Americans don’t make the best films

I need to rant for a little bit this morning.
When did we get it in our heads that the only good films come out of America?
Because I can assure you, that isn’t the case.
We’re putting together a really awesome film festival in Paris, and a good portion of the U.S. filmmakers screening there are complaining about having to put French subtitles on the films.
This makes no sense to me whatsoever.
When we watch a French film here in America, we want it to have English subtitles so we can understand it.
One person wrote this:
“I’m not one to quickly complain.. but we NEED to subtitle the films in french? really? Any other country would be fine with having it in English. And there’s also just a 3 week notice, just before christmas and in the (for me) busiest time of the year. Sorry guys, but I don’t feel you can ask this from us..”
So let’s pick this apart for a minute.
Do we NEED to subtitle the films in french?
The film is playing in Paris, France. Even though it’s an international festival, there will be a large number of French coming to see the films. Cuz, ya know…it is playing in their country, where they speak French.
Also I didn’t mention that the French government is sponsoring this festival (we’ve raised about four times as much money as we have for previous festivals) and it’s required that all films be subtitled in French, which was explained to filmmakers at the beginning of this process.
Any other country would be fine with having it in English.
I think this might be the most irritating part of this message for me. Why would any other country be fine having it in English?
Don’t you think if we were screening for a film in Spain that they’d want Spanish subtitles?
You think they’d be fine with just English?
How entitled have American filmmakers become? Are we really that lazy and stupid that we think that everyone in the world speaks our language?
Have we really gotten to the point where we think our precious films are so good, so visually stimulating, that adding subtitles to the film would just ruin the experience?
What f&%^*ng planet is this guy living on that he thinks his film is SO good that people in non-English speaking countries should learn the language or not see his marvelous film?
Just shut up and throw some GD subtitles on your film, Truffaut!
If your film is that good, wouldn’t you WANT people to be able to understand it?
And there’s also just a 3 week notice, just before christmas and in the (for me) busiest time of the year.
These films were all made in 48 hours.
48 HOURS!!!!
You made the film in 48 hours, and now have three weeks to add French subtitles.
A person that truly had absolutely no time could throw that shit into Google Translate, spit out French translations, and have a new version rendered out in under an hour. It might not be perfect, but it would be good enough.
Three weeks is plenty of time to subtitle a six minute film that was made in just 48 hours.
Sorry guys, but I don’t feel you can ask this from us..
More with the entitlement.
How dare you ask me for more than the 48 hours I already put into my masterpiece?
Do you have any idea how much time and effort goes into putting a film festival together? Especially once in a country in which you do not live?
A freaking lot of time and effort.
And this filmmaker doesn’t feel like we can ask him to subtitle his film.
Every other year, this festival has been held in America, and we have asked all the non-English speaking filmmakers to subtitle their films in English for the mostly English-speaking audience.
They’ve done it without complaint.
The very first time that we ask American filmmakers to subtitle their film in French for a mostly French-speaking audience, this guy feels like we “can’t ask that of him.”
This was just on person’s post that I’m picking apart.
There were more people bitching about having to do this, and probably more complaining in their heads that didn’t say anything.
Well, let me give you some news that make might you just cry some red, white, and blue tears:
the best films in this festival don’t usually come from America.
Yep, I said it.
Every year we have an international panel of judges pick the winners of the films, and very few of the films from American filmmakers tend to rise to the top.
And most of the people that actually watch all of the films will readily admit that the American films are not as good as many of the international ones.
What does this mean?
It means that we have a lot of learning to do.
It means that we probably need to stop bitching about putting French subtitles on our precious masterpieces and probably invest that time and energy into watching some good films from other countries to see why they have such a better handle on filmmaking than we do here in the states.
I’ve just watched a bunch recently that were very good. This is a list of short films with subtitles you can watch to get you going and see how filmmaking is done around the world.
Do yourself a favor and watch them.
“La Grande Ourse” by FD Prod (Clermont-Ferrand, France) ( )
“Inbreuk” by MARMERMIJN (Leeuwarden, Netherlands) ( )
“SPRING!” by Team Donny van de Beek (Amsterdam, Netherlands) ( )
“Man Cream” by In love with the coco (Utrecht, Netherlands) ( )
“Huisje Boompje Beestje” by sixteenhunderdeighty (Nijmegen, Netherlands) ( )
-Brian ( )
P.S. I’m working on a project for people that would like to make better films or become better actors. For a reasonable monthly fee, you’d get access to trainings, interviews, behind the scenes looks at film shoots, etc., with new content every week. Sound like something you’d be interested in? It won’t be for everyone–just a small group of people looking to be playas in the industry and are serious about taking some real steps forward. If you think this is you, write me back to let me know you’re interested, and what sort of trainings you’d personally be most interested in.
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