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Annual Top Films Lists

Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2017: Picks 200 to 101

As we unveil our first tier of two hundred notable foreign film projects to be potentially unveiled in 2017, the coming year promises to have many generous international offerings. Once again, there are far too many notable titles to do each one significant justice, and with many at various stages of production, we’ve tried to determine which projects are more likely to be presented in the next twelve months or so. Several names are carry overs from last year, with titles from Jean-Charles Hue, Martha Pinson, Sara Johnsen, Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza, and the sophomore project from Canadian Pat Mills, Don’t Talk to Irene, amongst others, with new films we hope to see available somewhere on the festival circuit in 2017.

But there are lots of fresh faces here, some auteurs who have slipped through the ranks, while others continue to rise. Returning with his first project since his abysmal 2010 English language debut The Tourist, German director Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck should have psychological thriller Work Without Author ready to go. While he’s been experimenting with beautiful visual technologies and ignoring narrative interests over his past two features, we’ve included fellow German Wim Wenders lower on the list with new project Submergence, even though it features Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy. Also looking for some redemption considering his last project is Michel Hazancivius, whose The Search was one of the more risible recent inclusions in the Cannes main competition back in 2014—this year he returns with a portrait of Jean-Luc Godard in Redoubtable. And to a lesser extent, we’re hoping Brazilian director Jose Padilha can wash the studio dreck of his Robocop remake out of our minds with UK production Entebbe, starring Vincent Cassel and Rosamunde Pike. Speaking of Cassel, he has a couple projects set to pop up on our list, but also included here is a project from Eduoard Deluc starring the French actor as the famed painter in Gauguin.

Expectations are high for Yaron Shani, one of the co-directors of the Oscar nominated Ajami (2009), who breaks out with his own feature Apple of My Eye. We also hope Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir’s latest project, Wajib will at last be ready after winning various grants and accolades during the funding process.

Other projects of note include Nico, 1988 from Susanna Nicchiarelli, which is set to star Trine Dyrholm as the famed German model who sang with The Velvet Underground. We’re very excited for new features from Mexico’s Sebastian Hofmann, the horror comedy Time Share, as well as Mira Fornay, the Slovakian director of My Dog Killer (2013) who has been developing her next project Cook, Fuck, Kill for the past several years. Likewise, Robin Campillo (often the scribe for Laurent Cantet who recently scripted Rebecca Zlotowski’s phenomenal Planetarium), follows his 2013 directorial debut Eastern Boys (a tense drama about an older gay man attracted to a younger immigrant man in trouble), features Adele Haenel in his next film, 120 Beats Per Minute. And then, we have a couple Mathieu Amalric projects littered throughout, including his seventh directorial effort Barbara, a biopic of the famed singer set to star Jeanne Balibar (who recently appeared alongside the actor in Benoit Jacquot’s Never Ever). We’re also excited to see him appear in P.E.A.R.L., the directorial debut of Elsa Amiel, who has worked as an AD for Bertrand Bonello, scripting her first project about a British female bodybuilder.

And then, Takahisa Zeze, the Japanese director known for his soft-core pink films of the 1990s has the intriguing sounding The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine on the horizon, which was recently the recipient of an award out of Busan’s film market (Zeze is perhaps best revered for his epic 2010 film Heaven’s Story, while 2016’s two part crime drama 64 was a box office hit in Japan). Meanwhile, we expect another quiet drama from Naomi Kawase, Hikari, to be ready for Cannes 2017.

Also of interest, Israeli director Keren Yedaya returns with her first project since the traumatic 2014 incest drama That Lovely Girl with Red Fields, a remake of the 1986 Israeli anti-war musical Mami. And back with her first project since 2008 is French director Laurence Ferreira Barbosa with All the Dreams of the World (previously Barbosa directed notable titles such as Normal People Are Nothing Exceptional starring Valeria Bruni Tedeschi in 1993 and The Modern Life with Isabelle Huppert in 2000). Here are picks 200 to 101. Tomorrow we begin our countdown of the Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2017.

