Happy Fourth of July!
The week's question was originally going to be "What's your favorite movie about America?" But recognizing that we have readers all over the world, I thought it would be a lot more interesting to hear what our international readers have to say as much as those in the U.S.
Let's have it! I wanna see some fireworks!
Well, my homeland El Salvador is a pretty lousy third-world banana republic with no film industry of its own. The only movie of worth ever made about it was Oliver Stone's "Salvador" with James Woods. And as good as "Salvador" is at portraying how lousy things were during the Civil War of '79-'92 (the small details are wrong but the overall atmosphere of 'life is cheap' dread is pretty dead on, no pun intended) it ultimately is another studio movie in which the plight of millions of brown people is reduced to background fodder for a white protagonist to see the error of his ways and change his life. So I guess there's no movie about my homeland that I really like because there aren't any that I've come across besides "Salvador."ReplyDelete
But since I've lived the majority of my 42 years in the States, to me America is my home. And my favorite movies ever made about America, of course, are "The Godfather I & II."
Fear and Loathing in Las VegasReplyDelete
Is that too pessimistic?
Ban the Sadist videosReplyDelete
Documentary about the whole Video Nasties era "ERA" that happened in Britain in the 80s, some of the comments are really embarrassing and it show the stupidity of the whole thing, its very enjoyable to watch though, but it does show how uptight and Anal the Brits can be
It on Youtube if anyones interested
"Research is being done that I believe will show these Videos are harmfull to children and Dog's too"Delete
Do you have any less grimm ones out of interest? :)Delete
of course :)Delete
I will pull back the curtain and show my sensitive side to you Gabby, no-one else is allowed to read this, I Love Notting Hill, and that is a really British film even though there's a yank in it too :) And Four Weddings and a Funeral, x
Message for everyone - see Man Up! Simon Pegg, Lake Bell and takes place along Southbank which is one of my favourite places!
Happy 4th of July, Yanks!ReplyDelete
Canada doesn't have a very sexy history so there really aren't any epic movies about our country's formation and survival (like The Patriot or Independence Day) and I shamefully haven't fully seen such classics as Canadian Bacon or Strange Brew, so I'm going to have to go with the Canadian (Nova Scotia specifically) movie that I'm proudest of: My Bloody Valentine (1981).
I love that movie though I thought you might go for something From Cronenberg :)Delete
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Plenty of great movies from Australia: The Babadook, The Road Warrior, Babe, um... Young Einstein?? However, if I were to choose a movie that strictly says something about my country, I'd go with The Castle (1997). A rather unassuming comedy about an Aussie larrikin sticking it to the man armed only with his unwavering sense of fair go. It's required viewing down here. (It's the vibe...)ReplyDelete
Alternatively, there's Wolf Creek (2005) because after all, we started out as a convict settlement (and the outback is a shit scary place sometimes...)
FYI, my favourite movie about America? Team America of course.
It's going straight to the pool room.Delete
My favorite Australian is Picnic at Hanging Rock.Delete
New Zealand being my homeland, apart from the many brilliant horror comedies we have produced, I am going to choose Footrot Flats from 1987. It has NZ's alternative national anthem, rugby, farming, venison, a meal of steak with a side of beans and egg, and a dog called dog. You can't get more Kiwi.ReplyDelete
Living for the last 10 years in Australia, its going to be a coin toss between Mad Max (1979) for its display of Australians obsession with cars and distance and the fact its just plain awesome. And Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975). Going to Hanging Rock and watching Hanging Rock was one of the coolest cinema experiences I have every had. There is just something about the Australian landscape.
Picnic at Hanging Rock is a great pick. Peter Weir is such an underrated director.Delete
I looovr New Zealand movies. In my favourite movies list Whale Rider and An Angel at my table always get in :)Delete
I'm a Rocky IV man. Diplomacy through face-punching is how I like to see things get done.ReplyDelete
I can change. You can change. We all can change!Delete
Rocky IV is a big time Christmas movie for me.Delete
Hot Rod, of course!ReplyDelete
Doing my ancestry:ReplyDelete
USA: 1776. Great musical with great performances.
