Audience for world cinema in the 21st century

It would seem the majority of casual film-goers have no time, or interest, in films from overseas. Has this always been the case, or is such neglect for foreign cinema a new development? With the rapidly growing popularity of reality TV shows, along with social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, is the attention required to sit through a subtitled film merely regarded as a waste of time and effort by the average citizen? Any thoughts?

  • This has always been a problem, though things have actually improved in terms of acknowledging foreign films. Critically at least. The general public doesn't have much interest. This may be due to a very centralized view of the world in general. – Joseph Manduke IV 9 years ago
  • You could also argue that with the rise of technology, the access to foreign films is made easier. The critics and festivals make a point to discover, distribute and showcase foreign films as part of a more 'globalized' world. And when they get critically acclaimed in prestigious festivals like Cannes or at the Academy Awards, the general public follows since it has been 'recognized' by big (mainstream?) institutions. – Rachel Elfassy Bitoun 9 years ago
  • I love world cinema and music. Recently I watched "Winter Under Fire" about Ukranian politics. Hoping to see "A Tale of Love and Darkness" because Natalie Portman is a great international actress. That is why I think marketing to the West is a major problem in getting to see movies in languages other than English. Netflix and Youtube do a great job of making movies accessible and Netflix will recommend one foreign film if you watch a few which leads to some pleasant surprises. As Rachel said, tech helps. But for most people I think if international productions houses were able to advertise easily in the West that would make a difference, international awards shows help and also awards in Hollywood could help, if inclined to do so. I think you are right though because even for a world cinema fan like me, it does involve some effort. But since I am addicted, I do it. That is one thing to watch out for is that once you get into it, it's too engrossing. I loved the Japanese comedy "Shall We Dance" in 1996 and am still going strong. Munjeera – Munjeera 8 years ago

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