American shows tend to focus on American themes that feel a little alien to us Europeans. So many military / intelligence team shows, or police shows set in megacities where everyone carries guns.
When I grew up in the 80s/90s, American shows were better than local ones because European actors were very bad at acting. I think this was mainly because they were being trained at schools that still trained for stage plays, with exaggerated pronounciation and gesturing.
But now European shows are also excellent. Thinking of the German DARK, the Spanish casa de papel ("money heist"). It's indeed the translation but also the quality that makes it watchable.
Netflix did indeed boost this partly due to that law mandating the 30% local content but I don't think it's the only reason.
Most US shows are quite predictable if you've watched similar shows of the same genre and I often find myself guessing the plotline or a plot tool while watching.
This did not happen with DARK; in fact, that's how I realised that it avoided many of the tropes because they just did not eventuate when I tried 'guessing'.
However, what seems "fresh" at first soon becomes familiar. This is particular true of Scandinanian thrillers. Once you watch a few, you realise they swap one set of familar tropes with their own set. For example, for thrillers:
- Many red herrings in the murder case (often not making any sense but carefully planted by the writers to keep audiences guessing).
- The death of at least one major (likable) character usually after the audience has warmed to the character.
- At most a "bittersweet" ending is provided. A 'happy' ending is never executed: some distress or anxiety must always accompany the main character at the end of a series.
And the later seasons were a bit contrived so I stopped after the second one.
Indeed the dragging on bit of some series is very familiar. Like LOST :) I also notice that many of the 'villain of the week' series have many eps in each season, and all the good shows are much more sparse.
Not to get too off-topic, but if you liked DARK then I'd highly recommend the 12 Monkeys series. If I had to pick one, I'd say 12 Monkeys may be a bit better.
From the writeup it sounds a bit like Travelers, which I also liked (sad that it was cancelled, but at least they finished their 'iteration' of the story!)
Witcher universe is very East European, so this was another show that's not only epic, but it felt different from the generic fantasy. I am not sure how much can be attributed to the original franchise, and how much to Netflix production.
I am glad to see German series. How to sell drugs online fast, S1 was good.
At some point we had Brazilian soap operas, now we have Turkish soap operas gaining large traction on TV and probably will be followed why some other ecole.
However with Netflix, something different is happening in my opinion. I'm sure that Netflix looks into statistics when doing new shows, EU pushing for a single market on these services could mean that the Netflix shows are indeed optimised for common European consumption instead of local one.
Saying that Netflix is the new Eurovision is comedy gold :) I mean, Eurovision is definitely a spectacle but no one(maybe with the exception of Lars Erickssong of Iceland) in EU actually takes it seriously and definitely it's not the cultural event that brings nations together. Eurovision is the show where we accept to be vulnerable for a day, get out there and remember our favourite neighbours by voting for them.
If it was a serious thing, the Brits would have won most, sharing it with the Spanish summer hits occasionally. UK is a music and culture powerhouse with extremely poor Eurovision track record.
Far from it. At first I was thinking high school bullies were something Stephen King always added to his books. Then I realized high school bullies were something Hollywood always added to plots, even when it had no reason whatsoever to be there.
Sadly, this has become more like culture contamination. In highschool I never saw bullies. Now they are more common, because of that Hollywood influence.
So, how much of that universal culture is a reflection of the world, and how much is just Hollywood pushing their own culture over the world?
The same with racism. As someone from South America, I find the racism in USA extremely pathological and not at all similar to what I experience in real life.
Though the ratings boards have become a lot stricter here too, sadly. Some movies that were made in the Netherlands in the 80s would fare pretty badly now :P Like https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105999/ In those days pretty explicit (but not actual!) sex in movies was so prevalent it was almost a trope of its own. Exposed breasts at the very least :) I don't think that would fly now without an 18+ rating.
Instead GenZ tries to cancel each other on tumblr or something.
Are you saying that the obsession with racism in the USA is what's pathological? Or that USA's portrayal of it in media is pathological?
The racism debate in the USA is mostly centered on two groups, "blacks" and "whites" (and "asian", but I'll ignore them for now). Jim Crow laws said that a child of "mixed" (one black, one white) parent themselves count as "black". So you have people with quite light skin who are considered "black" and experience racism directed at "black" people. I consider seeing everything through that black/white lens to be pathological.
There is a huge amount of racism elsewhere in the world, probably even more than in the USA, but it's not along the same lines.
Which is why it was so jarring when the "black lives matter" protests spread around the world. In the Netherlands there is quite some racism, but it's directed at Moroccans, Turks, Eastern Europeans, Chinese, and black people, usually of Surinamese descent, all in slightly different ways. The division in black/white makes no sense. The term "people of colour" got imported from the US but racism here is also directed at Poles who are as white as the Dutch are.
The result is oversimplification of our own racism problem, along American lines that aren't relevant here.
Only a community like this would pretend to actually value intellectual growth and foster an environment where asking a question is seen as worthy of downvoting.
By the way, your characterization of racism in the united states is remarkably narrow, non-historic, and sophomoric in nature. The idea that racism in the US could be put into three categories - let alone two - is offensive and deeply inaccurate.
