Official Nominations: Closely Watched Trains. El Amor Brujo. I Even Met Gypsies. Live For Life. Portrait Of Chieko.
An unusual year for the Foreign Film category in that none of the nominations are instantly recognizable to the general viewing public when compared against some of the other releases this year. Closely Watched Trains, the official winner, is a worthy mixture of comedy and WWII era drama, a coming of age story which celebrates both lethargy, innocence, and the unlikely hero. El Amor Brujo, an adaptation of the ballet of the same name is a peculiar choice while I Even Met Gypsies is a grim but watchable look at Romani life. Live For Life is a little overlong and bland for a Lelouche effort while Portrait Of Cheiko was Nakamura’s last important film.
My Winner: Closely Watched Trains.
My Nominations: Belle De Jour. Le Depart. Le Samourai. Weekend. Oedipus Rex. Samurai Rebellion. Firemen’s Ball.
None of the Official Nominees make it over to my list this year, a list which includes Milos Forman’s controversial satire Firemen’s Ball – a film which would make it to the official list the following year. The most well known film here is Belle De Jour, arguably Bunel’s best work, and a film which also courted controversy with its attitude towards sex and relationships. The little known Belgian comedy Le Depart warrants a closer look while Le Samourai has been examined and re-examined endlessly thanks to its depth of charm and influence. Godard’s Weekend is a film which remains bizarre to this day a film which gets progressively stranger as the central couple’s lives slowly unravel into utter chaos, while Oedipus Rex is a largely faithful cinematic version of the classic tale. Finally, Samurai Rebellion sees Toshiro Mifune on top form as a feared, loyal swordsman who turns his back on his Lord when his family is put at risk.
My Winner: Belle De Jour.
Which Foreign film of 1967 do you think deserves the crown? Let us know in the comments!