Positive Influence of Foreign & Independent Films in Mainstream Cinema


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But, Battle Royale was itself influenced by Stephen King's stories The Long Walk and The Running Man. Inspiration and influence can run in loops...

Its all very intermeshed. Which I think is a good thing. You don't want media to be a one way conversation, a loop means the ideas cycle through different cultures and have some life put back into them. A lot of the kung fu and wuxia movies from Hong Kong that inspired someone like Tarantino when he did Kill Bill, were themselves also taking inspiration from sources like westerns and spaghetti westerns (some of them use the same music even: for example the movie the Delightful Forest uses one of the main themes from Once upon a Time in the West. The movie history of violence is basically the plot used in the film Wuxia (also called Dragon) with Donnie Yen (A history of Violence came out in 2005, while Wuxia came out in 2011). But Wuxia is also started out as a remake of the One Armed Swordsman. Personally I prefer Wuxia to A History of Violence but that's just preference.

And in the 80s, I am pretty sure a bunch of American movies were pulling from Hong Kong Action movies for stunt ideas. Many scenes in Commando look a lot like Police Story 1 to me. I am not 100 percent sure if there is a connection not that one in particular, but there are definitely a lot of 80s and 90s action movies in the states that echo some of the stuff that was out earlier in HK, and by the same Token you have movies like Killer Constable from 1980 that seem to be taking a page from Dirty Harry. Or some of Lau Kan Leung's movies that seemed inspired by Golden Age of Hollywood (My Young Auntie in particular but you see it in his other movies even those are primarily kung fu action films). It is sometimes a bit hard to tell when there is an influence or not but it definitely looks to me like Directors are often drawing on inspiration outside their own culture.
 

And yet I have cited in the OP numerous times that several directors are open about their influences. The Wachowski sisters used Ghost in the shell as part of their pitch to create the Matrix. They even produced the Animatrix to share their love for Anime, featuring a variety of talented artists all telling new stories in their world.

I tend to agree with you. Even big budget hollywood movies are often influenced by cinema from outside the US. It isn't like directors from the US aren't seeing foreign movies. That is going to have an influence, just like our movies are also going to have an influence on other places. This is especially the case when you have a place that does something especially well and has developed methods for making it work on screen.

And they were drawing on chinese martial arts films too. Something like the matrix wouldn't have happened without Yuen Woo Ping's action direction. The wirework style is one of the distinguishing characteristics of that movie.
 

Art Waring

halozix.com
And they were drawing on chinese martial arts films too. Something like the matrix wouldn't have happened without Yuen Woo Ping's action direction. The wirework style is one of the distinguishing characteristics of that movie.
Absolutely, when "bullet time" was a really big deal at the time, having come from the Matrix, it is now looked at as old gen technology compared to today's capabilities, while wirework is still used and is now quite common in action films.

Films like Kill Bill & The Matrix that incorporated wirework and Chinese filmmaking techniques, often from the masters of the craft, not only surpassed the physical limitations at the time, but also surpassed the creative limitations of working within the industry itself by learning from outside influences.

Each in their own way.

Matrix learned from these influences, incorporating chinese wirework, cutting edge (at the time) CGI technology, Japanese aesthetics (Ghost in the shell and anime), and complex concepts like transhumanism.

Kill Bill learned in its own way, particularly in the excellent choreography, wirework, framing, and the way Wuxia action films would zoom in on the eyes and such. All excellent stuff. The collective piece is greater together than just the sum of its parts.
 


Art Waring

halozix.com
And Bullet Time was embraced pretty quickly by Hong Kong after the release of The Matrix.
And the technology side keeps evolving.

One good recent example is Alita: Battle Angel, which actually has a legacy of two decades of waiting to come to fruition. Based on Yukito Kishiro's Gunnm (1990-1995), James Cameron was introduced to Gunnm through Gillermo Del Toro, and he then bought the rights to the Gunnm/ Alita OVA's in the early naughties with plans to develop it into a feature film.

At the time however, the technology simply wasn't good enough, and they chose to make Avatar (still one of the biggest grossing films adjusted for inflation), and wait for the technology to evolve to the point that it could portray the main character as they intended. Avatar was a sort of beta test for the technology needed to create Alita. Unfortunately, Avatar's success took priority and they have several sequels in production while Alita sat on the backburner. The project was then picked up and directed by Robert Rodriguez.

James Camerons Avatar was test run for alita battle angel

I think it is a good example of the positive influence of foreign films on modern film technology as well as storytelling. Without Yukito Kishiro's Gunnm// Alita, we wouldn't have Avatar.

 


Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
Last Airbender was inspired by Japanese animation, which was heavily influenced by American Disney movies (Osamu Tezuka supposedly saw Bambi 30 times)...

I've been watching a few isekai anime (often heavily influenced by our favorite roleplaying game), and I have to chuckle every time I see the people sitting on their knees around the table in medieval European-looking houses. It's really great to see influence ping back and forth across the Pacific.
 

Mad_Jack

Legend
Years ago when I was in college, my cable system had the Independent Film Channel as one of its free offerings... I freakin' loved that channel. :D
I watched a lot of Ingmar Bergman films and other period pieces, and developed a deeper appreciation for Scandinavian films in general.
Coincidentally, it was also the same time my college Play In Production class put on Ibsen's A Doll's House. I definitely think some of those films led to a much more nuanced performance in my role as Krogstad.
 

Art Waring

halozix.com
Years ago when I was in college, my cable system had the Independent Film Channel as one of its free offerings... I freakin' loved that channel. :D
I watched a lot of Ingmar Bergman films and other period pieces, and developed a deeper appreciation for Scandinavian films in general.
Coincidentally, it was also the same time my college Play In Production class put on Ibsen's A Doll's House. I definitely think some of those films led to a much more nuanced performance in my role as Krogstad.
I got to see a bit of the IFC back in the day, I think that's where I first saw George Melies' "A Trip To the Moon." (France, 1902). Good Stuff!

 
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