You have it not even partially correct. Go back to the drawing board.
I'm not really sure what you're trying to say here. But if you're saying racism in America is overblown, you couldn't be more wrong.
I am wondering what makes you think so, when you are not from US or especially if you are not western a lot of whats going on their looks terribly unnatural.
I particularly dislike the way police is portraid in the US shows, in the show I was watching the main character regularly points a gun at random guards and passerbyes and threatens them. They depict torture as mundane business.
I mean, even in russian shows we dont portray this as right and proper behaviour.
Good time for Rammstein's _Amerika_ video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr8ljRgcJNM
Their point is that the USA _exports_ its culture to the rest of the world, and Hollywood is one of the main ways in which it does that.
Hollywood is the greatest marketing department ever built.
Hollywood is widely caricatured outside of the US for its disconnect from reality. Flat characters, childish good VS baddies dichotomies, bombastic action movies...
Much better movies also get made. A lot of them, in fact. The critics' Top Ten lists are full of them. But they rarely make all that much money, because movies with deep characterization and challenging plots aren't very enjoyable. They're fulfilling, perhaps, in the same way that a job well done is fulfilling. But when you've worked your 40 hours (or more) this week, you may not want any more fulfillment. You want to relax.
There are plenty of movies for everybody, including the ones who want a challenge. You won't hear commercials for them, because they're not going to please everybody. Hollywood has somehow mastered the trick of pleasing, if not everybody, at least a largish majority, and they rake in a ton of cash.
Eurovision is not about high quality song's otherwise Amy RIP would have one for "Love is a losing game" (it did win a novello) and the Beatles should have won several times
Tbh, it's still like that in some countries. Norwegian actors (where I'm from) have felt quite stiff/wooden since forever, and they all have the same backgrounds - i.e classical theater schools, play actors before working on TV, etc.
I'd say that it's just in the past 10-15 years that we've gotten a somewhat fresh breath of air, from actors that seem to embrace method acting.
But you see it in other countries here as well. It's easy to spot a script and dialogue that's been written by "academics", with little to zero exposure to the real world they're trying to depict.
This is how UK actors are trained to this day, and everyone seems to like Patrick Stewart, Emilia Clarke, Judi Dench etc. I wouldn't call them stiff but they are better at going Shakespearean than American actors.
Really my only complaint is David Tennant's terrible American accent.
It's far harder to communicate subtlety to a bunch of people in the back of a theater
One example that comes to mind is the end of the first double-episode encounter at farpoint. Where he's like "Let's see what 's out there! Engage!". That really looked like stage acting.
What I've heard, the difference in quality is mostly one of budget.
In US series, they do much more takes from a scene, while in European (or Japanese) TV they don't have the budget to do so.
So that would include Patrick Stewart, Lawrence Olivier, Helen Mirren, John Gielgud, Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, John Hurt (all European theatre trained actors) ?
I was watching Jumpin' Jack Flash just a couple days ago and I thought Jeroen Krabbe was pretty bad in it there also.
But good point. Europe is bigger than what I know from those times.
and here's another:
Where are you from?
> "Europe" is too vague, people want country or city.
What would your cultural heritage be?
> Again, "European" is far to vague. Mine's English and Irish.
I'm really struggling here...
Again, if I didn't make myself clear: the use of the term "European" is entirely political (pro-EU).
Well, I guess this explains the Brexit...
I suppose that Scots might be excluded?
That's an interesting insight. I very much prefer US (or UK) shows to the continental ones. The production is just better and they feel less pretentious (to me).
All pure drama and advertising a non existent American dream society.
I don't know where you grew up, but this is demonstrably untrue. Maybe you're referring to some low-budget domestic "shows", but French, Italian, German, Polish, Scandinavian, etc. cinema was on par with Hollywood in terms of acting talent.
As for German TV shows, there is a bunch of bad soaps and "Krimis", badly acted, formulaic criminal investigation stuff. Usually with the police as universal good guys working through some tough midlife crisis problems, a token dialect actor from the region that episode is supposed to be set and a story that makes your brain bleed. With a raised finger moral point du jour to educate the stupid plebs out there as to how they are misbehaving. You would have to go back to "Raumpatroullie Orion" to even get science fiction, not to mention any other genre that is popular with non-old-people (Yes, Netflix is definitely an improvement there).
On the topic of "Krimis" (crime drama type shows) however I have to agree with the other commenters that it's just formulaic trash.
"Tatort" for example is by many regarded as a good or even excellent show, from when I tried watching it a few times over the years, it was often just the "moral education packaged in flat drama" with a very see-through "current issues" topic selection. Just pathetic.
Don't get me wrong, I also rewatched some less recent American crime dramas like NCIS etc. and especially in one episode of NCIS LA (really lame spin-off IMO) it was very much "How dare you be a hacker and government whistleblower, don't you know how that hurts Our Troops(tm)?" with the black bald guy saying that to and then assaulting that suspect. YAY, moral panic!
: for foreigners, these are the state-run/-sponsored TV channels for different large parts of Germany, like NDR for the northern part etc. Basically smaller regional parts of the ARD/ZDF.
