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The OFFICIAL BOT Top 100 Foreign Films of all Time Ever List Begins...

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93rd: Man with a Movie Camera - Soviet Union (1929)

1 top 5 Vote

82 pts

Assumed Plot: A lonely man acquires a camcorder in an era where such things were rare commodities. Things begin innocently enough as he starts to document the people and the world around him. But then one day he captures 'her' on camera. He is captivated, and being to shy to go up to talk to her, his life becomes an obsession of living every aspect of her life. It begins following her from place to place, but as time goes by, things get more and more sinister...   

 

 

 

And this is another I got very very wrong indeed.  

 

This appears to be more of a documentary and using the medium of film to show the world in a way that was pretty much impossible to do so before this time. It is also therefore potentially something that is recommendable as a feat of film making, with important historical significance, as opposed to being a great narrative to watch and enjoy. (But I say this as an assumption with no basis from having actually seen it. 

 

This is also yet another new country hitting the list, showing the wide varieties of cinemas that have received love in this countdown.   

 

From Amazon user, Barbara Underwood

 

Even if Soviet Russian Avant Garde is your least favourite genre, chances are that "Man With the Movie Camera" will still leave a deep and permanent impression on your mind and compel you to watch it more than once. Unlike other famous Russian films of the late silent era such as Eisenstein's "The Battleship Potemkin" and Pudovkin's "The Fall of St Petersburg", the director of this film, Dziga Vertov, took an even more revolutionary step away from mainstream commercial cinema, and even fiercely resisted the narrative film, meaning the staged, theatrical, planned movie with a story and actors. This outlook on art and cinema led to Vertov developing the concepts of capturing "life unawares" and "life as it is" with the movie camera to create a unique experience in film documentary which is at the same time an impressive work of art.

This Image DVD has a musical score by the Alloy Orchestra, based on instructions by Vertov himself because in a visual work of art like this, the music should underscore and complement the images as best as possible. The Alloy Orchestra has achieved this goal brilliantly, and there is also an optional audio commentary to provide more insight into Vertov's ideas, as well as various background information which help the viewer appreciate the film on a deeper level.

Vertov resisted the notion of telling a story like all his contemporaries, but he ended up telling a much more profound and important story than all other filmmakers, namely the story of life, told in the universal language of pictures, of cinema, which requires no words and no speech. This is perhaps what makes this film special and unique, and transcends any label one might like to give it, whether Soviet Avant Garde, Silent or documentary. An experience not easily forgotten, and well worth adding to a serious film collection!

 

Films by Nation

 

1 - France

1 - Hong Kong

1 - Italy

1 - India

1 - Mexico

1 - China

1 - Denmark

1 - Soviet Union

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92nd: The Wages of Fear - France (1953)

1 top 10 Vote

83 pts

Assumed Plot: In 19th century Paris, the monarchy is no more and people find themselves laying beneath the guillotine because they own more than one cow. It is a terror-fying time and there are those that pray on this fear to make the masses march to their own drum. A harrowing story of how one family tries to survive in post-monarchical France.   

 

 

Ok, apparently it is actually the story of the adventures of two Italians named Mario and Luigi...

 

Although technically a French/Italian collaboration, it appears to err more on being French that Italian, so it;s one point for France of the list, and so France is the first nation to place twice on our countdown.

 

I will admit that from the trailer, this film was not made with me in mind (but most good films are not made with me in mind, so that means nothing). It looks very character heavy and possibly the kind of film that is one person's classic, and another person;s not so classic.  

