Being European for Dummies

by tohtorigonzo | created - 24 May 2016 | updated - 23 Oct 2018 | Public

Films that in some way capture the way of being European. Of course Europe is a prism of incredibly different colours of life and multitude of cultures that are so uniquely beautiful in themselves, but I still believe that there's something that we could maybe call europeanness - some deep undercurrent that we maybe could get a glimpse of - maybe through films, maybe some other way. Anyway - hope these will prove of some value to people from Americas or Asia or whatever.

Olkaa hyvä, s'il vous plaît, you're welcome, bitte, prego, de nada, varsågod.

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1. Roma (1972)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

A fluid, unconnected and sometimes chaotic procession of scenes detailing the various people and events of life in Italy's capital, most of it based on director Federico Fellini's life.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Britta Barnes, Peter Gonzales Falcon, Fiona Florence, Pia De Doses

Votes: 10,669

2. The Mother and the Whore (1973)

210 min | Drama, Romance

The chauvinist Alexandre balances relationships with several women, including the maternal Marie and the sexually liberated Veronika, in the post-1968 intellectual scene of Paris.

Director: Jean Eustache | Stars: Bernadette Lafont, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Françoise Lebrun, Isabelle Weingarten

Votes: 4,557

3. Journey to Italy (1954)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Romance

100 Metascore

An unhappily married couple attempts to find direction and insight while vacationing in Naples.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders, Maria Mauban, Anna Proclemer

Votes: 7,885

4. Nostalgia (1983)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

A Russian poet and his interpreter travel to Italy to research the life of an 18th-century composer.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Oleg Yankovskiy, Erland Josephson, Domiziana Giordano, Patrizia Terreno

Votes: 19,779 | Gross: $0.01M

5. Satantango (1994)

450 min | Drama

Plotting on a payment they are about to receive, residents of a collapsing collective farm see their plans turn into desolation when they discover that Irimiás, a former co-worker who they thought was dead, is coming back to the village.

Director: Béla Tarr | Stars: Mihály Vig, Putyi Horváth, László feLugossy, Éva Almássy Albert

Votes: 8,094

6. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

Votes: 24,847

7. The Sacrifice (1986)

PG | 149 min | Drama

At the dawn of World War III, a man searches for a way to restore peace to the world and finds he must give something in return.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Allan Edwall, Guðrún Gísladóttir

Votes: 21,041 | Gross: $0.30M

8. La Dolce Vita (1960)

Not Rated | 174 min | Comedy, Drama

93 Metascore

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée, Yvonne Furneaux

Votes: 60,481 | Gross: $19.52M

9. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 312,735 | Gross: $5.51M

10. The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy

87 Metascore

In 1940, after watching and being traumatized by the movie Frankenstein (1931), a sensitive seven year-old girl living in a small Spanish village drifts into her own fantasy world.

Director: Víctor Erice | Stars: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent, Isabel Tellería

Votes: 15,442

11. La Strada (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart, Aldo Silvani

Votes: 54,223

12. Jules and Jim (1962)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Romance

Decades of a love triangle concerning two friends and an impulsive woman.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre, Vanna Urbino

Votes: 34,270

13. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas, Pierre Barbaud

Votes: 25,654 | Gross: $0.09M

14. The Illusionist (2010)

PG | 80 min | Animation, Drama

82 Metascore

A French illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever.

Director: Sylvain Chomet | Stars: Jean-Claude Donda, Eilidh Rankin, Duncan MacNeil, Raymond Mearns

Votes: 32,206 | Gross: $2.23M

15. Drifting Clouds (1996)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

The recession hits a couple in Helsinki.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Kati Outinen, Kari Väänänen, Elina Salo, Sakari Kuosmanen

Votes: 6,366

16. The Lower Depths (1936)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Suzy Prim, Louis Jouvet, Jany Holt

Votes: 2,760

17. Germany Year Zero (1948)

Not Rated | 78 min | Drama, War

A young German boy faces the problems of the tough life in the immediate post WWII Berlin.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Edmund Moeschke, Ernst Pittschau, Ingetraud Hinze, Franz-Otto Krüger

Votes: 9,175

18. Cabaret (1972)

PG | 124 min | Drama, Musical

80 Metascore

A female girlie club entertainer in Weimar Republic era Berlin romances two men while the Nazi Party rises to power around them.