But maybe it was also the way that there was always this bleakness in it. Whereas US series had the opposite thing, they were more colourful. Thinking of Miami Vice with their neon lights and blue skies at night.
- The Lives of Others
- The Tin Drum
- Goodbye Lenin!
- The Edukators
- Berlin Calling
- Benny’s Video
Der untergang and Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter are also highly recommended in my opinion.
All the old actors have this "toneelschoolstem" (acting school voice) which is horrible for realism.
This is a weird concept; megacities are easily the most gun-hostile locations in the US.
The only way you can get a pistol is for sports shooting and you must carry it in a closed case all the time, and it must be to/from the shooting range.
Rifles are easier to get for hunting but of course this is not what people carry regularly in the US.
But more generically: In Europe we have nothing like the second amendment. This is what makes even the gun-hostile places in the US less gun-hostile than Europe, because they still have to abide by the constitution.
That is also how US megacities work.
> In Europe we have nothing like the second amendment. This is what makes even the gun-hostile places in the US less gun-hostile than Europe, because they still have to abide by the constitution.
That depends on jurisdiction. Compare https://reason.com/volokh/2021/04/01/ninth-circuit-holds-the... :
> The en banc Ninth Circuit last week held that the Second Amendment does not extend to open public firearm carriage. The new [decision] in Young v. State of Hawaii complements the Circuit's en banc from five years earlier, Peruta v. San Diego, which held that concealed carry is outside the Second Amendment.
> By statute, Hawaii has a restrictive "may issue" carry licensing system. If an applicant proves "sufficient" "urgency or need," then a police chief "may" issue a permit.
> In practice, Hawaii is "never issue."
Notionally, they are obligated to obey the constitution. But there's no one to make them do it, so they don't.
You also find things like New York passing a law which allows possession of a gun outside the home in only two circumstances: if you are bringing it from your home to a firing range, or if you are bringing it from a firing range back to your home. Notably, this "accidentally" banned transporting a gun from the store where you purchased it to your home.
The idea that the most gun-hostile places in America are more gun-loving than what you can find in Europe is self-evidently insane; the claim is that a bunch of people who largely define themselves by their opposition to guns are nevertheless more gun-friendly than a bunch of other people who rarely think about guns at all.
I think you have the causality reversed: the reason gun-hostile politicians and activists are so vocal in the US is because the country has so many guns in so many members of the public, both in an out of cities. I haven't seen their vocalness successfully eliminate the guns and shootings from their cities.
TV shows here love to portray NYC as a Gotham-esque hellscape because that makes for good police procedurals, but in reality I'd bet if you invented some kind of metric comparing TV portrayals of violent crimes against actual violent crime stats NYC would have the largest gap between fiction and reality.
Don't get me wrong, horrific stuff happens here. There are millions upon millions of people, some of them awful to others. But by the numbers its safer than almost every other major metro in the country, and solidly middle of the pack among comparable global mega-cities.
When my child was very young I found only a small number of cartoons with Romanian content and most of that is stuff before 1989.
Off topic, for Romanian audio only stories I found this youtube playlist that grabbed the old vinyl tales we grew up with, I suggest you have a look and maybe backup them too, who know how much time they will be up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2rQVK1ig8g&list=PLFO3TQ182_...
So when Netflix are forced to produce some series in these countries anyway, they have a very strong incentive to recycle their investment in as many countries as possible if it's even somewhat plausible that it'll do ok.
I would assume that falls under inpracticable. Stuff like crunchyroll is exists in the EU aswell.
Article 13: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CEL...
N.b. that the law speaks of Europe, not the E.U.; that's a particularly material difference with respect to the U.K. leaving the E.U..
I doubt that, and I, frankness be, suspect there's probably going to be some very dubious standard that will no doubt even consider race and other similar tribal nonsense when deciding to allow it or not.
If one deliver U.S.A. content one must deliver European content as well, for they are white, and thus they are like us, but the Japanese are not white, they are not like us, so we don't compare themselves with them, so one can offer their content without our egos feeling hurt.
It is an interesting responsibility of government stewardship/preservation of culture, I think.
Does Youtube count as a streaming service? What of last.fm which does need to often comply with radio laws I believe.
The way I see it; if such laws were really consistently enforced then many things that exist would not be allowed to exist, and it seems to be more a matter of deciding not to enforce them based on the rather arbitrary criterion of “Do we want this service to stop existing or not?”.
And who is to decide what “Canadian culture” is, and when it is “promoted”? — the way I see it, such laws must be incredibly inconsistently enforced.
How last.fm works in it's streaming facility is that it creates a personalized radio station, if one will, based on past listening habits; it actually cannot allow users to select tracks, as that would not conform to radio laws.
It is thus entirely possible that no European music plays, based on past listening habits.
I'm From France , my country back movies with hundreds of millions of funding every year.
New European laws are forcing governements to open those fundings to "Foreign Institutions", that's why they are making this move.
This law enable Netflix to make content much cheaper using public funding while using each country culture to improve customer retention.
As a French coming from African descent I'm absolutly terrified of what they are going to do with character like Napoleon or Charles de Gaulles...
