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American Films: Are they becoming better?

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  • American Films: Are they becoming better?

    Is it just me or are American movies becoming better and better?

    Five, ten, of fifteen years ago, if one asked me to list the top ten favourite movies I'd seen that year, it would be unlikely that more than a couple would be American (eg. not counting co-productions, or movies with non-American directors). However, in recent years, I've noticed that the subtlely, genuineness, and quiet intelligence that have seemed to be almost exclusively the hallmark of European/Canadian/Australian films are no longer a "surprise" when I see them in an American film (eg. "American Beauty", "American Rhapsody", "Lost in Translation", "Magnolia", "The Life Aquatic", and, most recently, "The Forty-Year Old Virgin").

    In short, American films seem no longer forced to be "dumbed down" for their audience. I think there has been a real renaissance recently for American film.

    I have a couple of theories as to why this might be.

    1) Cable TV, not regulated by the FCC (and hopefully will not be), has allowed artists to fully develop and publish their work without censorship.

    2) The film industries big players are now more interested in distributing movies and leaving the making of them up to smaller production houses. This has allowed more artistic freedom and risk taking.

    Agree? Disagree?

  • #2
    Is it just me or are American movies becoming better and better?

    Five, ten, of fifteen years ago, if one asked me to list the top ten favourite movies I'd seen that year, it would be unlikely that more than a couple would be American (eg. not counting co-productions, or movies with non-American directors). However, in recent years, I've noticed that the subtlely, genuineness, and quiet intelligence that have seemed to be almost exclusively the hallmark of European/Canadian/Australian films are no longer a "surprise" when I see them in an American film (eg. "American Beauty", "American Rhapsody", "Lost in Translation", "Magnolia", "The Life Aquatic", and, most recently, "The Forty-Year Old Virgin").

    In short, American films seem no longer forced to be "dumbed down" for their audience. I think there has been a real renaissance recently for American film.

    I have a couple of theories as to why this might be.

    1) Cable TV, not regulated by the FCC (and hopefully will not be), has allowed artists to fully develop and publish their work without censorship.

    2) The film industries big players are now more interested in distributing movies and leaving the making of them up to smaller production houses. This has allowed more artistic freedom and risk taking.

    Agree? Disagree?

    Comment


    • #3
      Personaly, I do not like much american movies. This year, in Quebec, has been a very good year for french-canadians movies.

      I appreciate european movies, particularly french comedies and french drama.

      About american tv programs, the only ones that interest me are the one with a strong gay male content such as Qu**r as Folk.

      Comment


      • #4
        OK Eric6420, but take "American Beauty" for example. Did you like that one?

        Note that I'm not saying Hollywood isn't capable of producing tons of dumb action flicks -- that they continue to do (and I enjoy the odd one or two every year). What is different is the number and regularity of movies that are, dare I say, have appeal to more intellectual audiences. Those, I think, are becoming much more frequent.

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:
          Originally posted by hm0504:
          OK Eric6420, but take "American Beauty" for example. Did you like that one?

          Note that I'm not saying Hollywood isn't capable of producing tons of dumb action flicks -- that they continue to do (and I enjoy the odd one or two every year). What is different is the number and regularity of movies that are, dare I say, have appeal to more intellectual audiences. Those, I think, are becoming much more frequent.


          Yes, American beauty is the last american movie that I saw in a theater. I must admit that I appreciated the movie but I did not like the end of it.

          For example, this year, in theater I went to see 4 movies, 3 are french canadian and the other is german, the next one I plan to see will be french.

          I would say that on the movies I greatly appraciated, here are the % of countries from where they are from.

          France 30%
          Rest of Europe 30%
          Canada 15%
          Japan 10% (Japanese animation in French)
          USA 10%
          Rest of the World 5%

          Titles of movies or tv programs that I appreciated:

          Titanic (USA)
          L'auberge espagnole (France)
          Good bye Lenin (Germany)
          The Educators (Germany)
          Coming Out (East Germany)
          Les sous doués passent le bac (France)
          Les bronzés (France)
          Barbarian invasions (French Canada)
          C.R.A.Z.Y. (French Canada)
          Space 1999 (England)
          Captain Future (Japan)
          Captain Harlock (Japan)
          Germinal (France)
          Mysterious cities of Gold (Japan and France)
          Malcom X (USA)
          Qu**r as folk UK and USA versions
          Little housse on the prairie (USA)
          Ma vie en rose (Belgium)
          Priscila Queen of the desert (Australia)
          Pas si grave (France)
          Les yeux brouillés (France)
          Ressources humaines (France)
          Nocturne Indien (France)
          Bad Education (Spain)


          In my viewpoint, most inspiring movies come from Europe, particularly from France and Germany. That does not mean the USA are not making anything good.

          Comment


          • #6
            The type of movie that really gets my attention is one that deals with the psychology of children. I haven't found too many of those by major US movie companies.

            The movies in that sub genre that i have seen and liked:

            US movies:
            "My Girl" Yes sappy, but it does get to me.
            "Angela" one of the best movies I have seen.
            "Digging to China"
            "Lawn Dogs"
            "That Night" I like these three just for the idea of a young girl whose relationship with an older male (or female) is quetsioned by everyone else even though the girl is in charge.

            Non-US movies:
            "Mi vie en rose" (Belgium) Odd, but good.
            "Tom et Lola" (France) great stroy of two kids exploring their surroundings for the first time.
            "Crows" (Poland) sad story of girl looking for love.
            "Ponette" (France) Amazing performance by a four-year-old.
            "Quiet Room" (England-I think) girl stops talking to protest her parents' fighting.
            "Small Change" (France)

            I am always looking for more great movies about children.

            Bob S.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't claim to be a critic but I have some film studies under my belt (not that it matters) but anyway, to answer the question, YES, I have been very pleasantly surprised by some American movies lately. I used to work in a movie theatre and saw all the current movies for free and let me say, I sat through alot of hours of pure crap in those days, with exceptions here and there. There's still crap out there, and there always will be, even in Europe, but yes, alot of film makers seem to be getting over the Hollywood attitude and are making some great movies.

              Comment

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