 

 

From Amazon user, Dustman

 

My first encounter with the film of Henri Georges Clouzot was his "Quai des Orfèvres" (1947). I saw it on late-night TV and, being eight years old at the time, I didn't realize that what I was viewing was a much trucated American release under the title of "Jenny Lamour". "Quai des Orfèvres" is an exotic film with mixtures of suspense and mild eroticism with touches of police procedural and noir. Then in my viewing experience came "Diabolique" (1955) a masterful blend of horror and suspense and a must-see for all fans of the genre. At last I caught up with what many consider to be Clouzot's masterpiece "The Wages of Fear" (1953). What struck me most about the three films was how different they were in subject matter although all three contained, in varying degrees, elements of suspense and thrills. Though vastly different in content, there is definite style that punctuates his works. But it's with "The Wages of Fear" that you experience the kind of knuckle-biting suspense and adventure that is nearly unparalled in film history. This beautiful transfer by Criterion is the version to own as it presents the film in its original uncut form. Don't miss this one!

 

Films by Nation

 

2 - France

1 - Hong Kong

1 - Italy

1 - India

1 - Mexico

1 - China

1 - Denmark

1 - Soviet Union

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91st: Let The Right One In - Sweden (2008)

1 top 10 Votes

83 pts (More votes cast)

Assumed Plot: Ok, cards on the table, I know that this is a vampire film and that there is a Swimming pool at some point. But that is all. So that said, this is about a society where vampires exist, but some can resist the urge to feast upon human blood? And so this is maybe a coming of age story of a young teen vampire trying to decide if they want to try and function within the parameters of non-vampiric society, or if they want to give in the the dark urges and surrender to the night. 

 

 

You know you are not dealing with Hollywood when 'Romantic Horror Film' is a genre you have to contend with. 

 

if memory serves, this film shot to prominence at the time when foreign horror films were becoming an in vogue thing to watch. It started things like Ring and Grudge from Japan around the turn of the Millennium and as that well started to sputter out, it seemed every year there was a new country producing a new classic horror film (Korea, Thailand, Sweden, to name a few). 

 

This also became a Hollywood remake as Let Me In a couple of years later. It is unsurprising to see Sweden find representation on this list, but maybe this was not the first film many expected to be the one to begin that representation. 

 

 

From Amazon user, R Lily

 

Disturbing and poignant, beautiful and horrifying, Upsetting and yet a triumph. I could certainly say a lot about this film if I felt so inclined, but I really don't want to say much. I was surprised at just how good this film was, and how affecting I found it, and it made tears well up in my eyes on more than one occasion.

The performances are great. The setting is wonderful. The story is simple and yet superb. Its different from the genre norms in ways that work to its favor almost flawlessly, and, overall, its easily found its way into my top 5 or 6 vampire-films of all-time.

If you have not seen this film, and have any love at all for the genre, you need to rectify this and watch this movie ASAP. Chances are, unless you need a TON of action, fangs, and gore, you won't be disappointed.

 

Films by Nation

 

2 - France

1 - Hong Kong

1 - Italy

1 - India

1 - Mexico

1 - China

1 - Denmark

1 - Soviet Union

1 - Sweden

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Would love to see some A Chinese Ghost Story representation in here, hopefully it happens.

 

Compare this stunning gliding shot to most modern CGI, it's just something else.

 

MTamZYQ.gif

 

Nothing beats real effects with real actors that's for sure. Tsui Hark was a real practical effects wizard

Edited by Daxtreme
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90th: Three Colours: Blue - France (1993)

0 top 10 Votes

83 pts (More votes cast)

Assumed Plot: I know that this is part of a trilogy. I know that trilogy is named after the flag. I don't know if it is an actual trilogy, or like a Vengeance/Cornetto trilogy type deal. Therefore I am deciding that this is essentially a French take on the Before Trilogy, But instead of it being a first date that spreads over 15 years, its a multi-film take on Frenchness. On that front, I am assuming that the Blue part of the trilogy is a reflection on national traits of surrender and cowardice.  

 

Spoiler

I kid France. I absolutely love you really :) 

 

 

 

You know, I forgot that the French flag is blue first and so this is probably the opening film and not the finale to the trilogy. 

 

Judging from the trailer, this is not a comedy. Some depressing stuff is going to go down. I have no idea whether the colours have any symbolism (other than the obvious flag/national colours aspect). But if they do, and judging from the general overview of what this film is, I am guessing that Blue is the story of grief/sadness, White would then be trying to make peace, before red erupts in a see of anger and revenge?