Lupin show a clear tendency to override history fidelity toward a much more political narrative... It's frightening because they is literally THOUSANDS of story that do contain French coming from African Descent or Foreigners soldiers who decided to fought for France
Seeing Big tech taking over everything with a political agenda is deeply saddening.
Lupin wasn't about recasting Lupin, it's about a modern person who is inspired by the stories. I'm not really sure what that has to do with historical fidelity? I really enjoyed it, it's a fun modern crime show that deals earnestly with issues of race in contemporary France.
They're making this move because the EU mandated that locally produced content comprise at least 30% of their catalog. The subsidy expansion is a byproduct of that regulation.
As someone who is english, what am I missing? Its a modern day rebrand of a 30's crime novel no?
I imagine i'd understand more if I could differentiate french accents.
However, someone decided that half of each episode should be the main character's miserable childhood. He's a poor immigrant's child whose father is blamed by the local white rich for a crime he didn't commit and dies in prison, leaving our main character an orphan. We're getting shown that in excruciating detail.
They basically spliced together a pretty good action-ish/heist movie and a depressing festival movie designed to take golden globes or something.
At least for the first 4-5 episodes, because afterwards i simply stopped watching. It was either that or skip all childhood scenes, i.e. half of each episode.
Could you elaborate on this?
Napoleon and De Gaulle are characters that are usually viewed positively in France, they were important figures that did big things for the nation (such as freeing it from the nazis). But you don't need to scratch the surface very deep to see the dark side: imperialism, colonialism, racism, despotism...
I don't particularly trust Netflix not to whitewash these leaders. It'd be easy to gloss over the not-so-shiny stuff and present them as one-sided heros to the French people, who are not always taught the dark side of their own history.
Here, he was basically mocked (over size etc). Because he went in, brought war with him, history books have people flying city when his army is comming and he blew the castle. So basically the history is only the negative, because foreign army matching through country means hunger and violence.
Not just that, but you also gotta remember his failed invasion of Russian Empire.
He got cocky, went all-in, didn't realize how brutal winters there were, and didn't expect that Russian generals were more than willing to set their own cities/towns on fire just to not let Napoleon capture them. So in the end, he had to retreat back to France during winter. Which not only marked his invasion as a complete failure, but also humiliated him on top of it by making him lose a ton of his soldiers on the way back due to the weather.
Not that Russian generals would care about people that they diaplaced. But emptying those places of supplies was not just preventing capture in abstract. It was meaningfully weakening ennemy army, the same way shooting at them does. Logistics makes it breaks wars in general.
In a way, it is interesting that these realities are mostly lost from contemporary stories about wars. We like to paint heroic fights in past, but don't like to show where the food soldiers eat comes from. When we do talk about it, we use euphemisms like "living off the land" as if they were hunting and collecting berries.
Absolutely agreed. My original reply wasn't meant to paint Russian generals as stupid for setting their cities/towns on fire. In fact, I believe that if it wasn't for that, then Napoleon would have been way more successful in his invasion, as he was pretty much stomping the Russian military up until it got to point of capturing major cities.
In fact, Mikhail Kutuzov (Russian Empire commander-in-chief at the time who was responsible for coming up with the plan to burn down Russian cities rather than giving them to Napoleon) is remembered as an exceptional military commander and a hero to this day. He let Napoleon occupy burned down Moscow, so that Napoleon army could be starved and then driven out using guerilla warfare.
The French inch was longer than the English inch at the time and the press either didn't know this or knew it and thought it'd be funny to miss-characterize.
De Gaulle was again subject to what you might call the ""woke mob"" during his lifetime: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_68
People have to learn to cope with accurate presentation of what historical figures did, a lot of which was very bad especially for the losing side.
In fact, wouldn't Napoleon be part (and the end ?) of the absolutist monarch phenomenon?
That is how countries typically interpret history - from their point of view.
And which political agenda do you exactly mean
If anything, this line of reasoning is (for lack of a better word) "reactionary": cultures and nations are not built top-down, they are built bottom-up. Culture is decentralized by essence, that's part of why the internet can be so great.
It could even be argued that culture is the very first thing that may still be attached to someone's immediate reality.
"Streaming subtitled box sets" are not "the new Eurovision", and Eurovision itself meant and means squat when it comes to "common European culture". (If anything Eurovision is something most of us watch for laughs, and more often than not we take sides and vote for countries we already knew and liked for other cultural and historical reasons).
We have had and have a quite good understanding of other European states and their cultures, even more so when they share the same borders (as it's often the case in Europe - to have 2, 3 or more countries sharing your borders and have millenia of interaction with them and their culture, plus "shared" areas of mixed culture, e.g. Strasbourg).
It's not the lack of Netflix's European programming or watching each other's shows that prevented a "common European culture".
Not to mention, we have had something like that, both in the high-brow sphere (for centuries), but also in the pop-culture.
E.g. non-artsy Italian and French cinema from Alain Delon to Bud Spenser was big all-over Europe until the 80s when Hollywood dominated with emphasis on impossible to meet big productions and vfx. European pop music frequently travelled all over Europe, from Al Bano to Roussos and from Nina Hagen to Kraftwerk. Comics too, French, English, Italian, Belgian, Spanish (to namedrop some that were published and loved all over Europe: Asterix, Tin Tin, Mortadelo y Filemon, Lucky Luke, Blek, Judge Dredd, the Smurfs, Manara, Corto Maltese, and so on).
