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(Time)   The U.S. market for foreign films has totally tanked. In other news: There was a U.S. market for foreign films   (entertainment.time.com) divider line 49
    More: Unlikely, foreign films, U.S., u.s. theaters, humans, Academy Award for Best Actor, French films, The Postman, Crouching Tiger  
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1152 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 24 Jan 2014 at 9:47 AM (11 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-24 09:52:14 AM
I live in a decent sized city/college town and love Asian cinema. Asians films rarely if ever come to any of the theaters in the area. If they do, I have to drive about 45 minutes to get there so I'm not sure if the market has tanked or people aren't given the opportunity. It's much more lucrative for Hollywood to make American rip offs (remakes) of Asian films and show those. Why would they release the Asian version which would only compete with their own product? I know plenty of people who watch tons of foreign films at home though
 
2014-01-24 09:53:42 AM
Mostly, foreign films are dramas. People wait for drama on DVD.
 
2014-01-24 09:59:57 AM
I think the last foreign film I saw in a theater was Brotherhood of the Wolf and that's only because we didn't realize it was in French until we got to the ticket window and there was a print out at every window saying "Brotherhood of the Wolf is 3 hours long and in French with subtitles" Apparently we weren't the only ones who didn't catch on ahead of time. Still, it was a pretty good popcorn flick.
 
2014-01-24 10:03:41 AM

ModernPrimitive01: I live in a decent sized city/college town and love Asian cinema. Asians films rarely if ever come to any of the theaters in the area. If they do, I have to drive about 45 minutes to get there so I'm not sure if the market has tanked or people aren't given the opportunity. It's much more lucrative for Hollywood to make American rip offs (remakes) of Asian films and show those. Why would they release the Asian version which would only compete with their own product? I know plenty of people who watch tons of foreign films at home though


Exactly. I watch a lot of foreign films on Netflix, because they're so hard to get to go to. I mean, I live in a city where there are definitely opportunities to see  some foreign films, but not all of them by far.
 
2014-01-24 10:06:54 AM
Bad business practice leads to unhealthy marketplaces. Who knew?
 
2014-01-24 10:10:49 AM

farkeruk: Mostly, foreign films are dramas. People wait for drama on DVD.


I wonder how well dramas from the US fare in foreign countries?  The big explosiony ones rake in tons of money, but would August: Osage County do well?
 
2014-01-24 10:13:47 AM
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer brings you a Michael Bay film... The Bicycle Thief.
 
2014-01-24 10:14:10 AM
I'm sure we've seen enough tender homosexual coming of age stories of Tibetan Yak herders.

Isn't Bollywood gaining ground? Do we need to bring back to WuTang clan to give us more Chinese action flicks?
 
2014-01-24 10:25:34 AM
Unless said foreign film is made by Rocco Siffredi, not interested.
 
2014-01-24 10:30:22 AM
wow farker's perceptions of foreign films are pretty skewed. There are lots of great horror and edge of your seat action thrill rides that get released in other countries as well. Not sure why everyone thinks they're all dramas
 
2014-01-24 10:37:19 AM
ModernPrimitive01: It's much more lucrative for Hollywood to make American rip offs (remakes) of Asian films and show those. Why would they release the Asian version which would only compete with their own product?

And who cares if the end product is crap. it's just some foreign thing we bought the rights to. It's not like it's a real movie, and we've got a sequel to a reboot of a film based on a board game to finish, and we still haven't figured out how to fit all the product placement into the CGI explosion sequence.
 
2014-01-24 10:38:43 AM
The boomers stopped trying to get laid by trying to appear sophisticated.
Whole markets live and die on the whims of baby boomers.
Hello, 70 percent service economy!
 
2014-01-24 10:43:12 AM
Foreign films? Like made in Canada?
 
2014-01-24 10:54:58 AM
I was watching a Dutch TV show the other night called "Overspel" and suddenly realised I had seen an episode of the American version, pretty much a line-for-line copy called "Betrayal" (which is American for "Overspel").

I wonder how often that happens.
 
2014-01-24 10:58:25 AM
I watch them at home.

Then again, I watch 98% of movies at home.
 
2014-01-24 11:01:54 AM

farkeruk: Mostly, foreign films are dramas. People wait for drama on DVD.


True. I think the bigger problem is that there haven't been many good foreign language movies released in the US lately. The only foreign film that ever show up in theaters around here are super moody drama pieces. There are only so many films about angsty French teenagers I can take.

Foreign action films are awesome but they go straight to Netflix and never show up in US theaters.
 
