1. "The Best of Youth" - la Meglio Gioventù (2003) Italy
Dir: Marco Tullio Giordana 5 Potatoes
Originally planned as a 4-part TV mini-series, it was presented and awarded the prestigious "Un Certain Regard" award at the Cannes Film Festival 2003. The story follows the lives of two brothers Matteo and Nicola from 1966 through 2003. The movie is well written and well edited, of course, well directed that you would forget that it is almost 6 hours long. DVD available. Highly Recommended.
2. "Cinema Paradiso" - Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (1988) Italy
Dir: Giuseppe Tornatore 5 Potatoes
This is the best of the best in my list, and one of the only a few movies I could watch over and over again. Very fascinating and humble at the same time, the relationship between Alfred, played by well known French actor Philippe Noiret, and Totò is so deep and respected. The music by Ennio Morricone also enhances the film's mood. So Highly Recommended.
3. "Betty Blue" - 37.2 C° Le Matin (1986) France
Dir: Jean-Jacques Beineix 5 Potatoes
I still remember the moment when I was introduced to this film in a class at San Francisco Art Institute. I was stunned. I had never seen anything like this back then. The colors of light interpreted the moods and thoughts. The spontaneity of the character. Everything was out of the rules! This was the first time I have heard of Gabriel Yared's music also. Very beautiful.
4. "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" - Le Premier Jour du Rest de Ta Vie (2008) France
Dir: Rémi Bezançon 5 Potatoes
This is one of my few 5 Potatoes from the recent years. The story is very simple. It shows how one family grows over the years. The story is focused on each member of the family.
Very simple. Everyone can relate to one of them in someways. Very well directed and very well edited. There was a huge standing ovation at the US premier at COLCOA 2009. The song of Etienne Daho totally completed the movie.
* Update: I just learned that this movie couldn't be released in the US because the music right was too expensive. Hopefully we could get to see this film somehow in the US one day. Totally worth the wait. (05.01.11)