And as somebody mentioned, Interrail and Erasmus have been going strong for 3 to 4 decades now or more... (I've done the first, and have had many friends doing both the first and the second.).
I enjoy it precisely because, although Europe shares a fair bit of culture, these works are not the product of a homogenized Mid-Atlantic or "common European" culture, but an expression of the particular culture, xplace, and time in which they was made.
All of this is not to say that TV cannot be used as a powerful tool for social engineering. It can and it is. Television and Hollywood have, in concert with the education system, caused enormous changes in society. It's just harder to accomplish without first demoralizing and robbing someone of his identity first. Solve et coagula.
The "rootless" line by the way is itself an absurd dogwhistle of antisemites amounting to "They are not trustworthy because we repeatedly robbed and kicked them out - ergo they must have deserved it!" Along with all of the feudalist anti-merchant and anti-banking cliches to assure literal serfs that military dictators. While whitewashing all of the considerable hatred and conflict. You unironically repeat ancient self-serving lies of long dead strongmen and yet you think we're the ones confused and manipulated?
Almost every time I read an article from The Economist I see that many of their arguments are founded on false premises which are (usually) trivial to fact-check. I really don't get why this publication gets posted here on HN so often.
I have only ever seen the short (1/2 to 1 page in the printed version) opinion pieces shared here. I think most publications could be judged unfairly by reading the only those parts. Usually the magazine is themed on one subject for the week and publishes a range of angles on the same thing. Again sharing one part of it rather destroys the beauty of it. I think that is why I can't get on with the digital editions.
I was a subscriber to the paper edition, but it is supposed to arrive Saturday morning in the mail, but often didn't. I found thay if it arrived on Monday I was only finding time to flick through it.
The Economist actually interestingly runs a forecasting competition that does just that. I expect you have to pay more for those intelligence reports.
They admit their mistakes openly: https://medium.economist.com/mistakes-weve-drawn-a-few-8cdd8...
The articles that are posted here are usually from the Leaders section, which are in effect opinion pieces. For every Leader article there's also a more in-depth article. If your only experience with the Economist is through their Leaders I can see how you would come away with the idea that all their articles are biased and lack detail.
Almost every other thing I've read from them is 1) total horseshit or, worse, 2) deeply right-wing conservative propaganda veiled behind a thin veneer of "we have a study that we cite!"
That said, their culture section can be sloppy. After noticing numerous errors in topics I care about and being disappointed in multiple book recommendations, I think I'd sooner try a cooking recipe from PC Gamer than accept their entertainment opinions at face value.
They get posted here as often as any other shoddy trash. But their crap seems to "stick" more at the frontpage than the others (probably because of better writing skills).
Re: Italian music, I still have a couple of Ornella Vanoni and Mina CDs in my car, it’s the only thing that I listen while on road-trips (am Romanian).
Many of these were loved in Latin America as well. Lucky Luke and Asterix are my personal favorites, though there's a special place for Corto Maltese (Hugo Pratt is revered in my country) and I also liked Manara for erotic comics.
To this day I consider European comics way superior to American comics, where superheroes tended to dominate. Yes, I do love Sandman and Robert Crumb, of course.
When I talk about Donald Duck with Americans they don’t get it, but when I talk with other Europeans there is a long and fun conversation ahead.
I always think it is cute when a work of art travels from the place of origin and shines in a different part of the world in this way.
The UK withdrew from the Erasmus scheme as part of Brexit seemingly for no other reason than to discourage cultural integration.
I think it was because of two reasons. First, the sort of people who go on Erasmus and Interrail tend to be the sort of people who could have afforded it anyway - it is a subsidy for the well to do.
And secondly, far fewer people go from the UK to other countries, than come from other countries to come here, so it is a financial drain.
You could argue that it was a good idea for soft power reasons for the UK to do, but it doesn't seem to have built up a lot of European good will so far and perhaps the government has reasoned that the money is better spent elsewhere.
Only if you subscribe to the zero sum idea that there is a fixed pot of money which must be shared out between competing claims on it. Unfortunately our current and recent governments have propagated that notion for their own gain.
It neglects the fact that foreign students in the UK spend money in the UK economy thereby propping up jobs and economic activity. When my daughter did a year studying abroad in Germany the funding she got was nowhere near enough to cover her rent and other costs. So something like 10 grand of British money ended up getting spent in the German economy to keep her going.
Absolutely not in my experience. They don't tend to be super poor, they are college demographics. But among social classes that do go to college, it actually enables people who could not pay for it. These programs are a way how students for whome it would be expensive go abroad for few months.
The missing tuition support is really harsh, especially if Turing is for the US
I don't see this working in all honesty.
From watching it in the 90's as a child, I don't remember it being near as crazy as today, and they started in the 1950's
It's not impossible to meet Hollywood's financial power, also its artistic power... Germany alone for example has producers (Constantin Film), studios (Bavaria, Babelsberg), VFX shops (Scanline, Stargate, Pixomondo) or tech rental (ARRI), and not to mention all the locations which many US blockbusters regularly use.
