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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: our lead foot

There is, I’m sorry to admit, plenty of reason why United Statesians, in the aggregate, are seen as shallow and not too bright. From my review of Shall We Dance?:

We Americans should probably be insulted, as a people, by movies like this travesty of a remake, Shall We Dance? See, the 1996 Japanese film of the same name, upon which this is very closely based, is a charming, lovely film, fleet and sure-footed, subtle and elegant. It was a box-office phenomenon in its native land and one of the biggest arthouse hits ever in the United States. But now, comes time to sell a version of the story to mainstream American audiences, what does it look like? Instead of class, we get crass. Instead of living characters, we get lazy stereotypes. Instead of light effervescence, we get a lead balloon. We should be embarrassed to be seen as a culture that requires crudity and glaring obviousness in our entertainment.

review of Shall We Dance?, posted 10.13.04

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