Director: Bob Fosse | Stars: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Joel Grey

Votes: 45,012 | Gross: $42.77M

19. Destiny (1921)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

When a woman's fiancé disappears, Death gives her three chances to save him from his fate.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Bernhard Goetzke, Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Hans Sternberg

Votes: 4,707 | Gross: $0.01M

20. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Not Rated | 92 min | Drama, Romance

An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Brigitte Mira, El Hedi ben Salem, Barbara Valentin, Irm Hermann

Votes: 17,051

21. The Servant (1963)

Unrated | 116 min | Drama

93 Metascore

Upper-class Tony hires servant Hugo Barrett, who turns out to have a hidden agenda.

Director: Joseph Losey | Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sarah Miles, Wendy Craig, James Fox

Votes: 8,338 | Gross: $0.04M

22. Fanny and Alexander (1982)

R | 188 min | Drama

100 Metascore

Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Bertil Guve, Pernilla Allwin, Kristina Adolphson, Börje Ahlstedt

Votes: 53,266 | Gross: $4.97M

23. Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)

145 min | Drama, Mystery

92 Metascore

An innocent young man witnesses violence break out after an isolated village is inflamed by the arrival of a circus and its peculiar attractions: a giant whale and a mysterious man named "The Prince."

Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky | Stars: Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz, Hanna Schygulla, János Derzsi

Votes: 11,574 | Gross: $0.03M

24. The Turin Horse (2011)

Not Rated | 155 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A rural farmer is forced to confront the mortality of his faithful horse.

Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky | Stars: János Derzsi, Erika Bók, Mihály Kormos, Ricsi

Votes: 14,051 | Gross: $0.05M

25. Dancer in the Dark (2000)

R | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

61 Metascore

An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare

Votes: 95,840 | Gross: $4.18M

26. Dogville (2003)

R | 178 min | Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits the town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall, Harriet Andersson

Votes: 129,326 | Gross: $1.53M

27. Diary of a Country Priest (1951)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

A young priest taking over the parish at Ambricourt tries to fulfill his duties even as he fights a mysterious stomach ailment.

Director: Robert Bresson | Stars: Claude Laydu, Nicole Ladmiral, Jean Riveyre, Adrien Borel

Votes: 8,723

28. Amarcord (1973)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama

A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio, Armando Brancia

Votes: 36,421

29. The Travelling Players (1975)

230 min | Drama, History, Music

Greece, 1939-1952: Fascist, Nazi, and Communist conflict, as seen through the eyes of a family of travelling provincial players.

Director: Theodoros Angelopoulos | Stars: Eva Kotamanidou, Vangelis Kazan, Aliki Georgouli, Kiriakos Katrivanos

Votes: 3,126

30. Europe '51 (1952)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama

A wealthy woman becomes obsessed with humanitarianism when her young son dies after committing suicide.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Alexander Knox, Ettore Giannini, Giulietta Masina

Votes: 2,924

31. I Vitelloni (1953)

Not Rated | 104 min | Comedy, Drama

87 Metascore

A character study of five young men at crucial turning points in their lives in a small town in Italy.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Franco Interlenghi, Leopoldo Trieste

Votes: 13,393 | Gross: $0.10M

32. The Decameron (1971)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, History

An adaptation of nine stories from Boccaccio's "Decameron".

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Jovan Jovanovic, Vincenzo Amato

Votes: 8,781

33. Teorema (1968)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Mystery

A mysterious young man seduces each member of a bourgeois family. When he suddenly leaves, how will their lives change?