The core difference America has and what makes Hollywood so dominant is that everything except locations is pretty much concentrated in Hollywood (with Vancouver and Toronto offshoots in Canada), whereas in Europe everything is splintered - Germany alone has Cologne, Berlin and Munich. That makes it harder for all parties involved in a production (please don't get me started on the disgrace that is high-speed internet connectivity here) and, crucially, we don't have the informal "network effects" resulting from having everyone drink at the same bars in one town.
If anyone, be it a billionaire or a government, in Europe were to fund a "cinema town" modeled after Hollywood, inter-European infighting would kill the project before it even had a chance at getting started. We can't even get our heavy industry companies merged so that they're sizable enough to fight against Chinese and US companies - how are we supposed to successfully do that for a industry that doesn't have much economic relevance?
I enjoy the European shows on Amazon and Netflix, much more so than the tiring Hollywood garbage.
Netflix does bring a decent budget for more Hollywood competitive production value to shows that feel distinctively less "US", which is a good thing for Europe, or at least provides a distribution platform to increase revenue for local shows.
Of course many of those shows also are produced for selling to a global audience, and French or some other local productions are more valuable for a European culture.
But the contribution is not zero or negative.
German shows were especially horrible (no, really, horrible) until very recently.
I quite like the article and found it interesting. I'm a Brit and you have to realize British publications like the Economist tend to take the piss out of Europe a bit, especially the Eurovision song contest.
Well, you're British and this is a British publication targeting you :-)
In the past Italy sent its B team - and TBH san remo has much better strike rate for good songs.
The main point of watching (UK perspective) is for the cometary, The late Terry Wogan and now Graham Norton ) and to see how few points the UK gets
What do you mean by that? There were of course borders, and they were certainly enforced.
Until the late 18th century travellers were more likely to be monitored at the district or parish level. During the French revolutionary wars the Jacobins began to issue foreign travellers with a carte de sureté on arrival at the French border, but these early ‘passports’ were dependent on the ideological affiliations of the holder rather than their nationality and subsequently fell into disuse after the Napoleonic Wars.
For much of the 19th century border control was sporadic and often non-existent, as millions of people migrated from Europe to the New World or within Europe itself without any passports or documentation. In 1942 the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig recalled the amazement of young people when he told them he had travelled across the world without a passport before the First World War.
The situation had started to change following the global economic slump in 1873, when governments began to introduce immigration controls based on nationality and ethnicity for the first time. In 1882 the US government passed the first Chinese Exclusion Act in response to racist ‘Yellow Peril’ lobbying from California politicians. In 1885 Bismarck ordered the expulsion of 40,000 Polish workers from Germany to prevent the ‘Polonization’ of Prussia. In 1897 the South African colony of Natal introduced a language test for immigrants, which barred entry to anyone who could not fill out an application form in English – a test that was specifically intended to eliminate ‘coolie’ labour from India. The ‘Natal formula’ was also introduced in Australia in order to keep out Chinese migrant workers.
Both in the social scene (upper-middle classes and above travelling around Europe), and in the explicit and implicit exchange of influences and ideas between philosophers, writers, poets, musicians, painters, and so on.
Opera, music, art, literature etc
I thought OP was referring to the fact European upper noble families were all blood related and shared the same interests.
They sit around in their special sphere saying things like “The Economist is pretentious, market-driven, and stupid, like Eurovision.”
Then they say “Yeah bro, high five!” like Borat.
I’m not sure what you mean by “more than” pop culture.
There is good art and bad art in all genres, which are just mediums of cultural communication that reach different audiences.
I didn’t understand the reductionist criticism of The Economist, which I have found to publish numerous examples of good criticism and bad criticism, about a range of topics, mostly to do with economics, and occasionally culture.
I don’t think culture is The Economist’s forte. They probably don’t either, except when cultural platforms have measurable economic consequences.
Basically that aside from there being "good art and bad art in all genres" there are is also more substantial and less substantial forms and artistic cultures.
In Germany, where I live, you otherwise almost exclusively get German-only versions of movies (due to a mixture of licensing shenanigans and there not being a sufficiently high demand for original language versions in the German market).
In my opinion, the biggest obstacle standing in the way of closer integration between European countries today is language or rather the lack of a common language.
For that matter, Brexit could be a blessing in disguise because it might allow EU countries to embrace English as a common language - in addition to their native ones - without any of the more dominant EU members having the "advantage" of that language as its native, official one anyway.
This idea probably is a pipe dream, though. Realistically, I don't really see France, Germany, or Italy, for example, adopt English as an additional official language any time soon.
Lol, they don't even treat one country as one market. I need to change the language of the Netflix interface to be able to access all content in my country.
It's quite amazing that you can drive from one end of the EU to the other without showing your passport, learning new road signs, exchanging currency (with some exceptions), getting a new SIM card, or waiting at a border crossing. If you live in Berlin, driving to Warsaw is no more of an inconvenience than driving to Frankfurt.
Stoke fear of immigrants to get yourself elected, then make legal immigration impossible so that illegal immigration is the only option.
It's because I know that when I use Netflix, all I get is some over the top and dumped-down-for-the-masses content.
