Re: The Virgin Spring - Honoring The Last House on the Left
Yeah, foreign films as they are often called can be hard work because you have to make the commitment to really focus upon something that is very different to normal films of today. And yes, I know you don't think Bergman is French!
My own personal experience is that as I grew older I became increasingly frustrated with the weekly output of Hollywood. There's something pointless about endless rehashes of old ideas or stories or even films. I'm not saying that Hollywood can't make great movies, but the scoring rate is nowhere near .300. I guess I just realized that there could be more than watching what I was being force fed out of LA. I mean, just look at the three films James is enduring
I began to realize that if I carefully selected movies from the vast library of the rest of the world and all history my scoring rate would start to climb. The operative word is carefully. As I found movies that I loved I experimented even more.
This is where it's easy to get criticized as being elitist. It's not meant to be. Watching foreign movies is not anything special. They are no better than great American movies. However, there are many wonderful pleasures lying outside the walls of Hollywood. The problem, is finding them. I'm envious of people who begin the journey and feel this great urge to wish them well and offer a small map as they pass through the gates.
So I hope you'll bear with me. I am one of the oldest (the oldest?) members on the forum. It does not make be smarter or wiser, but it does give me a different perspective. The perspective is one of 40 years of watching films and over 10,000 movies. Between the ages of 15 and 25 I was addicted to modern Hollywood action, horror, science fiction, comedies and thrillers. Over the next ten years I started the movie experimentation game by going backwards into US and UK film history. Over the last fifteen I have increasingly explored other countries. maybe as senility approaches I will move back to teen comedies
It's not like I planned it, it just sort of happened. the more I tried and liked it, the more I did it. I am now a registered addict.
The French new wave would have been a complete bore to me many years ago. However, within the history of French cinema there are many movies that are not boring at all. I was lucky as I lived in Paris, Geneva and then Brussels for eight years. So the ability to listen to a French movie (which is disappearing) certainly helped. But the same is true of Japan. I would have found a bunch of old warriors screaming at each other for three hours in something that was supposed to be Shakespearian a total bore. Give me a break!
The key is to choose careful and not start with potential bores such as the almost silent life and times of a french donkey (Au Hasard Balthazar) or a pair of old japanese people journeying to meet their horrible kids (Tokyo Story). If I'd seen them first up, I'd have been bored as hell.
I almost think it would be cool to combine the wisdom of this forum and provide a roadmap to foreign movies. Not films that people personally like for whatever reason, but films that most people would love and encourage them to dig deeper. In my spare time I climb. the way to succeed is start with easy and fun routes that give you an amazing summit and then go from there. You don't go straight to El Cap or K2!
The Reelviews guide to having fun with foreign movies. Each movie graded like climbs. A list of great foreign movies, but graded for accessibility and fun rather than physical or mental challenge.
I wish I had had access to this 25 years ago!
What do you think? Do we have lovers of Asian and European cinema who could unearth the gems that got them going?