Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
safetylast15

foreign film as a genre

Recommended Posts

why are foreign films referred to as being a completely different genre than american films? to me, film is film, whether it is in english, french, german, dutch, whatever. It doesnt make sense how a film that was made by victor sjostrom in sweden is considered foreign, while the films that he made in america arent, even though they came from the same mind. i dont think it should be a seperate category at all. film is film. to me, the only difference is the language, and thats not much of a difference at all. im not bashing the name of this forum, which is foreign language films, because that is the appropriate title, but to the people that say "i dont enjoy foreign films", just because you cant understand the language, does not mean that it is no less powerful than a spielberg film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think "I don't enjoy foreign films" usually translates to "I don't enjoy reading subtitles" (or, less frequently, I don't enjoy the really bad dubbing); it's not about the film. I agree that film is film, and seems to me a fine film is -- to a real film buff, anyway -- worth the trouble of reading a subtitle, but not everyone agrees.

 

Personally, I was glad to see a forum devoted to foreign film, as I'd like to see greater interest in and demand for these on TCM but, as you see, it's quiet...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It just so happens that if a film is in any language other than english it immediately has limited appeal (here in the States) and therefore go straight to the foreign film section at the video stores. The fact that this forum gets less hits than most other forums on this site is a perfect example at how limited the appeal for these films are. It has nothing to do with genre, filmmaker, subject matter, time period or anything else. Simply a mindset of, if it's not in the language I speak, I refuse to bother with it.

 

To a lesser extent there is a similar mindset for films shown in letterbox. Though one may be hardpressed to find someone against letterbox here on the TCM website, I have overheard people in videostores complaining about letterbox and foreign language films, and if it's a foreign language film shown in letterbox, than it's likely that it is the least rented film in the store. Unless it happens to be a letterboxed, foreign language, gay themed, musical. Then chances are the video store doesn't even carry it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About 20 years ago I started to discover Hong Kong cinema (through poorly duped vhs tapes of dubious origin). I was fascinated by the different myths and approaches to stories. If you've never seen hopping vampires you don't know what you're missing. So, I would recommend for any one that is curious to try any of the films directed or produced by Tsui Hark. I started with A Chinese Ghost Story. Everyone by now knows about Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat, but there is a world of other fascinating choices out there. Get ahold of any of John Woo's (director) Hong Kong action pictures (many do star Chow Yun Fat). A Better Tomorrow is a good one to start with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> I think "I don't enjoy foreign films" usually

> translates to "I don't enjoy reading subtitles" (or,

> less frequently,

 

Me too. I can't read the titles and watch the film at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> why are foreign films referred to as being a

> completely different genre than american films?

 

I think they are different. It's not just a matter of language, if you look at Spanish films or German films or whatever there's a different aesthetic, a different tone. If you go from Bergman, say, or Godard, or Fellini, and then go to American movies of the same era it's a whole different cinematic world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> I think "I don't enjoy foreign films" usually

> translates to "I don't enjoy reading subtitles" (or,

> less frequently, I don't enjoy the really bad

> dubbing);

 

Or "I'm too afraid to try something different" Or sometimes, sadly, I think there's a certain element of chauvinism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Richard Corliss had a good article on the Sundance film festival in the current TIME magazine (with the Brain on the cover) in which he argued that the rise of American independent film has largely banished foreign language films from American screens.

 

He really makes sense. I think it is infuriating that an okay movie like "The Squid and the Whale" got so much praise, while a terrific German film like "Before the Fall" barely got any release at all. I would love to see "Before the Fall" on the big screen, but I had to rent it from Netflix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you get foreign language films on cable TV in the US? We have a whole network in Australia (World Movies) that shows nothing but foreign language films. Plus we get a lot of foreign language films on free-to-air TV as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure your cable provider can hook you up to The Sundance Channel or Independent Film Channel. Both show plenty of films in languages other than English.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dfordoom,

"I think they are different. It's not just a matter of language, if you look at Spanish films or German films or whatever there's a different aesthetic, a different tone. If you go from Bergman, say, or Godard, or Fellini, and then go to American movies of the same era it's a whole different cinematic world. "

 

I agree fully with this one. Even in modern foreign cinema there is a deffinate feal that is embodied in films, produced outside the states. Even when it comes to foreign directors making english language movies. Like Inarritu- Babel, 21 Grams, Cuaron- Children Of Men and lots of others. I am disappointed that the current mind set isn't open to non-english cinema. I was raisned on non-english movies and cant's imagine my life without Bergman, De Sica, Truffaut, Tarkovski, Fellini and countless others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> I think "I don't enjoy foreign films" usually

> translates to "I don't enjoy reading subtitles"

 

I actually don't mind subtitles at all. My mind tends to wander during a movie and I find subtitles help force me to pay attention. That's why I've really gotten into silents the past few months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched Cinema Paradiso tonight and loved it .I had seen it before but just caught the last part .Tonight I was able to see the whole movie. I didn't mind the subtitles as the story really drew me in .My daughter watched the last 20 minutes with me and she really liked it too!. I have not seen a lot of foreign films but would like to see more,any suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen a lot either, but if you like musicals, I'd recommend Umbrellas Of Cherbourg that was on last Sunday. It's unique in that all the dialogue is sung, it has a nice jazzy score, and it's a good little love story. Rashomon is interesting and a little surreal, about all the different witness accounts of a crime. Seventh Seal is something you really have to be in the mood for, it's deep and deals with death. TCM shows Rashomon and Seventh Seal sometimes in the regular schedule. Those are the three I know about, hope that helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It really does depend on what you're in the mood for. Cinema Paradiso has strong appeal across cultures because it's generally very entertaining, and it's bittersweet but very engaging and the characters are easy to relate to.

 

Another movie with a similar kind of wide appeal is Alfonso Arau's Like Water for Chocolate, which for a while was the biggest-grossing foreign-language movie released in the U.S.

 

Spanish movies include almost anything from Pedro Almodovar, from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown to the recent Volver, still in theaters. Another good Spanish movie that's a lot of fun is Belle Epoque, a winner for Best Foreign-Language Picture in 1994.

 

Other movies that are ideally suited to get a better idea of foreign-language directors include Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows, Federico Fellini's La Strada and La Dolce Vita; Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon, Seven Samurai and Ran; Vittorio de Sica's Bicycle Thieves and Umberto D; Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander (well suited for the whole family) or The Seventh Seal; Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg; and Luis Bunuel's Viridiana and Belle de Jour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> liked it too!. I have not seen a lot of foreign films

> but would like to see more,any suggestions?

 

Jean-Luc Godard's A Woman is A Woman is charming and fun. A real feel-good film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...