Diverse Options on the Movie Menu

Diverse options on the Movie MenuDiversity is a much-discussed topic in recent years that caused many headlines in the news. The concept of diversity includes differences and similarities in race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, identity & expression, physical abilities, socio-economic status, nationalities, religion, citizenship, sexual orientation, ideologies, political beliefs, age, and abilities.

These differences are important for us to understand in order to appreciate and value diversity we have. The concept of diversity is about understanding and moving beyond tolerance to embrace and celebrate the differences in a positive environment. While Diversity is indeed a topic that is discussed in the workplace, in social circles, and in the media, here we will talk about the idea of having diverse options on the movie menu.

The Reality of Foreign Films

Having more choices in movie titles that are created based on different point of views, cultures, beliefs can help us understand and appreciate (that way/those ways) of filmmaking. For that reason, I started with the series of Interesting Foreign Sci-Fi & Fantasy Films (Vol.1, Vol.2, Vol.3 & Vol.4) to motivate readers to give foreign films a chance and watched those films.

There are people who are interested in watching foreign movies. There are also those who just acknowledge the one they once heard of, but they are not really interested in actually watching more foreign movies which is unfortunate. There are also those who are skeptical and this group could go to either be accepting or non-accepting with watching something unfamiliar.

You also have people who see what they want to see. That famous scene in movies where a psychologist is holding up images for the patient to describe comes to mind. The answers are related to the patient’s point of view. Most of the times there are different answers for a single image.  It all related to how narrow or broad-minded a person is. This scenario may also apply to watching foreign movies.

Hollywood as Benchmark

Hollywood basically made the benchmark for cinema. And the world has been so “Hollywoodized” ( I know it’s not an actual word but it helps me emphasize what I want to say) that watching anything different may seem like a waste of time. But if Hollywood is the benchmark I’m expecting it to be 90% to 100% great. In reality, those numbers are way more lower. And even in that case, a high standard is still maintained. Why? That is the million dollar question.

Clearly Hollywood is not always successful to uphold the standards they strapped themselves to.

Some people noticed this; others don’t or just choose to ignore it. Why choose to watch a bad movie when there are better options on the menu? I know sometimes we don’t even know what’s on the menu because of all the hype and propaganda for certain types of movies which makes it very different for other for other less financially fortunate projects to come forward.

The influence of Marketing

Strong marketing campaigns are pushed forward to get people talking. These campaigns are sometimes misleading. We need to pay more attention. The growth of social media reached the point where there are direct channels for people to get bombarded with images and messages.

As indicated in a post I read titled “How to watch a good movie? (And avoid watching a bad one)” Movie watchers need to be more active, we are all intelligent beings and we have all information available at hand. Based on this we can determine if we’re going to watch a movie or not.

Interesting stories around the world

A good movie is not bound to a particular movie style, a good movie can come from everywhere in the world. When it’s foreign we have to do a little more research. But that is ok. It stimulates us to be more active and that is something we should become not only for movie watching experience but also for other areas in our lives. All in favor of having diverse options on the Movie Menu Stand Up!

Yes, you read it right: Diverse Options on the Movie Menu. It may seem odd but there is interesting cinema around the world that we are not even acknowledging or simply don’t understand.

How about we recognized all those different kinds of cinema and trying to understand the point of view of the filmmakers?

Same stories can be told from different point of views and even though it’s the same story, the way it will be portrayed on the screen. It may be very different depending on the country’s movie culture. And of course, there will also be those original stories told from a foreigner’s point of view.



Final Thoughts

Sure, there are great movies made in Hollywood but there are also great movies made around the world that we are not paying attention to, which could probably serve as inspiration for Hollywood. Solaris (2002) and City of Angels (1998) are great examples of this, so if it happened in the past, it’s probably still going on and will probably continue to happen in the future.

It is rare to find a remake that is better than the original concept but at the same time, it’s unfair to compare the stories if they are shown from different perspectives. To conclude having diverse options on the movie menu makes the movie watching experience more exciting and may contribute to helping us understand each other’s point of views.

Come on! Let’s watch some interesting foreign films! If you already watch some films, feel free to share your experiences. I would love to hear from you.

 

10 thoughts on “Diverse Options on the Movie Menu

  1. Great article Dira. I love international films of all types. They sometimes offer a flavour of film that Hollywood cannot provide.

    There is also so many great stories told via film that you can find in oversea movies. If they are good flicks, they will shine around the world.

  2. Hello Dira,

    This is a very engaging read.
    Sometimes I feel really sick of watching only Hollywood made movies and then I search for some interesting alternatives.
    The good thing is that such alternatives do exist as many countries have strong presence in the movie industry, even though their films are not as popular as the American ones.
    For instance I like a lot the Asian cinema as well as the European one – especially the Scandinavian and the Spanish thrillers.
    So diverse option on the menu are all around us -we just need to be opened minded.

    1. Hi Asen,

      That’s the attitude! Your right, there are many alternatives, we just need to look for them. Sometimes we do need help. Do any of the film industries you mention have sci-fi or fantasy movies? If they do could you share some titles with us?

  3. Diversity would be nice, as you mentioned not only in movies but also in other facets of life as well.

    But it’s been my experience as an American, that countries promote not only through media but movies as well an underlying agenda.

    In America you have dissect a movie made in Hollywood. It is filled with so much subliminal messaging one would think all heroes, problem solvers, inventors, discoveries, beauty and leaders are all white people.

    And every other ethnicity is less than. I am sure in other countries you will find similar opinionated views. But I know in America it is way over the top.

    1. Hi Maurice,

      Thanks for sharing your views. I see what you mean but the point I’m trying to make is to be open to watch other type of movies.

      Like you said most movies in Hollywood had the same common theme. I have seen that most in big budget movies. But there is also a small section of independent films that don’t have the traditional themes. Still people are not supporting these movies enough for more to be made.

      I can’t think of an example in sci or fantasy but I will mention “Beasts of No Nation”. I know it definitely doesn’t belong anywhere near sci-fi but its a good example of an American film that doesn’t have the traditional themes. It didn’t do well at the bcx office but since its distributed by Netflix, it reached many countries through online streaming.

      In the end it’s up to us to decide what we are going to see.

  4. I think that people usually just want to relax when watching a movie and are not so willing in leaving their comfort zone and pay attention to a foreign movie. And it’s a shame because there are so many great movies made all over the world! And there is so much to learn about other cultures from them.

    I remember now one made in Argentina a few years ago, called “The secret in their eyes”. I think it even won an Oscar for best foreign movie. it’s really worth seeing it! 🙂

    Cheers!

    1. Hi Ioana,

      Thanks for sharing your views. And you are right there is so much to see and learn.
      Actually I have never heard of “The Secret in their eyes”. Now that I quickly look it up “El Sectreto de sus Ojos” is a crime drama. Its’s no sci-fi but it looks like a very interesting movie and has many good reviews. Will definitely check it out. Hope its on Netflix.

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