Why Wall Street Journal readers should have any interest whatsoever in John Waters or his favorite foreign films totally escapes me, but here you go. The journal spoke to Waters about why he likes foreign-language films (“You can’t imagine these movies were ever test-screened anywhere,” he says) along with his list and reasoning:
Starring Jeanne Moreau, this 1966 film directed by Tony Richardson includes both French and English dialogue. It centers on a woman in a rural French village. “She does all these terrible things and blames them on other people,” Mr. Waters says.
Hour of the Wolf
Swedish legend Ingmar Bergman — “still one of the best directors in the world,” Mr. Waters says — made this 1968 horror movie. Max von Sydow stars as an artist tormented by nightmares. As the film progresses, it becomes difficult — for the artist and the audience — to distinguish dream from reality.
In a Year With 13 Moons
This 1978 German film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder is one of Mr. Waters’s favorites. The plot centers on a man who undergoes a sex change after being rejected by another man to whom he confessed his love years ago. “Films that are impenetrable I’m always first in line for,” he says.
Jesus, You Know
“When I went to see it, I was the only person in the theater,” Mr. Waters says of this 2003 Austrian documentary that follows six people as they pray in different churches. “But it is a great movie.”
This 1969 Argentinean film directed by Armando Bo is something of a camp classic. It’s “so politically incorrect,” Mr. Waters says. “I realize when I watch it now how much I stole for Divine,” the late actor who appeared in Mr. Waters’s films.