Official Nominations: War And Peace. The Boys Of Paul Street. The Firemen’s Ball. The Girl With The Pistol. Stolen Kisses.
Bondarchuk’s War And Peace picked up the win this year, one of the most expensive, important, and successful Russian films ever, but perhaps an odd choice given that it was not reviewed without negative criticism. At over seven hours long it certainly feels faithful, but a number of ill casting choices and dated scenes hinder it for modern audiences. The Boys Of Paul Street is another faithful adaptation of the classic coming of age story, while Monicelli’s The Girl With The Pistol is a whimsical and hopeful take on some dark subject matter. Truffaut gets one of his biggest successes in Stolen Kisses, but my winner is one which was selected by me for 1967 – Forman’s amusing and unnecessarily controversial The Fireman’s Ball.
My Winner: The Fireman’s Ball
My Nominations: The Bride Wore Black. The Devil Rides Out. Death By Hanging. If… Je T’Aime Je T’Aime.
An entirely different list of foreign films this year, starting with Truffaut’s stormy The Bride Work Black. One of Truffaut’s most accessible works it is another which seems well ahead of its time. Dealing with similarly dark subject matter, If… sees Malcolm McDowell leading a cast of young actors through a surreal, counter-culture tale of school carnage while The Devil Rides Out is a Hammer take on Rosemary’s Baby with the action set in England a few decades previous, filled with atmosphere, tension, and hippy era Satanism. Back across the channel to France with Resnais’s Je T’aime Je T’aime, a bizarre and disjointed film about time travel, love, and life as disjointed as its main character, while in Japan the unsettling and funny Death By Hanging poses some serious questions about justice, ethics, and consciousness.
My Winner: The Devil Rides Out
What is your favourite Foreign Film of 1968? Let us know in the comments!