Hollywood Movies Compared to Other Countries' Movies
Despite the fact that Hollywood films are popular all over the world, many believe that foreign films are better. Critics’ dislike of Hollywood films’ is due to the straight-line plots of the films in which nothing is left unclear, unsettling or unexplained and every shot is justified by a link to strictest cause and effect. Hollywood films are often viewed as dulling the mind. In this country people generally view films for mere entertainment. Many recent films support this stereotype of American culture. Special effects, violence, and actors’ names (despite level of talent) are often major themes that bring Americans to the movies. While most Hollywood films are made purely for entertainment value, many foreign films are entertaining as well as forcing the viewer think and question their surroundings at the same time. This is true of many foreign films I have seen.
The first film that comes to mind is Godard’s Masculine-Feminine. One of the themes in this film is the constant questioning that goes on between the characters. Through this interrogation, Godard is able to explore the different relationships between the main characters. The interrogation that happens in the bathroom between Paul and Madeline is a perfect example of this. They spend a good ten or fifteen minutes discussing how they feel about love and relationships. Another scene where interrogation plays a major role is the scene in which Paul is interviewing the model for the magazine. In this scene, the characters discuss multiple topics. They range from politics to love. This is something that is not often seen in Hollywood films. In general, the American public is more interested in fast-pace scenes often containing sex and violence.
The interviews in Godard’s movie are not the only thing that makes the viewer think. Much of the movie is based on political discontent and the future of the next generation, which Madeline at one point refers to as “the Pepsi Generation”. The film questions people’s loyalty to each other through the various murders that appear to go unnoticed. In the very beginning of the film, we see a woman shoot her male companion at a table near Paul and he does not notice. He looks up and then returns to his coffee and newspaper. The same thing happens on a subway car. Through this Godard seems to be holding up a mirror to society and blaming society in general for its own problems. This type of commentary is unacceptable to an American audience because we do not like to see the evil or negative about ourselves. When Americans go to the movies, they like to be entertained and want everything to end happily with as little physical or mental exertion on their part as possible.
The opposite theme is evident in the movie The Official Story. This film portrays actual events through a fictional story. The film is extremely shocking and causes the audience to contemplate the horror of...