Certains animaux sont plus ?gaux que d’autres

Brussels is sparing a thought for filmmakers in the newly acceding member states, reports the Independent. The idea is to facilitate subsidies to help films from our soon-to-be brother countries stand up to the Hollywood juggernaut.

But off in one corner there’s a villain twirling his moustaches. That would be France, which doesn’t like the idea. Now, if nos amis were taking a principled stand against subsidies of any sort, as a good liberal I could only applaud. But if France is about to abandon state support for its own ‘exceptionalism’, I must have missed the memo. Why is it that hypocrisy is always called an English vice?

9 thoughts on “Certains animaux sont plus ?gaux que d’autres

  1. I guess that French, which, thanks to Luc Besson and his followers, revitalised their cinema industry (at the expense of its general quality, of course), don’t want to have another Hollywood at their doorstep.

    East European cinema industry doesn’t produce much films and most of them are unheard of beyond their national boundaries. But they nevertheless exist and actually thrive in another way – by providing locations, studios, extras, supporting players etc. and thus having all the resources necessary for big cinema industries. Most of Hollywood movies made in Europe are made in the East.

    Imagine all those resources being used for Polish, Czech, Hungarian films designed to compete with Hollywood and Besson… and subsidised by French taxpayers.

  2. I saw a French film the other night that I actually rather enjoyed. It was called Taxi 3 or something like that. Well, in fact, I fell asleep not very long into it, but I liked the bits I saw.

  3. As I read it, the French are not so much opposed to aid to East European cinema industry, but to the capping of domestical subventions. So, if I am correct, there can be EU subventions and local state subventions.


  4. Mrs T, the original Taxi is soon to be remade ? la Point of No Return, as an American film starring Queen Latifah. I may actually pay to see that.

    I suspect Antoni is on the right path here. It’s more about how if there is to be a war on Holywood, France wants to keep its troops away from EU central command. France is globally known to have a distinct cin?ma of their own, Poland, Denmark, and even Germany are just soprt of lumped together under “European”, even within Europe. France’s objection aren’t that different from the various objections to a “Made in EU” label.

    Besides, an EU film subsidy system would probably distribute aid more fairly. French cinema is the closest there is in Europe to globally competitive, so I imagine some people think money should be invested where it has the best chance of a return.

    Dragan is right though. In recent years, French cinema has become crap. I used to actually enjoy French B-movies, now I can barely stand the A-movies. The proliferation of Holywood remakes of French films is not a sign of quality.

  5. firstly, French cinema hasn’t become crap lately ; simply, it has started to export the crap top grossers, which have always existed (but the ancient ones are mostly forgotten now).

    Secondly, the French cinema system is already subsiding foreign films, in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and even in the USA. (Mullholland Dr., for example, was finished with French money…).

    Finally, the French system doesn’t really subsidize Besson ; these movies, and their kind, are viable out of state support. The state money mostly goes to smaller movies, made with more than the bow office in mind.

  6. Gee, I stopped watching French films after I saw Le Weekend. If you look in a French dictionary, there’s an entry for merde (see also Le Weekend).

    Not that US films these days are much better. But I don’t know which one would cause more suffering – Le Weekend, or Spy Kids 3D.

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