Edward Copeland has released his collaborative 100-best list of foreign films. I’ve no real quibbles with anything in the top 25, but I find the high ranking of Wings of Desire at #41 inexplicable. This movie is perhaps the art-house version of The Princess Bride or The Gods Must Be Crazy in its overratedness.
I agree with many of Copeland’s committee that the Kieslowski Three Colors trilogy should be considered as one movie, not three: the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Here’s an edited version of the note that I sent Copeland, with my picks:
I think that I have seen about 40% of the films on the list, albeit some of them not since college. Many of them are perfectly good, but I’m not sure that I would give them a 1-25 ranking. So here are my top 12…, including a few write-ins:
#1 M, Fritz Lang [#3 on the Copeland list]
#2 The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Demy [#65]
#3 Three Colors: Red, Kieslowski [#39]
#4 Three Colors: Blue, Kieslowski [#62]
#5 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Almodovar — write-in
#6 Ran, Kurosawa [#16]
#7 Repulsion, Roman Polanski — write-in
#8 The Conformist, Bertolucci [#18]
#9 Three Colors: White, Kieslowski [did not make the Copeland cut]
#10 The Vanishing, Sluizer [did not make the Copeland cut]
#11 Open Hearts, Susanne Bier — write-in
#12 Fantastic Planet, Rene Laloux — write-in
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring, Ki-duk Kim, should also be on the list, but I don’t think it meets your release-year criterion.
The voting has served as a prod to get Das Boot and Jules and Jim onto my Netflix queue.