2014-01-24 11:06:47 AM
No advertising gets them no sales.

I already have so much to watch. I won't spend my own time searching for more. I watch too much.

When I do hear about a good foreign flick, I will watch it. Though I admit subtitles annoy me.
 
2014-01-24 11:13:28 AM
"The U.S. market for foreign films has totally tanked. In other news: There was a U.S. market for foreign films"

It was called 'Anime.'
 
2014-01-24 11:27:05 AM

ModernPrimitive01: wow farker's perceptions of foreign films are pretty skewed. There are lots of great horror and edge of your seat action thrill rides that get released in other countries as well. Not sure why everyone thinks they're all dramas


ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2014-01-24 11:28:21 AM

ModernPrimitive01: I live in a decent sized city/college town and love Asian cinema. Asians films rarely if ever come to any of the theaters in the area. If they do, I have to drive about 45 minutes to get there so I'm not sure if the market has tanked or people aren't given the opportunity. It's much more lucrative for Hollywood to make American rip offs (remakes) of Asian films and show those. Why would they release the Asian version which would only compete with their own product? I know plenty of people who watch tons of foreign films at home though


Foreign countries tend to make just as many or as more crappy flicks as in the US.

I have lived between South America on and off for 20 years, and have had to watch a ton of french, italian, south american, german, movies etc because they are released in their markets, and most are meh, with the occasional good/or excellent flick tucked in there.

In the US you get to read reviews and either netflix, torrent, or purchase  what strikes your fancy in the foreign realm.  You do not get inundated with everything, so US foreign film fans tend to think all foreign films are great, when they have only been exposed to the good ones.

And yes like another poster said, most foreign films are drama.

In other countries people love US popcorn action flicks even more than US citizens.

As for releasing the asian, or whatever version it is, not a huge enough market to make a profit, simple economics.

And you know other countries do remakes of American films as well.
 
2014-01-24 11:42:52 AM
Having watched any number of "great" foreign films, I can only conclude that the vast majority of them are boring crap.  Typically low budget, and they spend most of their time standing around talking at each other about profoundly inane personal problems.

In other words, a chick flic for foreign audiences.
 
2014-01-24 11:44:53 AM
There are tons of great foreign films...though you likely won't see them in the theaters.  The last foreign film I saw in a theater (subtitled no less) was Kung Fu Hustle.  It just seems that people don't want to read subtitles (which is the only way to watch a foreign film).
 
2014-01-24 12:16:38 PM
La Chevre, Delicatessen, Flame and Citron, Salaam Bombay, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, Army of Crime...

Enjoy.

/only a couple of those are about Hitler and his banjo
/it is interesting that one film had serious problems getting made because 70 years after WWII, there are still people who could suffer from being exposed not as being Nazi sympathizers but as Communists.
 
2014-01-24 01:09:11 PM
Faves:


13 Assassins (2010)
964 Pinocchio (1991)
Afraid of the Dark (1991)
Amores Perros (2000)
Antichrist (2009)
A Very Long Engagement (2004)
Babette's Feast (1987)
Belle de Jour (1967)
City of God (2002)
C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)
Cries and Whispers (1972)
Dekalog (1988)
Delicatessen (1991)
Dellamorte Dellamore (1994)
Die Buechse der Pandora (Pandora's Box) - 1929
Les Diabolique (1955)
Dust Devil (The uncut, director-preferred "Final Cut" version only) (1993)
Eyes Without A Face (1960)
Fanny and Alexander (1982)
Hausu (House) (1977)
Hour of the Wolf (1968)
Jean de Florette (1986)
La grande bouffe (The Big Feast) (1973)
La Haine (1995)
Les Enfants du Paradis (1945)
Le Souffle au Coeur (Murmur of the Heart) - 1971)
Little Otik (2001)
Les Yeux Sans Visage (1960)
M (1931)
Masculin Féminin (1966)
Manon of the Spring (1986)
Metropolis (1927)
MicMacs à tire-larigot (Micmacs)(2009)
Nosferatu - Eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)
Persona (1966)
Profondo Rosso (Deep Red)(1975)
Raise The Red Lantern (1991)
Ran (1985)
Repulsion (1965)
Rubber's Lover (1996)
Sauna (2008)
Santa Sangre (1989)
Seven Samurai (1954)
Shelter (2010)
Story of Women (1988)
Tenebre (1982)
Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)
Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1992)
The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
The Church (1989)
The City of Lost Children (1986)
The Fourth Man (1983)
The Killer (1989)
The Lives of Others (2006)
The Rules of the Game (1939)
The Tin Drum (1979)
Throne of Blood (1957)

It would probably help if such films weren't only limited to playdates in major cities.
Most mega-uber-omniplexes can afford to spare one screen to oddball cinema. Can't they? Do they really need to air the latest Tranformers film on 8 of their ten screens to make a profit?

