New video store opened; foreign film feast at Chez Pug

The Blockbastard here in our one-horse town finally has competition. It’s the other big video rental joint, Hollywood Video. The two places are pretty similar, but there’s one important difference: HV has plenty of foreign films. We rented Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, Kurosawa’s High and Low, and Claire’s Knee.

So far we’ve watched the first two and we’re batting 1,000, as those were two very fine films. The 400 Blows was a poignant story of an adolescent boy drifting into juvenile delinquency in the darker sections of Paris. The young actor who played Antoine was marvelous. I wonder if he did anything else noteworthy?

High and Low was a great kidnapping/detective story and was different from any other Kurosawa movie I had seen before. Well-done storytelling and plenty of good police and detective work was detailed. In addition to Toshiro Mifune, I recognized a lot of actors from previous Kurosawa films.

Tonight: Claire’s Knee, which we will watch until it’s time to tune in to the replay of the Tour de France.

I hear ya pug!
I wonder if they will take my old membership card from when I lived in Fremont in '99?
I plan on stopping by soon.

(…just realized you might not mean the new one in M.H. You did didn’t you…?)

::wanders away scratching his head::

The same actor (Jean-Pierre Leaud) played Antoine in four further movies Truffaut made about the character (the short Antoine and Colette, Stolen Kisses, Bed and Board and Love on the Run.) The 400 Blows is the best by far, though the others are worth watching.

Have you seen Ikiru or Stray Dog? Like High and Low they’re set in contemporary times, and Stray Dog is another detective film.

Eric Rohmer. Excellent choice.

If your video store has it, I highly recommend Closely Watched Trains (Ostre sledované vlaky), directed by Jiri Menzel. It’s a story about a young man in Czechoslovakia during the time of the Nazi occupation who wants to lose his virginity. Lots of fabulous subversive sexual and religious imagery. Probably my favorite film ever. We watched it in my film class last semester and I started trembling noticeably during the part where…

Milos slits his wrists in the bath, the worker rescues him, and together they form the image of the Pieta.

My recommendations:

Aguirre, the Wrath of God
All About My Mother
Andrei Roublev
The Apu Trilogy: Pather Panchali, Aparajito, The World of Apu
The Battle of Algiers
The Battleship Potemkin
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Berlin: Symphony of Great City
The Bicycle Thief
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Central Station
The Children of Paradise
Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne
Dersu Uzala
Diary of a Country Priest
The Earrings of Madame de . . .
8 1/2
Fanny and Alexander
Forbidden Games
Germany Year Zero
Grand Illusion
Ivan the Terrible, Parts I and II
La Jetée
Knife in the Water
The Last Laugh
The Leopard
M (1931)
Man With the Movie Camera
Miracle in Milan
My Name Is Ivan
Napoleon (1927)
The Night of the Shooting Stars
Nights of Cabiria
Los Olvidados
Open City
Pandora’s Box
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Rocco and His Brothers
La Ronde
Rules of the Game
The Seven Samurai
Stray Dog
Throne of Blood
Tokyo Story
Triumph of the Will
The Virgin Spring
The Wages of Fear
Wings of Desire

Yep, «Ðëëp¤F®ïêd»™, the new one in M.H., near the Starbucks and Petco. BTW, all this month all movies are 99 cents as part of their grand opening promotion, so go and stock up!

Thanks for the recommendations, Walloon. I’ve seen about 1/8 of what your list, and I’ll check and see which of the others they carry next time I go. What they don’t carry, I can get from Video Library.

We didn’t see Claire’s Knee last night as the replay of yesterday’s stage of the Tour de France was too good to turn off and too long to start a movie afterwards. We’ll try this weekend.

Some additional foriegn movie recommends:

Bloody Angels (1732 Høtten)
The Slingshot (Kådisbellan)
Angel Baby