Most overrated foreign films

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Re: Most overrated foreign films

Postby ustink » Mon Nov 10, 2003 6:42 pm

Alright, smarty-pants. I stand corrected. But not on Almodovar. His movies suck.
ustink
 


Re: Most overrated foreign films

Postby ustink » Mon Nov 10, 2003 7:18 pm

I feel compelled to retract my "sucks" statement as it may offend others. Sorry! I still don't like Almodovar but there is no reason for such language...

ustink
 

Re: Most overrated foreign films

Postby Gaz » Mon Nov 10, 2003 8:10 pm

I've heard worse language...and on this site too.
Gaz
 

Re: Most overrated foreign films

Postby auteur » Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:10 am

I am picking four films from the collective Top 100. These are [u]not[/u] bad films but they do not belong in such a list.
I find [i]Run Lola Run[/i](#81) shallow and self-consciously hip; [i]Amelie[/i](#51) too precious and calculated to evoke nostalgia for a lily-white Paris that does not exist; [i]Amarcord[/i](#41) is wildly uneven and condescending towards its small-town characters.
The most over-rated film in these boards is clearly [i]City of God[/i]. This film is pure exploitation no matter how brilliant on a purely technical level. The film does not provide any insight into the conditions that created the violence. It lacks courage to point a finger at those whose malice and neglect facilitate this subculture of violence. Is this the fifth best film ever?
auteur
 

Re: Most overrated foreign films

Postby Gaz » Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:46 am

I'm pleased that I wasn't the only one who wasn't bowled over by Run Lola Run. Clever indeed, but not necessarily one I am likely to come back to.
Gaz
 

Re: Most overrated foreign films

Postby groom_daniel » Mon Nov 17, 2003 7:35 am

I usually shrug off disappointing films, but one film I actively dislike is Wings of Desire.
groom_daniel
 

Re: Most overrated foreign films

Postby groom_daniel » Mon Nov 17, 2003 7:41 am

I forgot to mention the most disappointing film I've seen in a long time -- Zhang Yimou's Hero.
groom_daniel
 

Re: Most overrated foreign films

Postby auteur » Thu Nov 20, 2003 3:48 am

I am quite surprised g_d, especially after finding [i]Ashes of Time[/i] in your list of favorites. I [u]love[/u] Yimou's HERO.
auteur
 

Re: Most overrated foreign films

Postby groom_daniel » Fri Nov 21, 2003 9:02 pm

A friend of mine in France kept telling me that Hero was fascist, and provided me with criticism from Europe about its fascist overtones. I didn't think it was fascist, but it was definitely nationalistic. It was pretty obvious that Yimou was trying to avoid censorship and gain the support of the Chinese Film Authorities, not only to get the film made, but so it would screen in the Chinese mainstream and earn revenue at the box office. I can't blame him for wanting to make a commercially successful film within his own country, but the result is a politically messy film that cuts its nose off despite its face.

The King is not the "Hero" in question, and the film doesn't favour his heroism. You could see Yimou trying to make that point implicitly at the end when the King hesistates in having Nameless executed, but capitulates to his advisors' demands. They pressure the King to kill Nameless for the sake of conquering All Under Heaven, when Yimou's subversion of the wuxia genre had been Broken Sword's idea that all could be united under heaven. There was nothing to suggest that the King (and future generations) wouldn't keep perpetuating in cycles of violence (which is how most Zhang Yimou films end), and I don't the King shared the same ideals as his would-be assassins. The problem was that Yimou tacked that epilogue onto the end, over the shot of the Great Wall of China, and while there was no translation of the Chinese, I assume it was about the cultural progress that the King made by unifying China. There's no way that anybody can argue that this wasn't done to appease not only the Chinese authorities, but those critics within China who have always accused him of selling out to the West by portraying China in a negative light through political allegories and thinly veiled criticism of the social conditions. With his budget, I don't think he could afford to make another film that Chinese audiences are ambivalent to. Hence, the nationalism.

It wasn't the politics that bothered me, though. The story was limp and uninspired. I thought it was a waste of Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung's talents. They were both in Wong Kar Wai's Ashes of Time, which is a beautiful wuxia about memory and desire, love, longing and loss, and has a narrative structure that really is like ashes of time. It also has one of the most stunning endings I've seen. I don't see how we're supposed to care about them in Hero, since we know so little about them and are subjected to them dying over and over again, with no resonance whatsoever. I had read so much about how they evoked real emotion and passion, but I felt absolutely no emotional connection with them whatsoever. It's the most unmoving film I've seen them in. The most positive thing I can say about the film is that the scene where Maggie Cheung fights Zhang Ziyi in the autumn leaves is a really beautiful scene.
groom_daniel
 

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