Knows the answers. Asking anyway.
 
2014-01-24 01:17:50 PM
Sad that the closest theater in the Boston area that shows foreign films is in Cambridge. Nothing in Boston at all.
 
2014-01-24 01:27:39 PM
Maybe people didn't see Blue is the Warmest Color because to learn the coming of age story of teen lesbians we just need to open Live Journal at a random page? The interesting stories about homosexuality now are about getting married and having kids together, so teen lesbians are just kind of boring outside of porn.
 
2014-01-24 01:36:30 PM
Also, this is an example of why Bollywood action films are awesome.http://youtu.be/i4iDWXstrWY
 
2014-01-24 02:10:12 PM

Sinbox: Most mega-uber-omniplexes can afford to spare one screen to oddball cinema. Can't they? Do they really need to air the latest Tranformers film on 8 of their ten screens to make a profit?


Yes.   Because most movie theaters don't make (that much) money, and having 8 screens of Transformers (and in all seriousness, the worst I EVER saw for ANY movie was 4 of 20) means 8 full theaters.  All eating popcorn at their popcorn action flick.

I mean, you can argue that because foreign films never show in the USA, they're never given a chance to build a market so there's a self-fulfilling prophecy there (and if you ever end up in charge of [random chain], you can try to change that and accept the loss leader), but the simple fact is that showing foreign films right now  costs you money.
 
2014-01-24 02:31:06 PM

slayer199: There are tons of great foreign films...though you likely won't see them in the theaters.  The last foreign film I saw in a theater (subtitled no less) was Kung Fu Hustle.  It just seems that people don't want to read subtitles (which is the only way to watch a foreign film).


Maybe it's heretical, but dubbing may bring out more folks, especially foreign action, horror, etc.

I prefer subtitles, but I love it when DVDs offer a dubbed option; some films are worth watching twice, first subtitled, then dubbed.  You catch stuff you might have missed, even if the voices sound silly and are out of sync with the actors.
 
2014-01-24 02:32:00 PM
I fondly recall my dad taking me to the Asian cinema near the University of Minnesota one winter afternoon to see John Woo's Bullet in the Head.I then brought three friends to see the midnight screening when it rolled back around years later - except this time, as a bonus, is was the extended director's cut. CSB.
 
2014-01-24 02:58:54 PM

LordZorch: Having watched any number of "great" foreign films, I can only conclude that the vast majority of them are boring crap.  Typically low budget, and they spend most of their time standing around talking at each other about profoundly inane personal problems.

In other words, a chick flic for foreign audiences.


You sound like a michael bay fan or a troll.
 
2014-01-24 04:54:19 PM
I think it has to do with the basic cost of going out to the movies.  When a ticket was maybe $7 ($5 for a matinee) and I didn't eat the snacks, I could go whenever and watched a lot of films.  Now that it's $11 a person and I have a husband who insists on spending $15 on garbage food, it's basically a couple times a year treat.
 
2014-01-24 04:57:17 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: alaam Bombay, Sophie Scholl: The Final D


I caught Flame & Citron on Netflix just before it expired, back when Netflix was still letting you know what was about to expire, the wankers.  Awesome film.  I had no idea that happened.  Caught Max Manus: Man of War, too.  I was unfamiliar with the stories, so my stomach was in knots of anxiety while watching both.  If you are ever going to pick a fight, do not fark around with Scandinavia.

I don't know if those got commercial theater release anywhere here, but I really appreciated being able to at least see them on Netflix.
 
2014-01-24 05:48:30 PM

CarnySaur: I wonder how well dramas from the US fare in foreign countries? The big explosiony ones rake in tons of money, but would August: Osage County do well?


It probably did well in France.  I read the BBC News and the Guardian and they both paned it, so it probably didn't do too well in the UK.
 
2014-01-24 05:57:21 PM
If you love film, especially foreign films, you should check out The Story of film: An Oddysey which is up on Netflix at the moment.  It's long (15 episodes) but well worth it, as it covers largely forgotten corners of cinema history.  I watched it once, but need to go through it again and make a list of all the films I haven't seen.  The narrator's delivery is a bit dry, but there's a lot of deadpan humor, which makes up for it.
 
