Good call on the thread title. It's changed. If your girlfriend is the reason why you've stopped watching Ozu, you need to get rid of her as soon as possible. I am liking your Bergman pictures, especially Wild Strawberries which is a hauntingly poetic masterpiece. Salo, beyond all of its vulgar and depravity, is an interesting political commentary about the decline of Italian fascism. Speaking of Italy, Bicycle Thieves, which you mentioned, is probably the epitome of the neorealist movement.
I see you like Haneke, too. Seek Cache if you haven't already.
My girlfriend is actually the reason I watch 'serious' films at all. She's the film snob; I probably would have gone my whole life watching nothing but stuff like Commando, Star Wars and exploitation films if I hadn't met her.
I could probably get her to watch more Ozu, but I already make her watch more Japanese films than she can stand and I need to get through Kurosawa and Oshima first.
She actually has Cache on the shelf, I just haven't gotten around to watching it. Probably should have included Funny Games on my original list btw. I was thinking as I wrote that that there weren't many contemporary films on there and that Haneke is one of the few Euro art house directors that I like these days.
Regarding Salo, I'd probably still like it even if was just a shallow sadistic exploitation film, but I thought his use of de Sade to talk about fascism was pretty successful. I also just love how Pasolini's films look; even something like The Decameron, which isn't a super polished film, is still incredibly beautiful to me and well worth the watch.
The only Italian neo-realist film that I haven't enjoyed is Paisan. It felt really amateur and it dragged.