Ireland: The Wind That Shakes The Barley. A fascinating and moving look at the birth of modern Ireland.
France: La Haine. A masterpiece of disillusion and immigration.
Germany: Downfall. Not much to say about how great it is. Possibly the best WWII movie outside of the Great Escape.
I love your style Joseph! Have you seen Aimee and Jaguar? I think it is such a beautifully war film in very different ways to the norm. It is a true story of a Jewish woman living in Berlin at the time of the war.Delete
If I was doing it that way I would add:
Malta: BBC's documentary Battle for Malta
Northern Ireland: The Crying Game, The Magdelene Sisters, The Guard.
Italy: Bicycle Theives, The Leopard, Roman Holiday and Room with a view.
I will add The Trip and The Trip to Italy for the English part haha
I have not seen Aimee but I'm requesting it from the library now!Delete
Joint Security Area (2000) is the movie that plays most into native Korean fears. There is a lot of social baggage that comes with having a country split in two, with heaping dose of paranoia, shame, and guilt. Chan Wook Park's mystery thriller plays right into all of those.ReplyDelete
But I moved from Korea a long time ago. Give me some INVASION USA anytime.
I love JSA! I worked it into my MA essay on Park & the politics of South Korea. I loved doing that essay and I got a first so I am quite proud of it.Delete
I agree with you guys JSA is a good movie I really like it, but the white actors in the movie they must have just grabbed off the street. That blonde dude's performance totally drags the film down in the few scenes he is in. At least the other performances are so solid it buoys it back up.Delete
And talking about social baggage, "Taegukgi" (2004).Delete
I'm gonna make a destinction about my favorite Finnish movie and my favorite movie about Finland.ReplyDelete
It's got to be Klassikko (The Classic) from 2001. It's based on a Finnish novelist's "fictional autobiography" and it deals with a man's place in the modern society and the juxtaposition of men stuck in the "old ways" and today's world of equality and men with feelings. It's hilarious, it's got great, authentic characters and it's very Finnish.
Blue Velvet (1986)ReplyDelete
Small town USA might seem quaint and pretty, but it's all dark and gross under the surface, where everybody's just a bunch of bugs fighting over crumbs. (I get in these moods on holidays.)
Videodrome is pretty representative of Canada.ReplyDelete
Absolutely. The provincial motto in Alberta is 'Long live the new flesh.'Delete
My favourite movie about Australia would probably be The Road Warrior. It isn't entirely accurate but it kicks ass.ReplyDelete
For some reason the first movie that came to mind was "Matinee"....optimism in the face of nuclear threat.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure I've seen a lot of movies that are explicitly about the condition of being American, so I'm going to take a couple different styles at this:ReplyDelete
My favorite movie about the US military is Hal Ashby/Robert Towne's 1973 film The Last Detail starring Jack Nicholson. I adore this movie and find it endlessly rewatchable.
The movie I find that most encapsulates the American experience with all its faults and pros is O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a film that really focuses on the truly American nature of southern/folk music, as well as the horrible social problems that still trouble the country.
Finally, my favorite film about my city (Baltimore) is Norman Jewison's ...And Justice For All- not only does it shoot Baltimore architecture well and capture the quirkiness of the city, but it's a heavily stylized courtroom drama with Al Pacino overacting! Adam Riske will watch any corporate thriller, I'll watch any courtroom drama.
O Brother is a great answer! It shows how people used music to fight through their troubles, and also illustrated the disconnect between politics and the people who were really suffering at the time. One of my favorite scenes is where the campaign truck drives through the field and the farmer who's out there plowing just stares at them with disdain.Delete
I'll go with the flick that deals with what is essentially the birth of America, and that's The New World from Terrence Malick.ReplyDelete
Malick will always have his detractors but I count myself firmly among his admirers. I love his films, his style, and the fact that he is interested in questions that have no concrete answers. The lyrical dream-like, half-forgotten memory mood his movies evoke always strike me deeply and powerfully. The New World is no exception.