2014-01-24 06:08:41 PM

Dwight_Yeast: I watched it once, but need to go through it again and make a list of all the films I haven't seen.


This may aid you. Then again, it may not.

^A master listing of every film referenced during the doc's run (by episode; in chronological order)
 
2014-01-24 06:13:41 PM
...run (by episode; in chronological order)
 
2014-01-24 06:18:29 PM

Sinbox: Dwight_Yeast: I watched it once, but need to go through it again and make a list of all the films I haven't seen.

This may aid you. Then again, it may not.

^A master listing of every film referenced during the doc's run (by episode; in chronological order)


Thank! that's actually really useful, as I can just cut it down to what I haven't seen and what I want to see.
 
2014-01-24 06:22:39 PM

MartinaMcSorley: TheShavingofOccam123: alaam Bombay, Sophie Scholl: The Final D

I caught Flame & Citron on Netflix just before it expired, back when Netflix was still letting you know what was about to expire, the wankers.  Awesome film.  I had no idea that happened.  Caught Max Manus: Man of War, too.  I was unfamiliar with the stories, so my stomach was in knots of anxiety while watching both.  If you are ever going to pick a fight, do not fark around with Scandinavia.

I don't know if those got commercial theater release anywhere here, but I really appreciated being able to at least see them on Netflix.


Catch the same actor in Headhunters, it's a good flick.
 
2014-01-24 06:28:09 PM

Dwight_Yeast: Thank! that's actually really useful, as I can just cut it down to what I haven't seen and what I want to see.


You're very welcome. I've taken to using it as a "shopping list" for viewing. I had already seen roughly half of the titles prior to discovering the doc (which just, around three weeks ago,  finished up its premiere serial airing in the U.S., courtesy of Turner Classic Movies.)

But the doc definitely sent me on a search for a bunch of titles I'd theretofore never even heard of (and I'm one of those [hopefully-not-too]obnoxious film nerds [not snobs]).

Have a decent one.
 
2014-01-24 06:43:32 PM

Dwight_Yeast: If you love film, especially foreign films, you should check out The Story of film: An Oddysey which is up on Netflix at the moment.  It's long (15 episodes) but well worth it, as it covers largely forgotten corners of cinema history.  I watched it once, but need to go through it again and make a list of all the films I haven't seen.  The narrator's delivery is a bit dry, but there's a lot of deadpan humor, which makes up for it.


I wanted to like this series, but just couldn't handle the narration - both the way it was delivered and the content.  What I saw was oddly both reverential and revisionist, and really farking arrogant.  Anyways, I think it would be more fun to just watch every movie on the list I haven't seen (and there's quite a few).

/One doc I do like, relevant to this thread, is Martin Scorsese's My Voyage to Italy, which has the advantage of focus - he only deals with a handful of films, but examines each in detail
//Do I need to say there are spoilers?  Not that knowing the plots really 'spoils' these films
///http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Voyage_to_Italy
 
2014-01-24 06:54:40 PM

AliceBToklasLives: I wanted to like this series, but just couldn't handle the narration - both the way it was delivered and the content. What I saw was oddly both reverential and revisionist, and really farking arrogant. Anyways, I think it would be more fun to just watch every movie on the list I haven't seen (and there's quite a few).


The revisionism (more correctly, expanding the focus to tell the full story) is really the whole point of the doc.  The history of film has always been told from an American-centered viewpoint (even by Europeans) which means that the films of a number of countries and the weirdness of very early cinema (when movies were being made all over the globe) is overlooked. I found it really interesting to learn about the history film in places like India and Egypt, as it didn't realize just how far back it went.  The episode on film-making in sub-Saharan Africa is really good, and reminded me of a film I'd completely forgotten: Hyenes, which I've never actually seen, but which a friend described to me in detail years ago (I'm not sure where he'd seen it; it may have been in Africa), which is one of the best movies of the 1990s.

I found the early episodes, which cover a lot of basic film technique to be a bit boring, but it was interesting to see where they came from and when they were introduced.  It's like watching the evolution of the novel as an artform in the English language.

If you like Scorsese, you should check out his Journey through American Film, which The Story of Film frequently reminded me of.  Because it's Scorsese being Scorsese, he frequently works his way through 50 or 60 films in a single episode.
 
2014-01-24 07:44:26 PM

Smackledorfer: LordZorch: Having watched any number of "great" foreign films, I can only conclude that the vast majority of them are boring crap.  Typically low budget, and they spend most of their time standing around talking at each other about profoundly inane personal problems.

