European Filmmaking Without A Sense of Purpose

It might come to a surprise for the one or the other but I sometimes watch European movies. Admitted, anything else would be stranger than fiction because I am living in Europe.

Today was such a day I went local again. I watched a French movie about some high school kids. It’s called The French Kissers, and well, the titles fits the movie really well. In a way it was the depiction of the more than awkward phase of puberty in full bloom – accompanied by much slurping and smacking. In other words: More than once it was embarrassing not only for the characters but also for the audience.

But you know why I mention that movie at all? Not because it’s horribly bad or good. No, it’s because the movie showed me – again – why I sometimes so fucking hate European movies and incompetent European filmmaking. You know, you can rant about Hollywood all you can and want, but one thing they do know: they know how to write movies with a purpose. I don’t mean “purpose” in the sense of “let me show you how ugly the world is to make it better”. Nothing of that kind. I mean “purpose” in the sense of “this movie has a goal, the main character has a goal he wants to reach”.

European movies on the other hand, for reasons totally beyond me, very often (or to be more precise: almost every time) tend to be the exact opposite. Those movies have no purpose, in other words, no clear goal to reach. Most often you see character talking, living, doing shit all the time – while I sit in the chair wondering why the fuck I should care about any of this.

You know, the movie I watched today again absolutely proved me that having no fucking goal whatsoever ends up in a movie that could end anytime – in other words a script you could cut in half since nothing of importance happens. There is no purpose. The character doesn’t reach or learn anything. You have to imagine it: in the last scene of that movie you see the main character walking to school while saying hello to his friends. Fade to Black. End credits. That’s it. I never would have guessed that the end was coming. It simply arrived and, bang, the movie was over.

I never got the feeling of closure or that the plot reached its end. Not even once. And I never cared for the main character because he had no goal to reach against opposition. Nothing. Basically the movie faded to black because the time ran out, not because something of importance happened earlier on. In other words: that movie could’ve continued forever. Now that’s what I call great European filmmaking. The movie from today was just another example in a so long list of European movies without a purpose. It’s fucking embarrassing.

I really wonder when everything started to decay to such a level. Of course, Hollywood produces shit, but at least there’s a goal to reach for the characters almost every time. Even in such abysmal shit as Kangaroo Jack or New York Taxi or Soul Plane. Some might call this “entertainment shit” or “movies for the masses” or “formulaic writing”. But those formulas work very well. At least in that regard Hollywood learned its lesson many decades ago. Europe, it seems, still needs some decades to learn the same thing.


  • coco

    LOL I have to agree. Also I find in a lot of European films I often feel like they just keep DRAGGING ON towards the end and I keep thinking ‘this has to be it, this is the end’ – but no, it goes for another five minutes – so I think ‘okay, THIS HAS to be the end’ – but no, it keeps going, and repeat. I end up getting so frustrated because I usually enjoy the concept of the film/the beginning and middle, but by the end I’m tearing my hair out because it goes beyond the point where all issues are resolved and all characters dealt with and continues to carry on with the story :|

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