Academy exhibition celebrates half a century of Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winners
In January 2007, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be presenting “From Amarcord to Z: Posters from Fifty Years of Foreign Language Film Award Winners.” The exhibition will open to the public on Jan. 19 in the Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery in Beverly Hills. Admission is free.
The artwork is generally incredible, and so are some of the movies that have won the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award in the last 50 years – actually, close to 60 years, for the very first Best Foreign Language Film Oscar was handed out to Vittorio De Sica’s Shoeshine, from Italy, in 1947.
In the decade that followed, however, Oscars for non-English-language films remained a special – and not necessarily yearly – award.
In 1956, Federico Fellini’s La Strada, also from Italy, became the first film honored in the newly created competitive/annual Best Foreign Language Film category.
Best Foreign Language Film winners
The Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winners in the last six decades are:
- Shoeshine (1947).
- Monsieur Vincent (1948).
- Bicycle Thieves (1949).
- The Walls of Malapaga (1950).
- Rashomon (1951).
- Forbidden Games (1952).
- Gate of Hell (1954).
- Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1955).
- La Strada (1956).
- The Nights of Cabiria (1957).
- Mon Oncle (1958).
- Black Orpheus (1959).
- The Virgin Spring (1960).
- Through a Glass Darkly (1961).
- Sundays and Cybele (1962).
- 8½ (1963).
- Yesterday Today and Tomorrow (1964).
- The Shop on Main Street (1965).
- A Man and a Woman (1966).
- Closely Watched Trains (1967).
- War and Peace (1968).
- Z (1969).
- Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970).
- The Garden of Finzi Continis (1971).
- The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972).
- Day for Night (1973).
- Amarcord (1974).
- Dersu Uzala (1975).
- Black and White in Color (1976).
- Madame Rosa (1977).
- Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1978).
- The Tin Drum (1979).
- Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980).
- Volver a Empezar (1981).
- Mephisto (1982).
- Fanny and Alexander (1983).
- Dangerous Moves (1984).
- The Official Story (1985).
- The Assault (1986).
- Babette’s Feast (1987).
- Pelle the Conqueror (1988).
- Cinema Paradiso (1989).
- Journey of Hope (1990).
- Mediterraneo (1991).
- Indochine (1992).
- Belle Epoque (1993).
- Burnt by the Sun (1994).
- Antonia’s Line (1995).
- Kolya (1996).
- Character (1997).
- Life Is Beautiful (1998).
- All About My Mother (1999).
- Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000).
- No Man’s Land (2001).
- Nowhere in Africa (2002).
- The Barbarian Invasions (2003).
- The Sea Inside (2004).
- Tsotsi (2005).
Unfairly neglected category
As per the Academy’s press release, all posters are from the collection of the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, and most of them are from the film’s release in its country of origin.
We’ll see whether the Academy will do something special at the 2007 Oscar ceremony to celebrate the motion pictures that have been nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category. They may get little media attention in the United States, but more often than not – at least some of – these films are far superior to the ones listed in the vastly more popular Best Film category.
Viewing hours for “From Amarcord to Z: Posters from Fifty Years of Foreign Language Film Award Winners” are Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m.
The exhibition will run through April 15. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.
‘The Peregrinations & Pettifoggery of W.C. Fields’: Another Academy exhibition
On the same day “From Amarcord to Z: Posters from Fifty Years of Foreign Language Film Award Winners” opens in the Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery – that’s Jan. 19 – “The Peregrinations & Pettifoggery of W.C. Fields” will open to the public in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery. Admission is also free.
The exhibition will be taking place to celebrate the donation of the W.C. Fields Collection to the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library.
As per the Academy’s press release, it “will be a multifaceted survey” of Fields’ life and career, featuring posters, photographs, publicity materials, letters, scripts, personal documents, film clips, and sound recordings.
One highlight of the installation will be John Decker’s painting of Fields as Queen Victoria. The painting was loaned by the family of Dave Chasen, in whose Beverly Hills restaurant it hung for decades until that establishment was shut down in 1995.
W.C. Fields movies
Among the vaudeville veteran W.C. Fields’ 40 screen credits as an actor are:
- D.W. Griffith’s Sally of the Sawdust (1925) and That Royle Girl (1925).
- Norman Z. McLeod’s It’s a Gift (1934).
- George Cukor’s Best Picture Oscar nominee David Copperfield (1935).
- George Marshall’s You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939).
- Edward F. Cline’s Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1940), My Little Chickadee (1940), and The Bank Dick (1941).
Most of the time, Fields was the sole focus of his loosely plotted star vehicles. Exceptions to that rule include the two Griffith films, both with Carol Dempster; the ensemble piece David Copperfield; A. Edward Sutherland’s Mississippi (1935), with Bing Crosby and Joan Bennett; My Little Chickadee (1940), with Mae West; and S. Sylvan Simon’s Song of the Open Road (1944), with Jane Powell.
In his last three movies – the 1944 releases Song of the Open Road, Follow the Boys, and Sensations of 1945 – Fields played (the screen version of) himself.
In addition to acting, Fields also co-wrote many of his screenplays.
Born on Jan. 29, 1880, in Philadelphia, W.C. Fields’ died on Christmas Day 1946.
Viewing hours for “The Peregrinations & Pettifoggery of W.C. Fields” are Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m., through April 15.
Once again, the Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie poster: © A.M.P.A.S.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website.
“Best Foreign Language Film Poster + W.C. Fields Pettifoggery Exhibitions” last updated in March 2018.