fori wrote: ↑
February 20th, 2020, 9:04 am
tobias wrote: ↑
February 20th, 2020, 8:04 am
fori wrote: ↑
February 20th, 2020, 6:44 am
I for one think it’s a good thing. France is and always has been incredibly overrated in cinéaste
circles, and we need to move on. Not to say there aren’t great filmmakers from France (there are many) but the Francophile reverence needs to be wound back a bit. Perhaps it’ll make a bit more room for Germany, Poland, Hungary, Spain and Greece in Europe, but more importantly the rest of the world! The film community needs
to be less Eurocentric!
Well in terms of fucks given Europe is already third behind North America and Asia today. The other 4 continents have much, much less resources for filmmaking.
And within Europe France is simply by far the most relevant country in terms of cinematic output. I have watched more french films in my life than German and Danish films combined and I don't speak any French (while German and Danish are my native languages). The french government film funding is 4 times as high as Germany's, though Germany's GDP is roughly 50 % higher than France's. France is also absolutely insane in international productions. Many people may not realize this but Mulholland Drive is a French production, The Pianist is French, Chimes of Midnight is French, Dunkirk is French. France has been one of the most welcoming countries to foreign directors. Similarly Filmmaking in France has been some of the most innovative and expansive for over a century by now from Melies to Feuilade to Gance to Renoir to Bresson to the New Wave and beyond all some of the most inventive filmmakers of their generation, with even the US struggling to keep up.
Maybe this is all down to personal preference but among the last directors revealed I find the French directors much more consistently interesting than the Asians and North Americans and also other Europeans who made it this far, yes, even Truffaut. I mean who have we rising for the french falling? Haneke, Nolan, Wyler, Capra, Lumet, Fincher, not excactly the most boundary pushing directors.
Can’t agree less, France is completely irrelevant and they haven’t had a good director come up in decades. It’s great they have put so much effort into international productions for so long, but the industry has long ago atrophied, and it seems like all the money in domestic film there is in conceptually bankrupt dramas selling Frenchness to wine mums. And yet there are still endless French directors filling the halls of the pantheon, it is easily one of the most venerated film traditions in the world, and even today when that lineage is completely dead they still manage to have as many films in the small pool of “best of the year” arthouse films every year as countries bursting at the seams with new talent. Your post is so telling as well. The “Asians” active today are an incredibly diverse group of filmmakers far larger and more varied than the entirety of French cinema, and it’s not even close. Far from “zero fucks given” Eurocentrism in film communities is still the norm, and people like you are functionally complaining that cinema working outside of the English language + Europe is finally getting a fraction of the credit it deserves.
And Germany is WAY better too.
I think you misread a sentence in my post: "Maybe this is all down to personal preference but among the last directors revealed
I find the French directors much more consistently interesting than the Asians and North Americans and also other Europeans who made it this far
". I'm talking within the confines of this poll. Most of the Asians are even incredibly inspired by Europeans. Wong Kar-Wai's entire shtick is imo a pale imitation of the New Wave, I'd much rather he's be exchanged with Zhangke. Ray started out as an assistant to Jean Renoir. etc.
The Asians who made the top 100 so far are:
#99 Shion Sono - to be fair, I'm very excited to check out his work, I've been trying to convince my brother to watch Love Exposure with me for years
#95 Hirokazu Koreeda - Afterlife is great but otherwise he seems like a fairly stringent narrative director, I don't really get behind the Shoplifers hype, still one of the more exciting ones
#91 Mikio Naruse - Love what I've seen
#86 Asghar Farhadi - Very stringent narrative cinema, good at that but ultimately a weak representation for what Iran actually has to offer
#82 Chan-wook Park - Again not the strongest representation of South Korea's national cinema, nice genre cinema but nothing revolutionary, a lot of the french directors who made it here make more challenging genre cinema, Godard, Malle or Carné par example
#69 -Yimou Zhang - his debut was great and unique but he's been going donwhill ever since.
#49 Abbas Kiarostami - Formally challenging and poetically potent, the first Asian director on this top 100 list to break with western conventions at all (maybe aside from Sono, I don't know)
#45 Kenji Mizoguchi - my favourite Asian director, can't complain. Mizoguchi was actually himself an influence on the french new wave.
#40 Kar-Wai Wong - the best description I've ever read on him is this: "I just wish Kar-wai's stylistic tics (including his writing) didn't seem so adolescent to me. He's kind of like Antonioni without any of the restraint, patience or insight", It's a faux-impression of the Nouvelle Vague with almost nothing to say of its own.
#37 Satyajit Ray - Very potent director on his own premises but seeing him above Renoir is a bit alienating.
The list will probably be rounded off by the evergreens Ozu and Kurosawa. So no Zhangke, no Makhmalbaf, no Tsai, no Oshima, no Ceylan, etc. Can you really blame me for finding Rivette, Renoir, Bresson, Godard, Rohmer, Varda, Denis, etc. more interesting than the above selection of Asian directors? Would you really dispute that the french directors who made it this far challenge established conventions less than the Asians who made it this far? The same is true to an even bigger extend for the Americans btw. This is not a poll about the here and now but about cinematic history at large. I know that a lot of stuff is Currently going on in Asia but this poll isn't based exclusively on the last 5-10 years or something when admittedly France didn't have its strongest decade.
As for Germany being better than France please, please recommend me films and directors. In my estimation this wasn't the case since the Weimar Republic. I'm actually a big fan of German cinema and always glad to learn more. It just so happens that the most interesting German titles I currently find is usually either late Weimar stuff or the more underground titles within Neuer Deutscher Film. I recently discovered Käutner which was a huge revelation but he's an absolutely unique oddity.