Sunday, April 21, 2013

Editorial: The Importance of Diversified Film

Do you watch films from all around the world? Or do you stick to domestic releases? Watching films from every region creates a diversified and unique experience - an experience that can change your outlook on life and concurrently entertain you immensely. I'm not saying one region is better than another region, not at all. Every film, regardless of origin, offers a unique perspective for its respective genre that makes it worth watching, at least occasionally

I'm positive film lovers around the world will find an entertaining and diverse experience by watching international releases. Action films vary from region to region. The United States is known for its explosive blockbuster action films like the mega-hit Skyfall, while South Korea is currently stepping into this zone with action films like A Company Man; both would be classified as action films, but they approach the genre differently, yet they usually attempt to attract the same audience. Another notable action film is The Viral Factor, which features spectacular action-sequences. The languages are different, but they all seek to entertain and thrill, often through different methods (i.e. gritty and violent, colorful and explosive, etc.) Horror is another notable that has large and small differences between regions. A film like Paranormal Activity relies on the unseeable, shaky-cam; [Rec] runs, literally, fear directly into the audience with a shaky-cam; and, the French have blown up with the most brutal shockers to date - things that can't be unseen. (Martyrs, Frontier(s), etc.)

I fully understand why some people don't watch foreign films. It's a bit of a culture shock for some; some films take unusual twists into taboo territory that may leave the audience in shock. Others simply hate reading subtitles or listening to horrid dubs; sometimes, reading subtitles or watching an out-of-sync dub may ultimately divert your attention form the film itself. As I mentioned earlier, some films can be shocking - culturally and visually. A film like Oldboy - which enters American taboo territory - can leave the audience in awe. Personally, I loved this feeling; it was completely unexpected and left me interested in the rest of the region's films. Reading subtitles has never been an issue for me - knowing two languages also helps me reach a wider market without having to read subtitles - and I hope some viewers can get over it. However, I usually don't recommend dubs as I feel like they usually remove the emotion and impact from the actor's voice. So, maybe you should still avoid those, too? In all seriousness, if you like dubs, please watch them; as long as you get to experience storytelling and stories from around the world.

Ultimately, all I really want to say is: watch films from every region, regardless of language, subtitle, or dub. If you already watch foreign films, please keep doing so. If you don't, you won't regret starting. It may give you a wider range and open your mind to new things. Give it a try?

What are your favorite foreign films? Have any recommendations? Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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