 

Either way, this is now France's third appearance on the list and they are starting to build a healthy lead in the most represented country race. How long can this continue? 

 

 

From Amazon user,  Mango

 

My first Kieslowski film lives up to its large reputation. Juliette Binoche is outstanding, the narrative enthralling and the music captivating. Some original cinematic touches, such as the fade out/fade in technique, mark Kieslowski as a highly innovative, artistic filmmaker. Looking forward to watching the other two members of the Three Color trilogy, as well as Double Life of Veronique....highly recommend this movie!

 

Films by Nation

 

3 - France

1 - Hong Kong

1 - Italy

1 - India

1 - Mexico

1 - China

1 - Denmark

1 - Soviet Union

1 - Sweden

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89th: The Grand Illusion - France (1937)

1 top 5 Votes

83 pts

Assumed Plot: okay, obviously illusion is related to magic, but I am not going to fall for that. No way some French Wizard film is making a top 100 list. So therefore I am gonna punt for this being a con-artist film. Something like a Now You See Me, but good... oh so Matchstick men. Yes, this is a French con-artist about some massive heist of grand scale.  

 

 

Oh FFS! I thought I was onto something with this being a French Matchstick Men, but turns out it is a French Great Escape!

 

In fact the short blurb about the film I read sounds very Great Escapey indeed, except... this is made before WW2, let alone that film so yeah there's that. 

 

I will also say that from the trailer, it does actually look quite excellent indeed. It seems to have a hint of comedy going through it ala a Marvel Film and that is always a good thing. It is also praised by a number of great directors such as Scorsese and Unicron.

 

Addtionally, this is the third French film in the space of four entries and thus France is really forming a stranglehold on the Most Films in the Top 100 charts. But how many more will there be? 

 

 

From Amazon user,  N Hill

 

There is very little wonder in my mind why this film is considered an all time classic - an absolutely brilliant, even timeless piece of movie making! As a lifelong First World War history buff, I have known of this film by reputation for a long time, but never really bothered to sit down and watch it. Boy am I glad I did - I have seen some amazing films in my day, including watching the entirety of AFI's 100 Years, 100 Movies list so it's not as though I have no frame of reference to compare this to. This movie easily belongs in the category of an all-time classic.

I'll confess, I was very much on the fence for the first ~15 minutes or so and my early impression was this would be another of those "doesn't stand the test of time" movies...but then it sucked me in and never let go! The cinematography was absolutely brilliant and seemed to always perfectly set the mood. The acting was also incredibly natural, authentic, and had an almost a modern feel to it. And the story line...it really "had it all" without ever once feeling like it was one of those movies that's trying a little too hard to "have it all". It just felt very natural and unforced.

One interesting side note: as you might imagine, the overwhelming majority of the dialogue in the film is in French. There's a smattering of German and just a couple background lines of Russian, but what was really interesting and unexpected was there were also a handful of lines exchanged between Pierre Fresnay and Erich von Stroheim in English (in fact, some of the most pivotal lines of the film were in English). Fresnay speaks almost perfectly accented British English.

This is a must-watch and is definitely going very near the top of my all-time favorites. Perhaps the next time someone gets the itch to start a war, they should take the 2 hours out of their lives to watch this movie from start to finish - they may just have a change of heart!

 

Films by Nation

 

4 - France

1 - Hong Kong

1 - Italy

1 - India

1 - Mexico

1 - China

1 - Denmark

1 - Soviet Union

1 - Sweden

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88th: Rang de Basanti - Hindi (2006)

1 top 5 Vote, 1 top 10

84 pts

Assumed Plot: Okay, so I know that Rang means colour, and I believe Basanti is Spring, and de is... well French. So we have a film called Colour of Spring from India, but also kind of in France. So Spring is a symbol of new life and new starts, so I am going to guess that this is the story of a heartbroken Indian man who goes to France... no French Switzerland to find himself, and then finds love where he least suspects. (I mean obviously with an Indian girl of whom his parents would approve, but he just wasn't expecting to meet them in Geneva.   

