Hey, I'm new here. Gonna start with a really long post:
My Asian Recommendations
Since everyone's constantly barking about underrepresented female filmmakers - see this year's Cannes festival ruckus - I will throw the name of Vietnamese filmmaker VIET LINH, especially as Vietnamese cinema (not to be confused with foreign films made in or about Vietnam, like American war films or those of French-Vietnamese Tran Anh Hung) is nonexistent on DVD anywhere. Here is an interview with Linh:http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/apr20 ... -a21.shtml
Of course, whether Second Run or anyone else could ever dig up Vietnamese films, even fairly recent ones, is a question.
Also early "5th Generation" Chinese films, particularly the pre-International Breakthrough CHEN KAIGE films, like The King of Children
, which I have heard is masterful. WU TIANMING scored a small international success with his great King of Masks, and even a (cropped) Sony DVD release of that film in the States, but his early films are also worth seeing, like Zhang Yimou-starring The Old Well
. I still don't think TIAN ZHUANGZHUANG's Horse Thief
has seen anything approaching a decent DVD release, and there are a few other interesting possibilities from this filmmaker. JIANG WEN's In the Heat of the Sun
has only been released on DVD in Japan, far as I know.
From Korea, I know that PARK KWANG-SU was considered one of the major talents of the Korean New Wave. A few have been released and quickly gone out of print in Korea. Two are surprisingly available complete on Youtube with English subs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cmtZ4XY ... ton&wide=1
and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nGI-NJ3 ... ton&wide=1
), but To the Starry Island
, for example, just can't be found.
If I had to pick one movie from anywhere on Earth that I'd like to see again it's Korean filmmaker Bae Yong-kyun's strange, mesmerizing The People in White
which imagines the burying of tradition by the rapid modernization of the country as a man just released from prison who returns home only to find there's a massive abandoned factory where his village used to be, and wanders like a ghost through it. In an interview Bae said that after his masterful Buddhist film Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (which, like People in White he wrote, shot, directed, and edited himself) he'd said all he had to say, so I was surprised to find that he made another film, and I think this one's just as impressive, if not more so.
ANN HUI is a fine filmmaker from Hong Kong who has been making films since 1979. I still don't think her Boat People
has ever seen a DVD release, though there may be an obscure one in HK.
From Taiwan, there are a number of impressive films made by people who aren't Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Ming-liang, and Edward Yang. Let me add to the voices for Wu Nien-jen's A Borrowed Life
, already suggested a few times here, which sounds amazing, as well as the same director's Buddha Bless America
. Other interesting possibilities: Wan Jen's Super Citizen Ko
and Hsu Hsiao-ming's Heartbreak Island
Second Run doesn't seem to do much pre-1960s works, but there's a whole world of buried old Japanese treasures out there: Kinoshita, Toyoda, Masumura, Ichikawa, Gosho...
From Europe, Second Run's already released the one movie I've wanted to see again for years, Larks on a String - yeah! - as well as a number of other fine choices. And of course there are a number of other terrific European suggestions here, I just thought I'd plug for the Far East a bit. And I'll add a name to the fray I haven't seen mentioned yet: early French Otar Iosseliani, much of which is available in France, in French, but would be nice to see with English subs.
Oh, and tons of other stuff, tons.
I know this is an old post, but these recommendations are all phenomenal. I've been searching in vain for