What country has the best foreign films?

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Re: What country has the best foreign films?

Postby katsuben » Fri Nov 15, 2002 11:58 am

The discourse is firing. I don't mind the classification by country notion, after all how often do we qualify a film in regular conversation by pointing out some time in, say, the first two sentences where it was made (not forgetting international co-productions, of course). Responding to this question is particularly difficult. I think we might want to expand on it somehow by suggesting, perhaps, that we might be fascinated by a nation's films because there is a link with aspects of its culture (maybe only film culture) that we are drawn to. Given that, I'd have to respond with one of a number of Asian cinemas: Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan. For some wild cards, I'd like to see more Egyptian and any country's indigenous films. Of course almost every country (Iran seems a notable exception at the moment) has its own counterpart to the dominant (i.e. Hollywood) film production mode and many filmmakers listed here already fall squarely into this category (Zhang Yimou, Benigni, Moodysson, Kassovitz, Jeunet, and arguably Kurosawa). Foreign does not always equal different.

Re: What country has the best foreign films?

Postby Curt46n2 » Fri Nov 15, 2002 2:32 pm

It IS okay to classify a film by it's country of origin. Look at the name of this website. FOREIGN films. That at least tells you that the film is not American.

Re: What country has the best foreign films?

Postby katsuben » Fri Nov 15, 2002 2:48 pm

Don't take this the wrong way (i.e. as anti-Americanism) but rather than equate foreign with anything that is not from the motherland, it's probably more accurate to think of a foreign film as predominantly containing a "non-English language." The term is used within some relative minnows, such as my own, that exist outside the context of the States (e.g. Canada, UK, Australia, NZ) Thus even an American produced film that utters mainly in a non-English language (e.g. i have no idea what, but not Nell, haha) might be conducive to the foreign film label. But, damn, it's only a category. Hardly worth quibbling over, huh!

Re: What country has the best foreign films?

Postby wvq » Fri Nov 15, 2002 7:14 pm

Well, I've taken some time responding to this one--primarily because I'm pretty much at a loss on this matter. I seriously doubt that I've seen an adequate number of foreign films to pass judgment here, and my lack of knowledge of recent cinema is a pretty substantial lacuna in my knowledge of these matters. There are other problems as well: we just don't have time to watch all these movies, our conception of a nation's cinema is (largely) formed by the films that distributors decide are worth picking up, etc. I doubt I need to spell these things out for anyone here.

That said, it's not like I'm going to keep myself from holding forth on this matter. So here's my extremely tentative judgment on this matter: I find that the German films I've seen have been of the most consistent quality. (Bear in mind that this is a judgment concerned with German film up to the New German Cinema, and who knows when that ended exactly. Naturally, I'm ignoring the whole Nazi cinema debacle. I've seen a few things from this period, and I don't have much of a desire to revisit them anytime soon. For the most part, they didn't strike me as obviously pernicious: a lot of them were just run-of-the-mill entertainments. Still, it's hard to shake the conviction that there's something unseemly about these films.)

Why German cinema? It just strikes me that there were three strong periods of German filmmaking--the silent era, Weimar, and the New German Cinema--and good work was being done by several filmmakers in each of these periods. Plus, I realize this is probably cheating, but I'm also taking into consideration the Hollywood careers of German expatriates. So the spectacular American work of, say, Lang and Murnau gives German national cinema a boost.

I also have an affinity for the Japanese cinema. I just thought I'd add that in here--you know, just in case you find my adoration of Teutonic cinema puzzling or unjustifiable.


Re: What country has the best foreign films?

Postby Tigerlily707 » Fri Nov 22, 2002 3:50 pm

Most of my favorite foreign films are French and Chinese.

Re: What country has the best foreign films?

Postby HASSELBAINK007 » Sun Nov 24, 2002 10:09 pm

French Films are Superior to any-as for Contributions-The Uk as it has the best Actors,Directors,Production and crews in the world.As for Mr Shakespeare say no more.

Re: What country has the best foreign films?

Postby H20gateburgler » Tue Nov 26, 2002 11:27 pm

the USSR! when there still was one.

Forgotten Tune for a Flute
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears
Ballad of a Soldier
Private Life

Re: What country has the best foreign films?

Postby mrodriguez4 » Mon Dec 09, 2002 8:18 pm

Has anyone seen movies from Argentina? In my opinion, some are quite good. For Example; Man Facing Southeast (Hombre mirando al sureste), The son of the bride (El hijo de la Novia), 8 Queens (8 Reynas), Herencia etc.

I'm interested on hearing feedback if anyone seen these movie.

Re: What country has the best foreign films?

Postby bigpoppa_2059 » Wed Dec 11, 2002 4:02 pm

No offense, but this question is kinda dumb, since we can only answer of films we have seen that have been IMPORTED to the USA. We don't know about the hundreds of films France, Germany, Italy, etc. make each year that we never see. Although I would have to say the country with the most popular imports has got to be France, and they were also the most influential, from Truffaut's "Politique Du Autuers" forever changing film history.

Re: What country has the best foreign films?

Postby gratefultiger » Wed Dec 11, 2002 9:27 pm

France,Ussr/Russia,Japan in that order.but the Chinese & Iranian stuff is excellent as well.Then there's italy,Germany &the nordic countries,African & Latino cinema is good too.there is so much good stuff. i have just got into Romanian film so it is all an education which i love ...cheers


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