 

I have a good feeling about this guess...

 

 

 

Holi! I should have gone with Holi, that is all spring and colour. Also, did that song begin by sampling Punjabi MC? 

 

So a lot happens in that song, it does not appear to be set in Switzerland though. It does feel like a lot of the classic 21st century Bollywood that I (very limitedly) know and love. It does seem to also have a pretty interesting and pertinent message. 

 

The idea of remembering where you come from and appreciating what people before put themselves through can often be a great story to tell/learn so long as it doesn't career off into the deep-end of jingoism. The idea to frame the story as it being told to a British documentary-maker is a great one, and maybe this is a film more people should have on their radar. 

 

This also means that Bollywood now join France in the multiple entry ranks, (I have decided to split Bollywood and non-Bollywood films as it feels like a distinction that could/should be made, but I may rechange my mind if it seems wiser to do so.) 

 

From Amazon user,  Segei Kochikin

 

This is a brilliant movie which superimposes the atrocities of British occupation of India with that of modern India frought with corruption and oppression. The key message is of course if you don't like what is going on in your government get involved and perhaps change it from within. The teachings of Gandhi of peaceful non-violent non-cooperation and "resist not evil" seem hardly effective in solving the corruption of government in India or the U.S. especially when peaceful protest is suppressed and even outlawed. No one of course condones the actions of these 5 youth who have awakened. But the time is coming when the disenfranchised rise up and over-thrown their oppressors whether it is a fascist government or fake democracy, and some will martyr themselves to awake their fellow countryman to permanent change.

 

Films by Nation

 

4 - France

2 - Bollywood

1 - Hong Kong

1 - Italy

1 - Mexico

1 - China

1 - Denmark

1 - Soviet Union

1 - Sweden

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Rang De Basanti is great. It's my 2nd fav Aamir Khan film (co-incidentally had 3 Idiots 3 leads in the cast). Basically tells story of a group of young people fighting against System in India when something tragic happens, with parallels drawn to group of Freedom fighters against British atrocities against Indians during late 1910s, specially Jallianwala Bagh Massacre where British killed over 1200 people during a peaceful gathering.

Edited by charlie Jatinder
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16 minutes ago, chasmmi said:

88th: Rang de Basanti - Hindi (2006)

1 top 5 Vote, 1 top 10

84 pts

Assumed Plot: Okay, so I know that Rang means colour, and I believe Basanti is Spring, and de is... well French. So we have a film called Colour of Spring from India, but also kind of in France. So Spring is a symbol of new life and new starts, so I am going to guess that this is the story of a heartbroken Indian man who goes to France... no French Switzerland to find himself, and then finds love where he least suspects. (I mean obviously with an Indian girl of whom his parents would approve, but he just wasn't expecting to meet them in Geneva.   

 

Replace Switzerland with Corsica and you described the plot of Tamasha

 

 

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7 hours ago, chasmmi said:

This appears to be more of a documentary and using the medium of film to show the world in a way that was pretty much impossible to do so before this time. It is also therefore potentially something that is recommendable as a feat of film making, with important historical significance, as opposed to being a great narrative to watch and enjoy. (But I say this as an assumption with no basis from having actually seen it. 

It's not a narrative at all, but it is insanely enjoyable. There's a shape - it covers one day in the life of a city - but most of all it's just an hour of pure playfulness showcasing what can be done with camera and editing. Maybe the coolest, most modern 90-year-old film you'll ever see.

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5 hours ago, titanic2187 said:

I don't rule out the possibility that Parasite top both BoT top 100 foreign language and Top 100 films of all time list.

