Euro films bring global ideas to screen

Filmmaking resonates with modern reality

Trying to define a “European film” nowadays is like trying to find a common element in a vegetable market. They’re all vegetables, they’re all made from the same atoms, and some are better for you than others.

The same could be said of European movies, which are currently riding on an all-time production high. According to European Audiovisual Observatory, 878 features were produced by EU member countries in 2008; it’s a figure that’s been rising annually in recent years.

At present, Hamburg-based European Film Promotion counts no less than 30 national orgs, with Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia its newest members. This year, Variety Critics’ Choice (VCC) includes pics from two of these newcomers — Croat helmer Goran Rusinovic’s psychodrama “Buick Riviera” and Serbian director Darko Lungulov’s mordant immigrant movie “Here and There.” However, though both deal with Central Euro issues, both also contain strong U.S. elements, with the former set in North Dakota.

The films in the lineup are based in a reality that’s never far from the present.

A case in point is Gergely Fonyo’s period musical “Made in Hungaria,” which looks like a Magyar “Grease” but never lets you forget the restrictive era of the early ’60s in which it’s set.

And Dutch director Noud Heerkens’ first feature, “Last Conversation,” has actress Johanna ter Steege playing a woman in a car having a phone conversation with the lover who’s jilted her. Shot with 25 cameras, the movie is a single, 73-minute slice of movie “reality.”

Everyday reality also forms the background of other films in this year’s selection, such as Greek-Cypriot director Hristos Georgiou’s “Small Crime,” superficially about a small-town cop solving a mysterious death but is more a character-driven light comedy; and British helmer Tom Shankland’s “The Children” is a slasher movie in which it’s a bunch of tykes who are the bad guys.

Whether playing with genres and everyday reality, each filmmaker has forged something special from the ordinary and quotidian. Perhaps that’s what makes a movie European nowadays.

More Film

  • Les Arcs Film Festival

    Les Arcs European Film Festival's Industry Village Kicks Off with Strong Roster

    Trying to define a “European film” nowadays is like trying to find a common element in a vegetable market. They’re all vegetables, they’re all made from the same atoms, and some are better for you than others. The same could be said of European movies, which are currently riding on an all-time production high. According […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rockets to $215 Million Opening Weekend

    Trying to define a “European film” nowadays is like trying to find a common element in a vegetable market. They’re all vegetables, they’re all made from the same atoms, and some are better for you than others. The same could be said of European movies, which are currently riding on an all-time production high. According […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Sets Up Scramble for

    Disney-Fox Deal Unleashes Flood of Free-Agent Executives, Talent

    Trying to define a “European film” nowadays is like trying to find a common element in a vegetable market. They’re all vegetables, they’re all made from the same atoms, and some are better for you than others. The same could be said of European movies, which are currently riding on an all-time production high. According […]

  • Anita Hill

    Anita Hill Chairs Hollywood Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Formed by Top Execs

    Trying to define a “European film” nowadays is like trying to find a common element in a vegetable market. They’re all vegetables, they’re all made from the same atoms, and some are better for you than others. The same could be said of European movies, which are currently riding on an all-time production high. According […]

  • Warren Beatty

    Arnon Milchan Sues Warren Beatty Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Trying to define a “European film” nowadays is like trying to find a common element in a vegetable market. They’re all vegetables, they’re all made from the same atoms, and some are better for you than others. The same could be said of European movies, which are currently riding on an all-time production high. According […]

  • Oscar Isaac Addams Family

    Oscar Isaac in Talks to Voice Gomez Addams in Animated 'Addams Family' Movie

    Trying to define a “European film” nowadays is like trying to find a common element in a vegetable market. They’re all vegetables, they’re all made from the same atoms, and some are better for you than others. The same could be said of European movies, which are currently riding on an all-time production high. According […]

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Publicists for Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley, Amy Adams Form New Firm

    Trying to define a “European film” nowadays is like trying to find a common element in a vegetable market. They’re all vegetables, they’re all made from the same atoms, and some are better for you than others. The same could be said of European movies, which are currently riding on an all-time production high. According […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content