or: if you had to pick one country and you could only watch films from that country for the rest of your life, which one would you pick?
I would have a really hard time deciding between France and Japan. I would probably end up flipping a coin.
all of them………..except BAD Hollywood/Bollywood films…..oops,sorry,those are not countries,huh? :P
I would have to decide between Japan and China. There´s definitely the most astonishing amount of great classical films coming from Japan (Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa, Naruse, Kobayashi, …), but regarding the situation in world cinema is there the best chance to see future masterpieces to come out of China. But on the other hand would a life without seeing Satyajit Ray´s films also be pointless, so I´d rather suggest harakiri (not the film).
I tend to see more from China, Taiwan, and Japan. Does that mean the make the best films? Maybe, maybe not.
If I had to choose only one country, it would be vive la France.
Claire Denis, Philippe Garrel, Leos Carax, Marguerite Duras, Bruno Dumont, Jacques Tati, Francois Truffaut, JLG, Jacques Demy, Agnès Varda, Chris Marker, Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, Jean Eustache, Georges Franju, Jean Rouch, Jean-Pierre Melville, Louis Malle, Olivier Assayas, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Robert Bresson, Jean Vigo, Jean Cocteau, Abel Gance, Maurice Pialat… to name a few favorite french directors.
Probably Italy, but thats a tough question. If you were to tally up the countries of my favorite films America would probably come out on top, but I figured I would put Italy ahead because I have unfairly seen much more from America. France has been giving Italy a tough time in recent weeks. Also I have not seen enough Asian cinema to judge.
Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sergio Leone…
I’m torn. I’m inclined to say Japan…
Miike, Nagisa, Kurosawa, Kitano, I could go on forever.
“I was born in the wrong country.” -Eli Roth, On an American Audiences reaction to him dressed as Kakihara.
Certainly Germany: Murnau, Lang, Herzog, Fassbinder, Donnersmarck, Hirschbiegel, etc, etc. I have been disappointed by very few German movies, other than Boll, but I don’t think any country would want him.
Excluding films from any part of the world is akin to removing an arm or leg (or head) from the body of cinema. Having said that, my gun-to-the-head answers would be:
The U.S.A. will always hold the most bounty — hell, only the American films of the 70s would be enough — but I would certainly miss all those French, Italian, Japanese, Polish and Swedish masterpieces.
Overall- France, absolument. But I think most countries have had their shining periods in history, e.g. era of German expressionist, French new wave, Italian neorealism, etc
I am with Grey and would go for France.
To her(?) list, I would add Jean Renoir, Laurent Cantet, Alain Resnais, Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer, Claude Miller, Max Ophuls, Jacques Rivette, Rene Clair, Arnaud Desplechin, Jacques Becker, Marcel Carne, Agnes Jaoui, Rene Clement, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Patrice Leconte, Benoit Jacquot, Gasper Noe, Raul Ruiz, Erick Zonca, Claude Sautet and Bertrand Tavernier to name a few more.
I don’t want to slight other countries (US, Italy, Japan, etc.) but the French system continues to encourage interesting filmmakers in larger numbers…
I’m curious about something. What are the major works of Swedish cinema beyond Bergman? He alone isn’t enough (almost but not quite), so I’m curious what else there’s been.
Christopher, It is hard not to say America, huh? I was giving other countries’ smaller films the benefit of the doubt since I have not yet been fully educated in non-American film.
Germany in the 30’s, America and Japan in the 40’s and 50’s, France, Russia, and Sweden in the 50’s and 60’s!
Roy Andersson and Tomas Alfredson immediately come to mind as well known Swedish directors. And of course the original Insomnia, but that guy I think is from Norway (but the film was in Swedish).
As wonderful as France is, the quality of Italian films such as these really make Italian cinema stand out to me:
Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D., Mamma Roma, Il Postino, The Son’s Room, Suspiria, I Vitelloni, Il Posto, Life is Beautiful, Divorce Italian Style, Il Generale della Rovere, just to name a few.
Plus I think I’m biased because I’ve always had a fascination with Italy as a country and would love to travel there more than anywhere else in the world.
Here are some of the essentials of Swedish cinema:
Early Swedish cinema—Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller
Post WWII—Vilgot Sjöman, Bo Widerberg, and Jan Troell.
Contemporary directors—Roy Andersson and Lukas Moodysson
Me, I’ll take Denmark.
Drew, there are some other masterful Swedish directors apart from Ingmar Bergman though most of them are somehow related to him, like Jan Troell who´s film The Emigrants is one of Bergman´s favorites and stars his most current actors Max von Sydow and Liv Ullman, also Danish-born Bille August who´s greatest film The Best Intentions is an adaptation of a screenplay Bergman wrote about his parents, and last but not least Victor Sjöström, one of the foremost silent film directors who appeared as a protagonist in Bergman´s films To Joy and Wild Strawberries.
@Drew and Matt Parks
Alice O’Fredericks was a very prolific Swedish filmmaker, who worked from the 30’s to the late 60’s, albeit most of her films were made in Denmark.
My pick has goes to France, but I would also be tempted to opt for Canada, for the simple fact that they’ve produced so many magnificent films on VERY limited budgets. And lets not forget names like Atom Egoyan, Guy Maddin, Claude Jutra, David Cronenberg, Norman McLaren, Allan Dwan, Denis Arcand, Norman Jewison, Alan King, Zacharias Kunuk, François Girard, Mack Sennett, Jean-Claude Lauzon, Michael Snow, Deepa Mehta, Don Shebib…and of course, everyone’s favorite auteur, cough James Cameron cough
Apursansar, Its funny how they seem to connect, because I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about who is more influential Bergman, or Godard, and we brought up that Godard was one of the leading directors to start the French New Wave, but when I started thinking about it, I feel Bergman started a “wave” except it was just him (and apparently the other people you mentioned), which in my opinion is even more impressive. Also Von Sydow is one of my favorite actors, so I really want to see The Emigrants now.
Thanks for all the Swedish suggestions, everyone.
France— for fine art as well.
Japan for me. France 2nd.
All time favorite are probably Japan & France, followed by U.S.A., then Italy.
But Japan and France are no where near its golden days (but then, who is?)
Chinese cinema has been a major force in the past 15 years.
U.S.A. by far.
how come no one has mentioned Alf Sjöberg among Swedish filmmakers? I think Torment and Miss Julie are the only two films of his available in the U.S. at the moment.
Good to see Armenia get a mention- we can’t have all the biggies dominating. One day Wales and Portugal will be up there, and the treasures of India will be better known too!
Much as i love French cinema, i have to give top spot to Japan.