Like, I completely given up on Netflix documentaries. The last one I watched was this stupid one on Minimalism. It was terrible.
Movies: Well, I have total Hollywood 0815 movie fatique. If there's yet another good looking hero just barely being able to save the world and their family, it's definitely not me that is surprised.
All I watch now is Youtube or even German ARD and ZDF mediathek. There, at least, I know what I'm getting is somewhat grounded. Amazon Prime video has had some good content too recently.
- 1: https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/08/15_(Redewendung)
But Netflix's dubs are absolutely TERRIBLE. The voice is out of sync with the lip movement, there is barely any emotion in the tone like in the original audio, the translations are sloppy and don't work for the dialog.
I also grew up with the luxury of having learnt English well enough from young age to a proficiency that I can watch movies in English just as well as in my mother's tongue. This is definitely not true for my family members or even some friends. So when I have a movie on Netflix that is English I chose to watch it in original audio, when it is German (like Dark) I can watch it in original audio, but any other show they produced in Europe I usually give it a try and have to stop watching it because the terrible dub just ruins the experience.
I know there are a lot of people that are fine with subs, but Germans are used to enjoying their movies dubbed. And similarly I heard some American friends who really wanted to watch Dark but were just turned off by the terrible English dub.
So, as far as I can tell, they're very far from creating "common European culture".
I seriously doubt that. In France we also have dubs that are considered extremely good (Back to the Future is a big one), but you stil can easily tell it's not the original audio. And it absolutely loses a lot compared to the original. I wish I grew up with subtitles instead of dubs wherever possible.
Dubs only make sense for cartoons and animation (South Park and The Simpsons come to mind as having better dubs in French than in the original version).
I'm also certain that this is the main reason why the average person in a subtitle country (Flanders, Netherlands, Nordic countries, ...) speaks way better English than in the dubbing countries.
It's weird how perceptions can differ. I found that German dubs are pretty bad, you lose pretty much all emotion in it and if you don't know the language spoken in the movie, using subtitles is preferable over German audio.
> I also grew up with the luxury of having learnt English well enough from young age to a proficiency that I can watch movies in English just as well as in my mother's tongue.
Chicken and egg, really. You get much better at understanding English if you watch movies. My reading comprehension shot up when we were offered a subscription of Time magazine at very affordable rates (for secondary school students).
> So, as far as I can tell, they're very far from creating "common European culture".
Hopefully. But if anyone does, please don't do it by translating it into any and all languages. Let's just settle on English and slowly fade out traditional European languages to a heritage thing that you learn for fun and use on special occasions with your grand parents.
German dubbing, and really dubbing in general, is a regular subject of mockery in Norway where we're used to sub-titles, as a thing that makes anything unwatchable whether or not you know German. I think peoples ability to deal with dubbing is strongly dependent on whether or not you grew up with it.
Being from one of those neighbouring countries, it’s hard to understand what’s so great about dubbing, and I guess back home people kind of feel sorry for the countries where dubbing is the norm.
Only television for young children is dubbed, because usually they can’t read or read fast enough yet, and growing up reading subtitles becomes a second nature. Once you’re used to them, it’s hard to understand what added benefit dubbing would then bring… Except from an accessibility point of view—I know not everybody can read, and I know there are dedicated dubs for the visually impaired.
The benefits of subtitles are many though—of course first and foremost you get to enjoy the sounds and atmosphere of another language while still being able to understand it. And then being confronted with a language often enough will be a massive help in learning it. English of course is the main language people learn this way, but when I learned French and German in high school the French and German spoken movies on TV and in the cinema definitely helped.
So I guess what I mean to say—of course it’s simply the result of the economical reality of living in a smaller linguistic area, but subtitles feel quite the luxury to me!
It’s interesting to hear that Netflix’s dubbing is subpar though, and I see how that could hurt their bottom-line since in most bigger countries dubbing is the norm.
There are some notable exceptions though. Animated movies in particular, like Ice Age where you just could feel the difference between B-Level US actors/comedians vs A-Level German voice overs and comedians (Otto).
There were actually three full paragraphs with about 300 words here, but then I realized that would just be dignifying this pretentious drivel.
But yeah, the world is homogenizing, and there's no way to stop it. Germany, England, etc., become more like the US every time I visit.
Though I also wish they'd let me set better defaults. They let you give a list of languages you prefer, but that's too simplistic. E.g. I'd prefer to always get original audio, but subtitles matching the audio in a handful of languages I know well enough to follow if I can read but not only by audio, and falling back to English.
Instead you need to check for each series what is available, or set it broad and change it per program accordingly.
This happens fairly often on German Netflix. When the program's language is neither German nor English, often there are no English subtitles available.
International licensing is obviously complicated, so it's hard to say whose "fault" it is, but my suspicion is that some rights owners will only license the service to use the local language to prevent end users doing digital geo-arbitrage.
For example, the Swedish series "The Bridge" is available on German Netflix, and the trailer has English subtitles, but the actual episodes only offer German subs. AFAICT in the US market this show is only available for streaming as a purchase from Amazon.
