Words on screen...
In 2016 foreign films (World cinema) accounted for 45% of all releases in the UK, but only took 2.4% of the box office, so why don’t more people watch world cinema? Possibly they are deterred by the thought of subtitles, but in the age of social media this shouldn’t be a problem, after all, do you use Facebook or Twitter, or, being a bit more traditional, do you ever read the small ads in the Tizer? You might be surprised to discover that most social media posts, and most small ads in the Tizer, contain much more text than the average subtitle, which typically runs to a maximum of 2 short lines of text on the screen at any one time.
Some of last year’s best films were from overseas, subtitles were no barrier to the intricate plotting in Korean psycho-drama The Handmaiden, and didn’t stop us sympathising with the title character’s grumpiness in the breakout Swedish hit A Man Called Ove, you don’t need subtitles to explain his weary sigh. Perhaps some people think that world cinema is where, to quote the old joke, nothing happens……..slowly. Not an accusation you could level at the modern classic of French comedy, Amelie, with its multiple storylines and whimsical events, nor the astonishing Indonesian action film, The Raid. Choose your favourite genre of film and you’ll find something to tempt you in world cinema.
If you don’t normally watch foreign films, why not break the habit and try Lost In Paris, a charming French/Belgian comedy coming soon to Oswestry. Writer Directors Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon specialise in making films with an emphasis on physical comedy and slapstick routines, characters full of childlike innocence and a sense of the ridiculous. Firmly in the tradition of Wallace and Gromit, Mr Bean and Charlie Chaplin, their films are a delight for all ages, and let’s not deny it, people repeatedly falling into the same river is funny in any language, and needs no translation.
Lost In Paris (12A) screens on 24th and 25th January at Kinokulture Cinema.
by Michael Hudson
From our weekly column in the Oswestry Advertizer, published on 23rd January 2018.