MY TEN FAVORITE EUROPEAN FILMS
(This morning, anyway)
8 and 1/2 1963
Probably my all-time fave film, period. Responsibility visited, and avoided at all cost. Oh, that Guido.
Grand Illusion 1937
When asked to name his ten favorite movies, Orson Welles replied. “Oh, that’s easy, Grand Illusion, and nine others”.
The Bicycle Thief 1948
DeSica’s poignant look at a father and son in ravaged post-war Rome.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie 1972
Bunuel’s love affair with, and hilarious take on the Bourgeoisie – what they do, what they say, how they think – If they do, if they say, if they think. A surreal comedy – the Bunuel way.
Belmondo and Seberg, on the run. Sometimes silly, often dazzling. Godard’s best, I think. And, the best of the French New Wave.
Gilligan’s Island for grown-ups.
Beauty and the Beast 1946
Well, you know the story. Cocteau’s masterpiece, and lovely to look at. Say, is that wall moving?
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday 1953
The hapless Hulot heads for the seashore. A delightful comedy in mime, with an elastic Tati surviving one catastrophic situation after another. My two fave scenes are The Train Station, and that Taffy that never quite reaches the sand.
Claire’s Knee 1970
At an alpine lake resort, a 35 year old Jerome is struck dumb by teenage Claire. If he could just touch her knee, maybe that would be enough. Sensually photographed by Nestor Almendros, this is Rohmer’s best effort, I think. An intelligent film, meant for an intelligent audience.
Lang’s silent sci-fi dazzler. Hard to imagine now, the audience’s reaction in 1927, to these visionary images. Many have not scene this – don’t be one of them.
© 2011 Shaun Costello