However, the language options offered beyond those already provided by Netflix are machine translated. This is good enough to follow along or fill in gaps in your knowledge of the officially subtitled language, but is a subpar representation of the program.
It is very common for languages other than English. I'd say most Netflix content has the French audio and subtitles not matching each other. They have the same meaning but not the same wording.
Public infrastructure, decent wages, national health care, public transport, and such ain't "beyond the pale" guys...
Though, to be frank, European politicians are influenced by this and want to bring more of it here faster. Private profit of the few above people, and let the suckers believe in wealth "trickling down"...
It is common for poor industrial areas to end up with large transient populations, but that’s a case of convergent evolution.
The banking runs were caused by the fixed exchange rate between gold and fiat money - in 1929 one could double one's wealth by buying gold from banks at the official exchange rate. This naturally caused endless runs until the banks either collapsed or FDR (correctly) suspended such sales. The banks remained crippled for lack of money because the Federal Reserve Bank (not a free market bank) failed to understand what the problem was.
The country came out of the Depression late in the 30's because of vast quantities of money flowing into the country from foreign countries buying arms.
By that logic it was most efficient with slavery? And the next best thing with serfs?
it's not trickling down anywhere.
While it might be in most corporations best interest to have consumers that can afford to buy all the thing they are selling, it's also in their own immediate interest to squeeze as much money as they can, and keep it for them self.
And each year laws get passed (or reverted) that help corporations , and they get better and better at squeezing.
Look at the trends, middle class is disappearing, and more and more wealth is captured and kept at the top. (corporations are getting bigger and bigger, and rich people are getting richer)
and it's happening in USA even faster than in most of Europe. Pretty much the only place where middle class is growing is China (and other developing countries), but that is because they are still catching up.
So it can't be just the EU taxes.
Trickle down is nice theory, too bad it doesn't work in practice.
And no I don't even pretend to know what the solution is.
I just think that lowering taxes for corporations, will just make even more money for corporations, make them more powerful and not really help anyone else.
Mind you, there's more to it than that; just setting the high-income-band taxes high won't do it. Efficacy of taxation and control of corruption is also important. Ireland's an interesting case; in the 80s its income tax was quite high (and it was a substantial net beneficiary of EU funding) but its GINI index was the worst in the EU (it was actually worse than the US for part of the decade). Today, income tax is still quite high (though not as high), and it's a donor of EU funding, but the GINI index is middle of the road European, far better than it used to be. The main thing that changed, beyond overall economic development, is reduction of corruption; there's no point in having big high-income-band taxes if no-one pays them.
They will always have incentive to movw money into a tax heaven, their rate is zero
But Biden has the "once in a generation infrastructure plan"!
As a German: In what ways?
2. I recently was in a shopping mall in Stuttgart. The design, parking garage, mall exterior, interior, looked exactly like an American mall. The displays and signs inside were nearly all in English. You could not tell you were in Germany.
3. Germans have by and large quit smoking.
4. English everywhere.
5. More American style clothing. Less Lederhosen (in fact, I can't recall seeing any Lederhosen after 1970).
6. American brand names everywhere.
I'm not sure how long ago you were in the US, but it was ubiquitous here a couple generations ago, and the shift away from smoking seems to be a global trend associated with wealth - in Mainland china, I see much less of the younger generation smoking nowadays.
I was in Berlin recently and can attest to the English signage anecdote though, even if your experience seems to be an exaggerated version of mine.
Smoking largely ended in the US by the mid 70s. Not completely, but in the 1960s I recall every office building stunk of stale smoke. This disappeared by the mid 70s.
Besides, McDonald's are everywhere in Germany. I even ate at one at Checkpoint Charlie. An obvious triumph over communism :-)
I'm sure there is an IKEA around here somewhere, but I don't know where. I know where all the McD's within 10 miles are!
Eh? How is stopping smoking a "US thing"? Surely it's a result of public health campaigns and regulations slowly introduced over decades?
USA has double the smoking rate (per capita) than in my country (2017).
Germany was very,very early with anti-tobacco campaigns:
“in 1929 (presumably too late to be included in the handbook) the German physician, Fritz Lickint published a paper in which he showed that lung cancer patients were particularly likely to be smokers. He then went on a crusade against smoking, and antitobacco activism actually became widespread in Germany.”
Hollywood was one of the main proponents of marketing cigarettes.
See also the newish American trend of vaping.
America is the forth largest producer of cigarettes.
It was starkly obvious if you traveled back and forth between the US and Germany in the 1980s. In the 80s US businesses had done a good job of pushing the smokers out on the porch.
I never thought that would work, but it did, and smoking became generally recognized as the filthy habit that it was.
My '72 Dodge hasn't seen a cigarette since the 1980s and still smells like smoke :-)
Those are just form Bavaria and nowhere else.
You woudn't see a cowboy dress in NYC.
Well, there's the Naked Cowboy. But I guess he's missing the "dress" part of it (aside of "keeping the hat (and boots) on").
CC subtitle tracks often show up with the name "English (SDH)" (Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of hearing).
When the CC is good it can communicate the mood of the music that is playing, sometimes it even shows the lyrics.
[ominous music], [workout montage music], [knocking on door], [Rachel clears throat], [music: Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd]