The weather and the astounding cost of living aside, life must be nice in the UK: Robert Hanks at the Independent reports that "According to figures released by the UK Film Council, foreign language movies are considerably more likely to be a box office smash than a decade ago."
The audience is now so significant that Britain’s multiplexes, which were once the bugbear of arthouse enthusiasts, have been able to capitalise on a suitably supple market. Large, multiscreen cinemas that, when they were established would have thought of a subtitled film as a quick and easy route to financial ruin, are now looking for a new way to cater for a more sophisticated – and demanding audience.
Curses! Wasn’t that also the plan for multiplexes Stateside? Also in England and the rest of the EU: It’s now illegal to misquote critics for marketing purposes; no more reducing "This film is a splendid train wreck with unbelievable displays of bad acting across the board" to "Splendid…unbelievable." Andrea Hubert gets reactions from critics all around at the Guardian, which has always harbored an interest in publicity misquotes â€” two years ago James Silver tracked down the questionable origins of the one positive quote being used to flog Guy Ritchie‘s turkey "Revolver."
Shane Danielsen at the Guardian‘s Film Blog, meanwhile, pines for France and its way with the modern film policier:
Unvarnished British realism is alive and kicking – Ken Loach‘s Sweet Sixteen will be remembered as one of his finest works, while recent debuts like London to Brighton, Red Road and Dead Man’s Cards all announced the arrival of major new talents – yet British films seem for some reason to have trouble marrying the truthful accounts at which they excel, to the stricter narrative templates of genre film-making.
He mentions "36 Quai des OrfÃ¨vres," a film we quite liked but that still hasn’t managed a release here due to its perplexing insistence on being a broad, slick thriller and also being in French, when everyone know that all French films must be talky dramas about adultery.
On our end, we’re a little more envious than usual of Canada, where, as Alwynne Gwilt reports at the Globe and Mail, 52% percent of responders to a poll would be against a ban of showing smoking in films and TV shows. "I think the smoking numbers in Canada are under 20 per cent so obviously there are some people out there who see the artistic ability to have smoking in films," says the manager of the polling place. And, as bad as it may be for health, one has to admit it looks so very good on film.
And Canada, or at least Toronto, is unusually tilted toward Hollywood this year â€” Michael Cieply at the New York Times looks over the serious, awards-minded TIFF line-up.
+ How film fans fell in love with subtitles (Independent)
+ Hold the front page! (Guardian)
+ Police, camera, action? Not in Britain (Guardian)
+ Ban smoking on screen? Most Canadians think that would be a drag (Globe and Mail)
+ Cue the Film Awards Season and Strike a Somber Note (NY Times)