Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Does European cinema have an identity?

It's an old subject and one that is guaranteed to lead to heated debate. Is there something specifically "European" about films that are made in Europe? There are many schools of thought on this one, that some Europeans use as a comfort zone. The comforting thought being, "we are different, and somehow more interesting". Others point out that European cinema is a geographic denomination, not a label of quality.

All these opinions were expressed at the recent European Film Festival in Lecce (Italy). According to a report on Cineuropa, journalist Oscar Iarussi claimed, "If American cinema is defined by action, the specificity of European cinema could be contemplation." Personally, I would underline the "if" and "could". A little more action would not go amiss in European cinema.

Amongst the prizes awarded to films, the best Golden Olive Award went to Valereij Todorovskij's "My Stepbrother Frankenstein". Its seasoned scriptwriter Leonid Yarmolnik was awarded for his "quality of writing that can synthesise collective and individual problems in a notably distinctive language".

See the full article on Cineuropa. Check the European Film festival for details, and the full final press release in Italian.

2 comments:

iarussi said...

A very interesting piece.

I do not kniow if the writer was defining American Film meaning the USA Film Industry. Granted ,we are the predominant industry

There is also Canada, which can be identified as weak and dry with a feminine message

Mexico which is a growing industry and not given as much attention because of European predjudices against Mexican people.

The USA has many differant directions, there is way too much coming out of the USA with a liberal anti Christian, anti semitic, apologist attitude.

Films with family values sell in the USA. Yet, there is a disconnect between the Hollywood left and what many people in the audience want.

Passion Of The Christ was the largest grossing film of all time.

It was a powerful performance. Yet, Hollywoods liberal elite ignored the movie. While many Americans went to see film more than one time.


We are also seeing a growth in Independent Films from Christians with technology improving allowing producers to make more low budget films.

Unfortunately, this technology has also filled college theatres and student centers with loony films such as one that without evidence accuses USA President GW Bush being the matermind behind the
9-11 attacks. Silly!

Michael Leahy said...

In general, you can safely say that when Europeans talk about American film, it is usually Hollywood fare. It simplifies the debate but is hardly very accurate, given the range of production from major studios, to indie genre films, arthouse and the considerable output from HBO for example. Plus, as you point out, the production from Canada and Mexico. Having said that, you say:

"Mexico which is a growing industry and not given as much attention because of European predjudices against Mexican people."

I'm not sure where you get that impression. There can hardly be a prejudice against people we never meet. And I have a vague impression that there is some good stuff coming from Mexico.

"Yet, Hollywoods liberal elite ignored the movie."

If you're referring to the Oscars, they effectively bypass anything that could possibly cause discussion. If it was just merit, I'm not sure "Million Dollar Baby" was the best film last year. But let's not start on that one! We'll be here all night.

Thanks for dropping by. Interesting that you have the same name as Oscar Iarussi!