 

I'm pretty sure that won't happen

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18 hours ago, lorddemaxus said:

Not sure if you read the list I updated on the 11th because Let The Right One In was in my top 10:

 

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It was just a typo, forgot to add the 1 after copy pasting a previous entry in to edit for that entry.

 

Same reason that sometimes the year is written wrong until I notice and change it. 

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87th: Life is Beautiful - Italy (1997)

1 top 10

84 pts (more votes)

Assumed Plot: Right, so this film is a bit like Jacob the liar right? Like it's set in World War 2 and is about a person trying to learn how to appreciate life and its preciousness all while the worst things imaginable are happening all around him. I think there may even also be a radio involved.

 

 

 

At some point soon, there will be a film I have actually seen and it will take us all by surprise.

 

I remember this film sweeping everybody off their feet and getting raved about. Robert Benigni was lauded as the next big thing in foreign cinema and a genius of insurmountable talent before pulling a Napoleon Dynamite and releasing a follow up film that was every bit as bad as the previous film was praised. This film certainly takes a different approach to portraying life during world war 2 and one could possibly even find sparks of inspiration for Jojo Rabbit with its framework. 

 

Either way, this is Italy's second official appearance on this list and I am assuming the last for Benigni as I do not believe Pinocchio was shown much love here either. 

 

 

From Amazon user,  Rob Sterling

 

Probably one of the greatest films that I've ever watched, and deservedly won several Oscars. One of those films that is utterly timeless, will never age, will never look dated.
Why some of the most memorable productions have so much humour and poignancy and leave you close to tears is probably the reason they will always stick with you and bring a lump to your throat at the mere thought of the film.
Refreshing to watch something that makes you feel alive despite all the tribulations surrounding us at the moment.

 

Films by Nation

 

4 - France

2 - Bollywood

2 - Italy

1 - Hong Kong

1 - Mexico

1 - China

1 - Denmark

1 - Soviet Union

1 - Sweden

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86th: Persepolis - France (2007)

0 top 10

84 pts (more votes)

Assumed Plot: This sounds like anime to me, doesn't it sound like anime to you? So I am gonna take a punt that this is anime. As it is not Ghibli I am also gonna assume it is set in a futuristic Earth where robots exist in some form. As Persephone was the goddess of harvest or something like that, I am also gonna say that Persepolis is a portmanteau of Persephone and Metropolis. 

 

Therefore, this is a film set in a future Japan, where robotic machines regulate the last natural eden-like city left on Earth, It is the final bastian of vegetation and nature, and an elite squad must fight to keep it safe from outsiders looking to destroy it. 

 

 

So it turns out that I mis-entered this into my list as Japanese, hence the completely wrong guess above. 

 

It also turns out that Persepolis is an old Iranian city, so there goes that also. 

 

Animation is wonderful isn't it? It can be fun, silly and fully of frolics for children to enjoy. It can be more adult and explore interesting themes in a way that live action cannot. And then sometimes it can turn everything you think you can expect from animated media on its head and emotionally destroy you.  

 

The animation itself is simple, but deliberately so, and that makes it all the more striking. It's a film that has had a lot of love shown for it and so is probably one for fans of animation to give a shot  if they have not already. 

 

From Amazon user,  Peter L Drake

 

There are at least two good reasons to love this film. For one, it's a fascinating first-hand account of how an oppressive regime can destroy opportunity, pleasure and hope for ordinary folk. If that sounds a little heavy, well no, it's done with a light touch, sympathy and occasional gentle humour, although it's certainly very touching at times.
Secondly, the animation is wonderful. The mostly black-and-white images are often stunning and add hugely to the impact of the film. Being hand-drawn somehow adds humanity to the characters - you can sense that they have been created by people who care about them. One of the extra features on the DVD demonstrates just how much work and attention to detail went into the process.
Don't hesitate, this DVD is worth every penny.

 

Films by Nation

 

5 - France

2 - Bollywood

2 - Italy

1 - Hong Kong

1 - Mexico

1 - China

1 - Denmark

1 - Soviet Union

1 - Sweden

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