It is a beautiful work of art. Q'Orianka Kilcher is a marvel of instinctive empathy, as well as bittersweet melancholy, in her portrayal of Pocahontas. No one outside of nature documentarians shoots the world in which we live with an eye as fine as Malick. James (RIP) Horner's score is stirring and powerful.
I find the film to be utterly fantastic, and I'm proud to own the Blu-ray.
I'm kinda surprised this didnt come up before me but I'm going to have to go with Team America: World Police. Besides being just a hilarious satire on our govt gone bananas as presented by puppets (in what Trey Parker and Matt Stone would end up calling "crappymation" I believe) it has lead to me singing about half a dozen times the theme song "America Fuck Yeah" and having to censor myself at work.ReplyDelete
Also honorable mentions to Rocky IV and Independence Day. Specifically Independence Day which has risen quite a bit in my viewpoint in the last few years. It still has some problems but has more heart then I remember it having when I watched it back in theatres as a kid. Does anyone think the film is better then I thought originally or am I just hating the current string of TMNT and Transformers movies so much that this uniqueish film is way better by comparison? Have a great 4th everybody!
Greetings from Denmark. One of my favorite danish movies is "The Celebration"(1998) by Thomas Winterberg. Using an atypical and almosl aristocratical setting to tell a tragic story revovlving around family and the lenghts we go to to keep up appearances it succeeds in so many ways.ReplyDelete
Have a great 4th!
JAWS and Rocky are big 4th of July staples for me, usually. And Independence Day has sort of become the standard 4th of July popcorn movie. But one movie my father always liked to watch on the 4th of July when I was a kid was Yankee Doodle Dandy, with James Cagney.ReplyDelete
I decided to go with something different this year, however, so I watched William Lustig's Uncle Sam.Delete
I watched Uncle Sam too Mike a terrible terrible awesome 4th movie, but I did squeeze Jaws in their to just for fun also ;)Delete
I saw JAWS theatrically on June 21, so I figured I'd give something else a shot.Delete
My favorite film about The Netherlands would be Soldier of Orange (1977). It depicts the (true) life story of a group of students in WWII, resisting or collaborating with the Germans. Or neither. With Rutger Hauer and Jeroen Krabbé (the bad guy in The Fugitive and The Living Daylights).ReplyDelete
Also it's been directed by pre-Hollywood Paul Verhoeven..Delete
I just noticed it's available on Youtube, with English subtitles. https://youtu.be/af4Cl8MJkU8Delete
L'Occhio Selvaggio... That film always struck a deep chord with me. It killed the Mondo genre and allowed Paolo Cavara to confess his misdeeds and redeem himself for what he created.ReplyDelete
A cheery ray of Scottish sunshine...
A lot of my family still lives in Galloway- my granny came over to the states in the 50's. I studied abroad at UofEdinburgh and I put on Trainspotting sometimes because I like watching Renton run down Princes St. in the intro chase. I miss Scotland...Delete
I'm gonna go with Dazed and Confused. It's one of my favorite movies anyway, but I like all the different parts of American culture it explored. Obsession with popular music, generational gaps in taste and opinion, teen angst, this unshakable feeling that there's always more opportunity out there and that where you are now isn't as good as where you could be in the future. It's ridiculously sincere and true.ReplyDelete
The first thing I thought of is Harry Potter and Holy Grail! I don't think you can get more British really. The Philospher's Stone has some obvios elements of Surrey but the whole thing is just so British but universal at the same time.ReplyDelete
I am not sure what it says that I think that then these: Hot Fuzz, Attack the block, Bend it like Beckham, Bhaji on the beach, My beautiful Laundrette and Last Chance Harvey, Calendar Girls and Chicken Run! You know instead of Saturday Night Sunday Morning or a version of Jane Eyre? But all types of my country being represented I enjoy because not many seem to capture the diversity of my life as a Londoner. Having a mix like that makes it feel better!
