Forgotten Films

All World Cinema (1895 - present)

So far you will have noticed the lack of world cinema on the list and there is a perfectly good reason for this. I simply don't know where to begin. Although I will be mentioning one or two before the month is out, there are simply too many examples of international cinema I'd want to include because to be honest, right now, in the uk, to very small percentage of people, but for a few notable examples, world cinema seems to have been 'forgotten', and the reason is one of access.

As Matthew Sweet explains in this excellent op-ed piece from The Guardian, in an average week there are very few foreign films on terrestrial television in the uk, with the channels sitting on massive back catalogues that really could and should be on rotation even in the small hours. This means that a whole generation of young viewers who like I was could be inspired by the thoughtful, higher quality material that's waiting for them, simply aren't and are all the worse off for it.

The way I feel at the moment, under the rules of this game, the whole entire filmographies of Bergman, Godard, Truffaut, Kurowsawa, Renoir, Tarkovsky, Ozu, Kieslowski and countless others are simply obscured; even the more accessible work of Wenders and Klapisch simply aren't being seen. Well, yes Film4 has the odd thing and BBC Four too, but neither seems to have anything like a strategy on presenting this work, a point that Sweet notes when he lists the range of material scheduled in an average week on terrestrial television in the 1980s.

Plus, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, a lot of this material deserves and often must be seen on the big screen. Since the death of repertory cinema, at least on a national scale, that's not happening. I have Lovefilm, which helps somewhat and can be thanked for allowing me to see the range of movies on this list. But you're left to your own devices and it's really difficult sometimes to know where to go. Yes, you can drop in Bergman's back catalogue but it seems like such a contextless move even with a film book to hand.

All of which is a pre-amble to an addendum to that December list, of really wonderful World Cinema which might not necessarily be 'forgotten' in their own countries but are certainly being overlooked in ours:

At The Height of Summer (2001)
The Cup (1999)
Winter Light (1962)
Blind Chance (1987)
Day For Night (1973)
Alphaville (1965)
The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
Stalker (1979)
The Flower of my Secret (1995)
The Butcher (1970)
Sitcom (1998)
The State of Things (1982)
Fucking Åmål (1998) [pictured]
Central Station (1998)
Russian Ark (2002)
The Sweet Life (1960)
My Uncle (1958)
The Battle of Algiers (1966)
Babette's Feast (1987)
Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)

1 comment:

Reel Fanatic said...

Now that's a solid month's worth of viewing! ... Of the ones you're gonna take on, my favorites would have to be Babette's Feast and Eat, Drink, Man, Woman