I’ve been writing a lot about Danish movies and how good they are and though I think that there has been a remarkable confluence of great actors, directors and writers to create possibly the most accomplished national cinema today, I have to admit that some of my attraction to Danish and European cinema in general stems from the abysmal state of American film making. This, the tradition that brought us film noir and fast talking screwball, and Buster Keaton and David Lynch, and still today occasionally astounds as in the work of Todd Solondz but now appears to be degenerating year after year.
I follow a number of film news blogs and if there is one theme it is the development of yet another comic hero. (And the utter poverty of the superhero cliche will follow another day…with of course the exceptions as well…) And if that were not enough of an indication of the lack of imagination on the part of American screen writing (and of course I generalize, there are a few geniuses here and there but they are overwhelmed by the great garbage scow that is the contemporary Hollywood product system), what other conclusion other than endtimes can you draw from making a movie based on the game of Risk?
If there is one thing I detest the most (and I will find something more detestable soon after posting I am sure) is the tendency of American film makers to remake good foreign films. Can you imagine someone taking a Garcia-Marquez novel and rather than translating (which are the point of subtitles) rewriting it with English locations etc.? There is a current release Brothers which is taking a perfectly fine movie directed by Suzanne Bier (who directed the great Open Hearts and wrote After the Wedding) and though there are good enough actors and director attached to the American production, I can only imagine how this moving tale will be both punched up and dumbed down for the domestic audience.