Now that's a movie I'd be interested in seeing: Harry Potter and the Holy Grail.Delete
You have it, it's called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part one!Delete
The thought that Terry Gilliam was JK Rowling's first choice to adapt Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone has me imagining what it would be like if he combined universes, if Harry and Hermione and Ron met the enchanter named Tim and were confronted by the killer rabbit, and met Brother Maynard, dealt with the Black Knight and the Knights Who Say Ni, if Ron was trapped in Castle Anthrax, and maybe even run across Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, coconuts in hand.Delete
I think Gilliam would have done a brilliant Order of the Phoenix. But I would, and I know Jo has said that she would, really dislike combined universes like that. So that idea makes me shudder. I think the Horcruxes are a wonderful handling of the idea of a Grail type but with a very different approach in the books. The books are so filled with historical, social, mythical references to other works but with a very particular voice at the center. Pointing to Philospher's stone as an example. The references to Alcamey which England has a fascinating history with which Rowling appropreates into her own magical world. Now apply the fact she does that with pretty much everything in the books, such as names, you understand why we see her as a national and international treasure.Delete
I understand completely. No disrespect intended, I was merely being facetious for a moment.Delete
I'll have to pick The Hanging Garden, since this was the first time I saw a Canadian film that wasn't terrible, and it's imprinted on my psyche. Sol's right: we don't have big stirring epics about our country. Instead, we get these smaller, weird indie films that are about the darkness of family life and deviant sexuality, which are huge themes in a lot of our movies. The Hanging Garden for me is the first film that felt like it was about a people and culture I knew.ReplyDelete
A lighter film would be last year's The Grand Seduction, which is uber Canadian despite starring an Irishman and an American. It's got Gordon Pinsent, though, so it wins all the Canada points.
Dirty Harry because: Clint Eastwood + 44 Magnum = America.ReplyDelete
That´s a tough question because I see way more films from other countries than from my home Germany. So I pick an assortment which combined gives a good overview over my own sensibilities regarding my country. No WW2 movie to find here.ReplyDelete
- Run Lola Run (1998) - because it´s inventive and funny and shows lots of characters being very german in a slightly comedic way. Also it presented Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreu to the world.
- The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) - Fascinating look into the terrorist spree of the RAF during the 70s and how it shook up the country. Again with a fine performance by Moritz Bleibtreu.
- The wave (2008) - Great film about a school experiment, showing how easy it may be to start a fascist movement again with a charismatic leader and by giving easy answers to difficult questions. With Jürgen Vogel and Max Riemelt starring two of the best german actors working today.
Beside these three I have picked 3 others I like very much and that are kind of anomalies regarding the output of german movies today.
- Stereo (2014) - Very interesting revenge thriller with great visuals, a bloody finale and a fantastic central performance by, again, Jürgen Vogel, assisted by, again, Moritz Bleibtreu.
- We are the night (2010) - Cool looking, bloody and pretty interesting take on the vampire genre in nightly Berlin, starring the excellent Nina Hoss and Max Riemelt. Especially Nina Hoss is surprising here, because she normally plays very heavy, often tragic and intense roles, which does this film a great favor.
- Free fall (2013) - Kind of a gay police drama, dubbed as the german "Brokeback mountain" by some critics because of depicting the problems that arise with colleagues and family when to young cops fall in love and have to hide it. Excellent performances by Max Riemelt and Hanno Koffler, avoiding every dumb stereotype about being gay.
Hm, looking again on this list makes me think that every good german movie seems to have at least one of my favourite german actors Vogel, Bleibtreu or Riemelt in it.
Call me a fanboy.
If I was from Canada, I would say Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy. It's still the funniest movie I've ever seen. That's my go-to movie when I find out what someone's movie taste is. If you don't think it's hilarious then you can't come to my party. It's gonna be super fun and all the cool kids are gonna be there. It's like a drug that gives worms to ex-girlfriends. You just don't get it.ReplyDelete