In other words, a chick flic for foreign audiences.

You sound like a michael bay fan or a troll.


You sound stupid, .... and boring.
 
2014-01-24 08:49:21 PM

AliceBToklasLives: Maybe it's heretical, but dubbing may bring out more folks, especially foreign action, horror, etc.

I prefer subtitles, but I love it when DVDs offer a dubbed option; some films are worth watching twice, first subtitled, then dubbed. You catch stuff you might have missed, even if the voices sound silly and are out of sync with the actors.


The problem I have with dubbing is that you lose a lot as they have to rewrite the words to match the movements of the actor/actress' mouths.  I'll provide a few examples:

The horrors of war speech in Das Boot.  Subtitles it's pretty clear...but dubbed...they change the total meaning of the movie.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  Mandarin is so lyrical in the way it's presented in the movie (which is ironic considering neither Chow Yun Fat nor Michelle Yeoh knew how to speak Mandarin prior to the movie) .  It's so fitting with the scenery.  The one scene that stands out to me is the scene where Li Mu Bai is dueling with Jen when he has nothing but a stick.  The language is so lyrical and it fits so beautifully.  When it's dubbed it loses a lot.

Watching Kung Fu Hustle dubbed loses the major laugh in the movie...it's meant to be watched in it's native language.

With Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes, I can't imagine the movie with any other voice than Klaus Kinski.  I'd have nightmares if I watched it dubbed.
 
2014-01-24 08:53:48 PM
Vast majority of the films I've watched the last 3 years are foreign, and 8 out of my 10 favorites are foreign. Too bad many Americans are content with whatever shiat Kevin James or Vince Vaughn put out, rather than, say, the litany of excellent Latin American movies out there every year.
 
2014-01-24 09:47:58 PM

Dwight_Yeast: The episode on film-making in sub-Saharan Africa is really good, and reminded me of a film I'd completely forgotten: Hyenes, which I've never actually seen, but which a friend described to me in detail years ago (I'm not sure where he'd seen it; it may have been in Africa), which is one of the best movies of the 1990s.


That episode sounds interesting.  I think the only sub-Saharan African films I've seen are a couple of Sembene's (and The Gods Must be Crazy).  Maybe someone can dub in better narration:)

slayer199: The problem I have with dubbing is that you lose a lot as they have to rewrite the words to match the movements of the actor/actress' mouths.


Sure, I'm just thinking in terms of expanding the audience, especially with films that are more about images than talking.

slayer199: With Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes, I can't imagine the movie with any other voice than Klaus Kinski.  I'd have nightmares if I watched it dubbed.


I've seen the dubbed version - it sounds awful (and silly in places that are not supposed to be silly).  However . . . . there is something to be said for a clean frame, especially with a Herzog film.
 
2014-01-24 10:26:27 PM

AliceBToklasLives: I've seen the dubbed version - it sounds awful (and silly in places that are not supposed to be silly). However . . . . there is something to be said for a clean frame, especially with a Herzog film.


I think you can probably watch Fitzcaraldo with the subtitles off, as it's just so beautiful.
 
2014-01-25 12:37:11 AM

LordZorch: Smackledorfer: LordZorch: Having watched any number of "great" foreign films, I can only conclude that the vast majority of them are boring crap.  Typically low budget, and they spend most of their time standing around talking at each other about profoundly inane personal problems.

In other words, a chick flic for foreign audiences.

You sound like a michael bay fan or a troll.

You sound stupid, .... and boring.


Poor baby. Forced to live in a world where people won't stop liking what you don't like. And all of Europe is a bunch of chick flick watching women.

But everyone else, they are the stupid ones !
 
2014-01-25 03:28:22 PM

CarnySaur: I wonder how well dramas from the US fare in foreign countries?  The big explosiony ones rake in tons of money, but would August: Osage County do well?


By "dramas" I don't mean big, explosiony films. I mean films like August: Osage County. Talky, character dramas. That means no slapstick humour, no car chases, no splosions, no horror and no aliens. And not a kids film.

The biggest drama last year, and one of the biggest grossing dramas ever, is Lincoln. That was 41st in the French Box Office and one of the biggest dramas in any language.

That said, it's a pity that a lot of really kick-ass films in foreign languages don't get much of a release. I'm hoping that I can see The Raid 2 somewhere, because I'd have loved to have seen the 1st film on the big screen. And I'd go and see a showing of House of Flying Daggers, Oldboy or Pan's Labyrinth.
 
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