8 Femmes

I realize most Qt3’ers wouldn’t be dragged into a French “comedy” (in quotes because the French still haven’t figured out “funny”), but my wife is deaf so the only movies we see together in the theater are subtitled foreign films.

If, for any reason, someone suggests you see 8 Women, make up an excuse – any excuse – not to go. Tell them you’re giving yourself a vivisection that night – anything is better than seeing this “comedy.” It ended on such an existentialist, maudlin note (“all is meaningless, we die alone”) that it seemed the film maker was trying his damnedest to suck the life out of his movie.

Apparently, the French think it’s hilarious for actors to break into horrible songs to move the plot forward. This is what Grease would have been if Beezlebub had produced it – Beezlebub with a beret.

After the film, I heard a French fellow saying “It’s a nice co-ME-dee.” I felt like beating him with a bagette.

But a couple of the 8 women were quite attractive – particularly the maid. But even she doesn’t make this mess worthwhile.

Well, The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe is funny, anyway. Much better than the Tom Hanks remake, which itself wasn’t horrible as Hollywood comedies go (they are mostly pretty bad, too.) I can’t remember the lead actor’s name though… but he was also in the only other French movie I’ve seen which I thought was at all funny, Le Chevre.

The first time I saw it I thought Le Chevre was really hilarious (despite having Depardieu in it, who is not funny at all) but I saw a little bit of it again a few years later and it seemed dull. It’s all slapstick I guess, which might explain some of the loss of humor the second time, but some slapstick stays funny, e.g. Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, etc. and some gets sour, like Le Chevre.

That’s about as far as French comedy goes that I can recall laughing at. There is a certain wit and humor that can be seen in some of their films like say my long-time favorite French movie, Diva, but I can’t remember any other French comedies I liked at all.

I find it interesting how Europeans accuse the US of having the same drivel movies all the time (it’s true, Hollywood sucks), but they do the same. Their movies are equally repetitive, monotonous and uninspired - just in an artsy-fartsy way. It’s like that wanna-be poet we all knew on campus, who dresses all black, walks around either haughty or morose, writes asinine self-pitying verses and then complains “iths so hard to be a poeth!”

Well I really do think most foreign films have fewer creative chains on than most US films. That doesn’t necessarily make all of them better though, and they can be lousy too. I mean, Bergman is like a god of cinema, compared to any US director I can think of offhand. I just saw the Seventh Seal recently for the first time, that fillm everyone makes fun of for the extreme symbolism, but it works beautifully in the actual film – hard to imagine it being done in Hollywood without being a laugher.

However, that ultra-realistic film movement whose name I forget is just too stupid for words though, I’d say – do no post-production, arrange no lighting, hire no actors, and you deserve whatever you wind up with, namely trash.

It may well be the case that many foreign films are too consciously arty, but on the other hand, the vast majority of US films are so lowbrow as to be cretinous. Remember that “Blowed Up” theater ad? It rings all too true sometimes…

I like Foreign films.
I like them because I don’t recognize any of the actors, and many of them are surprisingly good.
I like them because they often don’t end well, or at least end ambiguously.
(I disagree with Jakub.) Nothing typical about Y To Mama, for example.
I also like them because I like reading subtitles while hearing the cadence of a foreign language.

A couple recent favorites:
Monsoon Wedding
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Cyrano De Bergerac (with Depardieu)

Dogme 95, and I agree.

“I realize most Qt3’ers wouldn’t be dragged into a French “comedy” (in quotes because the French still haven’t figured out “funny”)”

I often find American’s condemnation of French people’s humor or sense of what is “funny” funny itself considering how much of the sit(uation) com(edie)s that are on American TV today follow the forms and situations created and/or perfected by Moliere; unarguably one France’s (and the world’s) premiere playwrights.

We only see the best foreign films in the US. They don’t send us all of their crap movies.

The rest of the world gets our worst, or at least our biggest budgeted.