Foreign film HUGE!

By ALI NADERZAD – March 15, 2007

Am I starting to sound like the New York Post, or the Daily News? That’s because I tried to do that. And it’s also because the current state of affairs with American screens is quite prodigious, indeed. Foreign films are huge, this year, indicating a turning of the tide–but is this going to permanently alter the face of American exhibition? It is probably safest to take a wait-and-see approach, though some aspects of these last months are screaming “REVOLUTION!” Or should I say “revolucion!” The spanish-speaking film industry has turned into a trojan-horse-style mammoth, churning out critics’ favorites after critics’ favorites, confirming yet again that the trends with the big studios will be with us a while, that more than half of their gross is made and that foreign exhibitors’ thirst for American film has in turned energized foreign production. Net result of all this? We are seeing a lot more foreign action at the awards show, seemignly the be-all end-all of indicators of success in the current film industry, though many of us would hate to admit it. In a later blog, I will pick three spanish-language films and peel off all its layers, just like a spanish onion. We need to figure out what the fuss is all about. Foreign films, like The Queen, Notes on a Scandal and the Lives of Others have generally been received very positively, and it is deserved. The critics are sometimes split over Pan’s Labyrinth: a visually-stimulating fantasy wrapped in historical pretentiousness with a shallow center? We’ll have to see. More on this in a later blog.