I think one of the most prevalent bits of realism that I’ve encountered through my course of travelling is just how limited in scope the cinematic experience is in Canada.
When I was wandering around last year, meeting loads of interesting people, I was always amazed at how much movie knowledge they possessed. With two to three years working at video stores under my belt, and a (un)healthy passion for movies at large, I admit I was a bit over confident.
Now, for a while I admonished my ignorance, as I had watched very few movies that my new found friends were talking about. Sure I’d seen the latest indie releases from the US, was up on Canadian films, and knew all about the blockbusters – but the ‘foreign’ films were just that, foreign to me.
Like with most things in my life, given enough time, I’ll find a way of shifting the blame. And so it is that I’ve sorted this out. North America produces so much film, there is little demand for outside content, so even the biggest video stores only have a minor offering of foreign films – and an entire store of the domestic product. Whereas in the reverse, other countries are always going to have a demand for the biggest flics out of Hollywood (filmed in Toronto of course), plus movies from a variety of other countries as well.
When more than 50% of your movie store/cinema content is foreign anyway, you’re going to be a lot more comfortable watching movies with subtitles, people with funny accents, and plots that don’t necessarily relate to you on that formulaic storyline system.
And so, like a white boy from the suburbs, I beleive the folks from non-North American countries have an inherernt opportunity that us in Americanada may never have.
So, for all you that live in my homeland, check some of the following films out, and for all those not from the New World, give us a break, we’re learning.
Ok, this is just off the top of my head, and so mostly just consists of movies I’ve seen recently, and I can’t be bothered to write descriptions about them, so go to www.imdb.com if you want more info:
Old Boy – Korean, 2003
Wings of Desire – German, 1987
In The Mood For Love – China (HK), 2000
Whale Rider – New Zealand, 2002
Delicatessen – France, 1991
A Letter From An Unknown Woman – China, 2004
The trick will be finding some of them – as mentioned above, a lot are not readily available in Canada, but do what you can, you’ll not be disappointed – and remember to tell me what you think.