hustle over the Seventh Sign, which is clearly a sign that I’m a dork.

In rough order of awesomeness:

Red, Kieslowski
Seven Samurai, Kurosawa
Kiki’s Delivery Service, Miyazaki
Drunken Master 2, Chia-Liang Liu
The Killer, Woo
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Lee
Battle of Algiers, Pontecorvo
Run Lola Run, Tykwer
La Femme Nikita, Besson
Fucking Amal (or “Show Me Love”), Moodysson
Kung Fu Hustle, Chow
Das Boot, Petersen
Man on the Train, Laconte
Running Out of Time, Zahn
Raise the Red Lantern, Zhang
Metropolis, Lang
The 400 Blows, Truffaut
Intacto, Fresnadillo
Battleship Potemkin, Eisenstein
Battle Royale, Fukasaki

Yes, Battle Royale’s on there.

(Red is, btw, the best movie I’ve ever seen in my life.)

3 thoughts on “Top Twenty-Five Non-English films

  1. jbrown

    I’ve seen a fair share of Miyazaki movies, but not Kiki’s Delivery Service. So I take it I should? My list of favorite Miyazaki movies would look something like this (in order, although I don’t how strongly I’d hold to it):

    Spirited Away
    Howl’s Moving Castle
    Princess Mononoke
    Porco Rosso
    My Neighbor Totoro
    Castle in the Sky

    I’d be curious to see your rankings of his films, and also any suggestions of other ones I should see.

  2. DMZ Post author

    I love, love, love Kiki’s Delivery Service, but a large part of that is because it’s a metaphor for creative block, so it reaches way back into part of my brain and grabs hold. It’s an amazingly great movie.

    Sooooooooooooooooo… I’d put them

    Spirited Away
    thennnn Nausicaa, Totoro, Castle, Porco Rosso.

  3. Luke

    From most of the other movies on your list, I’m afraid that these’ll put you to sleep, but to me Wang Kar Wai’s “In The Mood For Love” and “2046” (which is too recent to be considered for their list) are brilliant. I don’t know of a better film sequel than “2046”.

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