If you were to ask the average person whether they would consider watching a foreign film, the most common response would be a polite ‘no’, perhaps followed by the comment that ‘foreign films are best watched by foreigners’.
For me, it has been a constant battle to change this perception, but I remain as determined as ever to spread the word.
Here are my responses to 5 common objections for why film fans won’t venture outside the English language comfort zone…
5. “I Have Never Watched A Foreign Movie And I Never Will”
Lots of people have at least seen a movie inspired by a film from another country, but maybe they just don’t know it.
The first movie I can remember watching which turned out to be inspired by a French film was Three Men and a Baby, and through the years I have continued watching other Hollywood films which,to varying degrees, took their inspiration from Europe, Asia and South America.
Did you know that The Running Man, Insomnia, Vanilla Sky, The Departed, Dinner for Smucks, heck even Godzilla, were all inspired by European or Asian cinema? The list is shockingly long and on its many pages there must surely be at least one movie you liked.
As time has gone by, instead of showing signs of slowing down, Hollywood’s trend of copying ideas from around the world has only increased with J-Horror movies like The Ring, Spanish Thrillers like Rec and Swedish dramas like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo taking less and less time from their original releases to be remade and released again in English.
The problem is, that in many cases the remake is not as good as the original.
For those interested in taking the first step towards watching international cinema my advice is to look for the original version of a Hollywood remake you liked and watch it.
For example, in my opinion, Infernal Affairs wins out over The Departed every time. But so does Abre Los Ojos over Vanilla Sky, Rec over Quarantine etc etc etc.
This article was first posted on July 30, 2012