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Silvana Mangano, Terence Stamp, Massimo Girotti, Anne Wiazemsky

Votes: 10,839

34. The Canterbury Tales (1972)

NC-17 | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, History

Pasolini's artistic, sometimes violent, always vividly cinematic retelling of some of Chaucer's most erotic tales.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Hugh Griffith, Laura Betti, Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti

Votes: 5,986

35. Marketa Lazarová (1967)

Not Rated | 162 min | Drama, History, Romance

A grim portrayal of the shift from Paganism to Christianity in medieval Czechoslovakia - as a young virgin promised to God is kidnapped and raped by a marauder who her religious father seeks to kill in return.

Director: Frantisek Vlácil | Stars: Josef Kemr, Magda Vásáryová, Nada Hejna, Jaroslav Moucka

Votes: 3,946

36. A Canterbury Tale (1944)

Not Rated | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

Three modern day pilgrims investigate a bizarre crime in a small town on the way to Canterbury.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price, John Sweet

Votes: 4,628

37. Lovers of the Arctic Circle (1998)

R | 112 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

In cold Lapland Finland, under the eternal midnight sun, two ardent lovers reunite once again after a long period apart, governed by a powerful and eloquent circular motif woven by destiny, faith, and love. Can they deny their destiny?

Director: Julio Medem | Stars: Najwa Nimri, Fele Martínez, Nancho Novo, Maru Valdivielso

Votes: 17,336 | Gross: $0.50M

38. All About My Mother (1999)

R | 101 min | Drama

87 Metascore

Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his second mother, a trans woman, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Candela Peña, Antonia San Juan

Votes: 82,914 | Gross: $8.26M

39. Mamma Roma (1962)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama

Having renounced her ignominious past, a former streetwalker reunites with her son. However, an extortion scheme endangers her aspirations for a decent bourgeois life. Can she protect him from the same snares that wounded her youth?

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Anna Magnani, Ettore Garofolo, Franco Citti, Silvana Corsini

Votes: 7,559

40. Europa (1991)

R | 112 min | Drama, Thriller

Just after W.W.II, an American takes a railway job in Germany, but finds his position politically sensitive with various people trying to use him.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Jean-Marc Barr, Udo Kier, Ernst-Hugo Järegård

Votes: 18,649 | Gross: $1.01M

41. Stroszek (1977)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama

In Berlin, an alcoholic man, recently released from prison, joins his elderly friend and a prostitute in a determined dream to leave Germany and seek a better life in Wisconsin.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Bruno S., Eva Mattes, Clemens Scheitz, Wilhelm von Homburg

Votes: 12,035

42. Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)

PG-13 | 84 min | Drama, Music

85 Metascore

The lives of an English working-class family are told out of order in a free-associative manner. The first part, "Distant Voices", focuses on the father's role in the family. The second part, "Still Lives", focuses on his children.

Director: Terence Davies | Stars: Pete Postlethwaite, Freda Dowie, Angela Walsh, Dean Williams

Votes: 3,291 | Gross: $0.69M

43. Wings of Desire (1987)

PG-13 | 128 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

79 Metascore

An angel tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander, Curt Bois

Votes: 59,593 | Gross: $3.33M

44. The Man Who Sleeps (1974)

77 min | Drama

A 25-year-old male student in Paris becomes indifferent to the world around him, and subsequently feels a strong sense of alienation and hopelessness.

Director: Bernard Queysanne | Stars: Jacques Spiesser, Ludmila Mikaël

Votes: 2,562

45. Underground (1995)

Not Rated | 167 min | Comedy, Drama, War

A group of Serbian socialists prepares for the war in a surreal underground filled by parties, tragedies, love and hate.

Director: Emir Kusturica | Stars: Predrag 'Miki' Manojlovic, Lazar Ristovski, Mirjana Jokovic, Slavko Stimac

Votes: 51,946 | Gross: $0.17M

46. The Seventh Continent (1989)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama

7.8