200. Gabriel et la Mantagne – Felipe Barbosa
199. Rock’n Roll – Guillaume Canet
198. Journeyman – Paddy Considine
197. Light Thereafter (The Elephant in a Dark Room) – Konstantin Bojanov
196. The Night Eats the World – Dominique Rocher
195. The Children’s Act – Richard Eyre
194. Berlin Alexanderplatz – Burhan Qurbani
193. The Laws of Thermodynamics – Mateo Gil
192. Remise de Reine – Pierre Salvadori
191. Subs – Oskar Roehler
190. Apple of My Eye – Yaron Shani
189. The Death of Stalin – Amando Ianucci
188. K.O. – Fabrice Gobert
187. We Watched the Sun Disappear – Jonas Alexander Arnby
186. The Book of Vision – Carlo Hintermann
185. The Song of Scorpions – Anup Singh
184. God Speaks Out – Henrik Ruben Genz
183. Submergence – Wim Wenders
182. Endangered Species – Gilles Bourdos
181. The Pornographer – Erik Poppe
180. Animals – Sophie Hyde
179. We Have Nothing in Common – Thierry Klifa
178. The Monk – Zaza Urushadze
177. Wajib – Annemarie Jacir
176. The House By the Sea – Robert Guediguian
175. 55 Steps – Bille August
174. Work Without Honor – Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
173. Chien – Samuel Benchetrit
172. The Berlin Syndrome – Cate Shortland
171. Blue Iguana – Hadi Hajaig
170. Loving, Hating Escobar – Fernando Leon de Aranoa
169. The Difficult Times – Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano
168. Black 47 – Lance Daly
167. Untitled Hirokazu Koreeda project
166. Golem: The Return – Dominik Graf
165. Redoubtable – Michel Hazancivius
164. Hier – Balint Kenyeres
163. Shinjuku Swan 2 – Sion Sono
162. Tout s’est bien passé – Alain Cavalier
161. Django Melodies – Etienne Comar
160. Ensor – Felix van Groeningen
159. Dog – Florin Serban
158. Patser – Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah
157. Nico, 1988 – Susanna Nicchiarelli
156. Maryline – Guillaume Galliene
155. All the Dead Ones – Marco Dutra & Caetano Godardo
154. Diary of an Elephant – Fernando Eimbecke
153. Gauguin – Edouard Deluc
152. Les Gardiennes – Xavier Beauvois
151. Don’t Talk to Irene – Pat Mills
150. Where Hands Touch – Amma Asante
149. Blade of the Immortal – Takashi Miike
148. Leathernose – Jean-Pierre Ameris
147. The Book of Vision – Carlo Hintermann
146. P.E.A.R.L. – Elsa Amiel
145. Irene, Celina Murga
144. 120 Beats per Minute – Robin Campillo
143. The Whisky Robber – Nimrod Antal
142. Backstabbing For Beginners – Per Fly
141. Small Town Killers – Ole Bornedal
140. Cook, F*ck, Kill, Mira Fornay
139. The Child Manipulator – Takashi Shimizu
138. Engel – Koen Mortier
137. After the Blood of the Beasts – Jean-Charles Hue
136. The Man in the Rockefeller Suit – Pablo Trapero
135. Time Share – Sebastian Hofmann
134. Ensor – Felix Van Groeningen
133. Framing Mom – Sara Johnsen
132. True Horror Story – Shinji Aoyama
131. Butterfingers – Barnaby Southcombe
130. All the Dreams of the World – Laurence Ferreira Barbosa
129. The Man from the Sea – Koji Fukada
128. Love and Vengeance – Edwin
127. Single Mother – Hana Makhmalbof
126. Solid – Olivier Dahan
125. The Mercy – James Marsh
124. Requiem for Mrs. J – Bojan Vuletic
123. Tomorrow – Martha Pinson
122. Razzia – Nabil Ayouch
121. Entebbe – Jose Padilha
120. Darkest Hour – Joe Wright
119. The Friendly Animal – Gabriela Amaral Almeida
118. Ice Mother – Bohdan Slama
117. Magnetic Paths – Edgar Pera
116. Ivan Lendl Never Learnt to Volley – Jed Kurzl
115. Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning – Cristoffer Boe
114. Joaquim – Marcelo Gomes
113. Red Fields – Keren Yedaya
112. La Priere – Cedric Kahn
111. Amin – Philippe Faucon
110. Sicilian Ghost – Grassadonia & Piazza
109. Good Favour – Rebecca Daly
108. Hikari – Naomi Kawase
107. Barbara – Mathieu Amalric
106. Flammable Creatures – Stephen Elliott
105. Black Dog – George Walker Torres
104. A Knife in the Heart – Yann Gonzalez
103. Mon Garcon – Christian Carion
102. The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine – Takahisa Zeze
101. The Trip to Spain – Michael Winterbottom

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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