Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Japanese Touch?

What is wrong with the American film industry? My short answer is that they aren't from Japan. It seems most of the big name movies and blockbusters, with few exceptions, typically come from remakes of various Japanese or Asian movies. They did it with The Seven Samurai. They did it with The Ring. and they did it with just about every Tarantino movie ever filmed.

It seems there is nary an original idea to come from the American movie world. Sadly, the Golden Days of American movies seems to have ended back in the late '70's. Sure, there are good American movies, but the best of them always seem to be a remake of some obscure Japanese flick.

Don't get me wrong. I love a good American movie. It just seems most Japanese films (especially of the action/horror genre) are a bit more fun and concerned less about offending someone, or explaining the plot like the audience is dumb. I chalk it up to the difference in culture between Asia and the Western world. Some things we have to explain away are taken for granted by their public. Their artists typically have more artistic license and freedom compared to the equivalent American artist. Too much money at stake here for artistic expression in many cases.

For what it is worth, I am a HUGE fan of Japanese movies. I especially like the old Samurai flicks; of which most of our Westerns are remakes. The analogy between The Magnificent Seven, and the Seven Samurai is pretty well known, but there are many, many others. Japanese horror, and to a lesser extent Chinese, is the hottest thing going right now in the horror genre. Films like the Ring, Ju-On, and Dark Water are just about the creepiest flicks you will find. Most American films of this type are mired down in gore, or waste the plot by trying to explain everything.

Not sure where I am going with this, but just go out and rent a Jap movie. Steal it if you must.

In the immortal words of Emporer Palpatine - "Do it now!"

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