MUBI brings you a great new film every day.  Start your 7-day free trial today!
All Topics  »

Which country has the greatest cinema history?

IndyLIV​E

about 2 years ago

I read once that American, French, and Japanese films were the greatest and most influential in the world. There may be some truth in that. Naturally I’m aware that there are many great films and great directors everywhere in the world, but could those three be the most important?

Polaris​DiB

about 2 years ago

Quoíx

about 2 years ago

This just screams “polemic” :).

IndyLIV​E

about 2 years ago

I know that no list should really be taken seriously. And I know that no one can really say which country makes the best movies or who was the greatest director or what the best movie ever made was. I was just curious what opinions people had on the subject.

meg 

about 2 years ago

LOL Polaris

Robert W Peabody III

about 2 years ago

Russia ( USSR)?

Jaspar Lamar Crabb

about 2 years ago

INTERNATIONAL FREAK-OUT ALERT!

ruxlyn

about 2 years ago

Three countries that are powerful and have exerted cultural and economic hegemony over many other countries might be perceived as having the best cinematic traditions, yes, that makes sense.

Robert W Peabody III

about 2 years ago

Hey DiB, that thread went 5 pages and of course there was your contribution:

It was a great idea back when everyone was discussing the lesploitation of Venusian cinema against the militant Martian style, but now that everyone’s going back to their close-minded Terracentric habit of acting like everything good comes from Earth, just because Earth is the only planet dumb enough to invent money but powerful enough with it to force all the other planets to use it, it’s gotten all dull and predictable and the same old countries get mentioned over and over and over again.

Papua New Guinea was fine in its early days before interplanetary trade richened the pockets of the Earthlings, but ever since then they’ve been putting out the same boring Earthling-language films everyone around the solar system is watching.

IndyLIV​E

about 2 years ago

American cinema does have Griffith, Keaton, Ford, Welles, Scorsese, and Tarantino (and technically Chaplin and Hitchcock). And French cinema has Lumiere, Melies, Godard, and Truffaut. Japan has Kurosawa and that’s all they need.

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago

^ HAHAHAHAHA ^

I'm gay and love to crap

about 2 years ago

Too easy;

Loverof​LeCinem​a

about 2 years ago

America of course! At least the golden ages (40s through 70s). A Streetcar Named Desire, The Big Sleep, Casablanca, Citizen Kane!

DADA WEATHER​MAN

about 2 years ago

Matt Parks

about 2 years ago

“I read once that American, French, and Japanese films were the greatest and most influential in the world.”

Except that German Expressionism was highly influential (in somewhat different ways) on all three.

apursan​sar

about 2 years ago

Too easy…

johnsonisjohnson

about 2 years ago

Can’t we just say: “all are the greatest.”?

Tervari​an

about 2 years ago

America, and it isn’t close.

France is tops for food, though.

IndyLIV​E

about 2 years ago

I hope everyone knows I started this thread just for fun. I don’t actually consider a question like this to be all that important. German cinema is just as great as American cinema. Italian cinema is just as great as Japanese cinema. It’s all important. But I can’t help speculating on which has had the most influence…

Brad S.

about 2 years ago

It’s Italy of course – for food.

Malik

about 2 years ago

Cuba or Brazil!

Craig Harshaw

about 2 years ago

The greatest and most influential cinemas. I doubt any one nation could claim that. There are great films from almost every country on earth.

The most influential would probably be France, The United States, The U.S.S.R/Russia/all the former Soviet Republics, India, China (esp. strong if one collapses Taiwan, Hong Kong and PRC), Japan, Italy, Germany, The UK, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, Cuba, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, Nigeria, Senegal, The Philippines, Thailand, Poland, Spain, Greece, Mexico, Mozambique, Austria, Algeria, Mali, Yugoslavia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium and Chile.

Of course, commercial cinema from India and The United States is incredibly important and both Bollywood and Hollywood have enormous influence b/c of the financial strength of those industries. During the cold war era this was balanced out some by the influence from The USSR. France has remained pretty consistent through the last century as a leading producer of film. More importantly France has also consistently screened films from more countries and had filmmakers, critics, philosophers, academics, activists, artists, that are more interested in global developments in cinema then perhaps any other nation. It seems like this spirit of cosmopolitanism is also alive in much of Latin America. I think this might be the better question to ask. Which countries have the greatest interest in cinema? Which nations are the most intellectually curious about developments within both national and global cinema?

I'm gay and love to crap

about 2 years ago

America made The Cool World and Transformers 3
What did those nancy Eurozone countries ever make?
#teamUSA

Fuzzbuc​ket

about 2 years ago

I can agree with that johnson​isjohns​on.

The Future Mr. Gitts

over 1 year ago

Sure, I’ll play the game. I’d pose the subject as “nations responsible for the most significant contributions to the advancement of cinema, for better or worse,” and I’d rank them as follows…

1) United States – early cameras, silent cinema progress, chaplin, keaton, hollywood studio system, production code, ford, welles, capra, wyler, chuck jones, disney, film noir, huston, wilder, hitchcock (american productions), kubrick, new hollywood, spielberg, scorsese, ashby, allen, malick, peckinpah, altman, coppola, blockbuster era, american independent cinema, soderbergh, jarmusch, tarantino, pta

2) France – lumiere bros, melies, vigo, renoir, french impressionism, carne, clouzot, melville, cahiers du cinema & french new wave, truffaut, godard, varda, rohmer, rivette, resnais, new french extremity, denis, audiard

3) Japan – jidaigeki, naruse, mizoguchi, ozu, kurosawa, japanese new wave, oshima, shinoda, suzuki, anime, ghibli, miyazaki, j-horror, yakuza, miike, kitano, kore-eda

4) Italy – italian neorealism, de sica, rossellini… fellini, art films, antonioni, bertolucci, pasolini, spaghetti western, leone, giallo, argento,

5) USSR/Russia – propaganda, montage, pudovkin, eisenstein, dovzhenko, vertov, sculpting in time, tarkovsky, sokurov

6) Germany – german expressionism, murnau, lang, propaganda, riefenstahl, new german cinema, fassbinder, herzog, wenders

After that, I feel like there’s a notable drop-off… maybe India, UK, China/HK, Sweden, Denmark, Iran…

BALISTI​K

over 1 year ago

Can you really count Chaplin as an american contribution? He was officially a british citizen but most importantly, he considered himself a citizen of the world.

Scottie Ferguso​n

over 1 year ago

1. US
2. France
3. Japan
4. Italy
5. USSR/Russia
6. Germany
7. UK
8. India
9. China/Hong Kong
10. Sweden

That seems to be the consensus top ten. The Future Mr. Gittes kinda hit the nail right on the head.

Kenji

over 1 year ago

Consensus, influence, power, fame, received wisdom- forget them all.

A single butterfly in China or South America can affect the whole planet.

Louis le Prince

Scampi

over 1 year ago

France
USA
China
Korea

Taiwan
Hungary
India
Sweden