Best Foreign Film: 1963

Actual Nominations:  8 1/2. Knife In The Water. Twin Sisters Of Kyoto. Los Tarantos.The Red Lanterns.

For me it’s a toss up between 8 and a Half and Polanski’s Knife In The Water. Polanski’s debut is powerful and filled with juicy tension but 8.5 is one of the best. Making up the rest of the nominations – The Red Lanterns by Vasilis Georgiadis, an adaptation of the Greek Play is another movie dealing with taboo subjects in a manner ahead of its time, featuring the lives and romances of a group of prostitutes. Los Tarantos by Francisco Rovira Beleta is another play adaptation, and another dealing with often destructive relationships. A dated musical loosely based on Romeo And Juliet, it nevertheless has some catchy tunes and a fair amount of violence. Finally, Noburo Nakamura’s Twin Sisters Of Kyoto, this time based on a book, is a less shocking, more touching film about twins separated at birth who finally find each other.

My Winner: 8 1/2.

My Nominations: 8 1/2. Knife In The Water. Bushido-Samurai Saga. Contempt. The Silence. High And Low.

My additions to the category this year are from Japan, Sweden, and France. Godard’s Contempt was a breakout film for Bardot, but it is the treatment of an artist under pressure by those who would threaten his art which is the forceful point here and the great casting of Fritz Lang as himself is a bonus. Bushido is a sterling action effort in a strong year for Japan (2 films by Kon Ichikawa narrowly miss a spot), High And Low is an impressive character study, and The Silence is one of my favourite Bergman films. He also made Winter Light this year, a polar opposite to The Silence. Silence is full of classic Bergman moments and is a creepy look at sexuality.

My Winner: 8 1/2

What are your thoughts on this year’s nominations? Which would be your picks? Let us know in the comments!

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