Goofy foreign language films

Just got home from watching a French film called Smoking Causes Coughing. It’s pleasantly cheesy and very French.

Such a long time since I’ve seen a non-English language comedy at the cinema. Has anyone else seen some lately?

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Not in a while, but if we’re talking French comedy, I think there’s one that rises far above the others-


You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the director’s English-language film Rubber. It’s exactly what it sounds like. :wink:


What else, but…?


And, naturally, this.

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This is my third-favorite movie of all-time, behind the original Night of the Living Dead and the all-time champ in my book, Jaws.

With only six feature-length films to his name, Jacques Tati wasn’t very prolific, but WHAT he made was absolute magic. I love love love his stuff. All of his movies are five-star movies in my book.

Naturally, this is where I’d recommend the Criterion Channel and for y’all to find the stuff that he did. It goes like this for me in chronological order:

Jour de Fete: Really neat and simple charm, a taste of the brilliance that Tati would serve up in the years ahead.

Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday: Pure and absolute magic that introduces Tati’s famous bumbler, Monsieur Hulot. It’s not a gutbusting comedy of uproarious laughter, it is a comedy of nostalgia and feelings and warmth with gentle slapstick and sight gag fun. Ebert’s review gets into this way better than I ever could. The setting, the score, the characters, the direction, it’s all there, and it’s all amazing.

Mon Oncle: Super-fun follow-up to Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday that sees Hulot’s rustic ways clashing with those of his ultra-modern sister and brother-in-law. With all the modernist humor and sight gags, this resembles a spiritual successor to Chaplin’s Modern Times at points. I put this a slight notch below Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, making this my fifth-favorite movie behind The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. But there’s nothing ugly about this movie, just beautiful filmmaking all over the place.

Playtime: Tati’s most intricate and ambitious Hulot movie, a movie that rewards you on multiple viewings. There’s a LOT going on here, as you can tell from the physical use of spae and all the fake Hulots and whatnot. This represents a progression of sorts for the Hulot series, as we go from the sweet and simple beachside whimsy of Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday to the modernist jazz creeping up on a rustic way of life in Mon Oncle to the impossibly sleek-and-streamlined ultra-modernist environs of Playtime where the only time we glimpse rustic France is in a postcard’s reflection in a glass door. All wonderful stuff, but the restaurant scene near the end is as good as they come. Yowza.

Trafic: My least-favorite of the Tati movies is still a very sharp ride with the Hulot character (appearing in film for the final time) trying to get a car from Paris to an auto show in Amsterdam. The pure whimsicality and wonder of the previous movies isn’t quite at full blast here, and perhaps that’s the point. Even so, if you’ve enjoyed the other movies in this series, I well imagine that you’d find much to enjoy here.

Parade: This one’s different from the Hulot series, in that it’s actually made for Swedish television and has Tati serving as the emcee for a circus variety show that featuring mime acts, slapstick and so on. It feels like, for many, this is the least of Tati’s efforts, but I find it to be a sweet and charming farewell from the masterclass director.

tl;dr: Jacques Tati is one of my favorite directors, and his stuff is well worth tracking down. Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday and Mon Oncle are on HBO Max; all six of his films are on the Criterion Channel. Check 'em out.


Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell is a Japanese Evil Dead rip-off/love letter created by someone with a tenth of the talent but as much passion. It might not be great but the guy REALLY swinging for the fences means there’s a sweetness to it in a twisted way. I’ll also say it’s only 63 minutes!


And there’s Hausu (1977), which is considered a bit odd even by Japanese standards!

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I love House to death. It’s one of the wildest films out there.

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How about

Like many in the USA, this was my introduction to the director, and it made me an instant fan. Pedro said his intent was to make a Hollywood film, and here you get a bright screwball comedy, with nods to classic Westerns and Hitchcock’s Rear Window, etc.

Almodóvar’s ensemble casts are always special. I especially liked Carmen Maura and Maria Barranco.

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This one was pretty nuts, but it has the lovely Mathila “Lifeforce” May in it, so yay!

I’ve only seen bits of this, plus an online review. Unicorn Wars (2022) has the visual aesthetic of a Care Bears flick, but leans thematically more towards Apocalypse now, All quiet on the Western front and Cannibal Holocaust.
The official trailer is pretty mild, at least compared to the movie itself.

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Now that looks cool. I’ll keep a lookout for it.