Author Topic: Spin off of a spin off - which movies form your nations collective identity?  (Read 3041 times)

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lollylegs

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I mentioned The Castle in the Hard to Explain Businesses thread, which lead to several posters quoting from the movie. This happens rather frequently over here.  The Castle is, in my opinion, one of the most faithful representations of Australian life - sure it's over the top, and it doesn't represent every facet of Australian living, but it's incredibly Australian at it's core.  I think every Aussie knows a Darryl Kerrigan.

What movies do you think provide a fairly accurate depcition of life in your country?  And also, which movies fail dismally? (*cough*Crocodile Dundee*cough*)

ETA And part of the reason I started this thread is so we could keep quoting The Castle. "We're goin to Bonnie Doon!"
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 11:05:45 PM by lollylegs »

Milash

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Haha, I immediately thought of the castle when I saw this thread topic. We quote it almost daily here at the milash household.

And.... " it's just the vibe of the thing your honor"

Thipu1

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This is a very interesting question.  It's also very difficult to address because Mr. Thipu and I can't figure out a film that would define the USA. 

We both agree that Ken Burns is wonderful at this sort of thing but his documentaries are presented in the form of a series.  His work gives a good feeling of the Anerican experience but you can't get it all at once.  Like the USA itself, things have to be taken one step at a time and one film can't get it all.

Silversurfer

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I was about to suggest The Castle for Australia!


kherbert05

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This is a very interesting question.  It's also very difficult to address because Mr. Thipu and I can't figure out a film that would define the USA. 

We both agree that Ken Burns is wonderful at this sort of thing but his documentaries are presented in the form of a series.  His work gives a good feeling of the Anerican experience but you can't get it all at once.  Like the USA itself, things have to be taken one step at a time and one film can't get it all.

I agree Ken Burns documentary but I would add the shows by Rick Sebak he has done shorter quirky documentaries on things like hot dog shops, A Cemetery Special, Ice cream parlors, Sandwiches across the nation, and great old amusement parks.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0780904/
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lollylegs

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This is a very interesting question.  It's also very difficult to address because Mr. Thipu and I can't figure out a film that would define the USA. 

We both agree that Ken Burns is wonderful at this sort of thing but his documentaries are presented in the form of a series.  His work gives a good feeling of the Anerican experience but you can't get it all at once.  Like the USA itself, things have to be taken one step at a time and one film can't get it all.

I agree Ken Burns documentary but I would add the shows by Rick Sebak he has done shorter quirky documentaries on things like hot dog shops, A Cemetery Special, Ice cream parlors, Sandwiches across the nation, and great old amusement parks.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0780904/

Yeah, America would be a hard one because you've got a lot of different cultures and lifestyles over there. Doesn't necessarily have to sum up the entire country (sorry, should have been more clear about that in the OP), more your experience of life in your country, e.g. if you live in a small town and compete in pageants you might say Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Thanks for the tip kherbert05, Rick Sebak looks really interesting.

katycoo

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Haha, I immediately thought of the castle when I saw this thread topic. We quote it almost daily here at the milash household.

And.... " it's just the vibe of the thing your honor"

"Scooped it out of the punnet"

Thipu1

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Rick Sebak does look very interesting.  Thanks for the link.  Here, 'The Cable Guy' does similar quirkiness.

Even in our own family things are odd.  I come from an Irish-German blue-collar family that goes back at least six generations.  Mr. Thipu's parents were immigrants from China who came to the US for University and got stranded here in the 1930s.  Our family experiences are very different. 

I have no doubt that people in the UK or Canada will have a similar problem trying to find one defining film.

Keeping this thread going is an excellent idea.  we just have to figure out how. 

I'mnotinsane

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The American President kind of sums up the ideal for which we should strive.  Also a cute love story.

Shopaholic

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I always thought Americans would want "It's a Wonderful Life" as their identifier.

violinp

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I always thought Americans would want "It's a Wonderful Life" as their identifier.

Not I; I don't like that movie at all for a lot of triggery reasons.

For me, there are a lot of movies that sum up America, but some of them are El Dorado, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Godfather Saga, Gone with the Wind, Unforgiven, Rocky, The Big Sleep, Die Hard, any John Wayne film (other than the one he played Ghengis Khan), Singing in the Rain, and A Raisin in the Sun. I could go on and on, but I'd be here for several days.  :-[
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


Sharnita

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If any CHristmas movie forms our national identity I would say it is A Christmas Story at least for my family.  Possibly the Peanuts Christmas Special as well.

As far as a movie that forms national identity as a whole - High Noon or To Kill A Mockingbird
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 08:29:22 AM by Sharnita »

saki

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Being British from an Indian background, I'd go Bend it Like Beckham for the UK. I also really like The Full Monty, Calendar Girls, for depictions of particular aspects of British life. Wallace and Gromit is very British in sense of humour, as are the Monty Python films.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 04:39:34 AM by saki »

camlan

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I always thought Americans would want "It's a Wonderful Life" as their identifier.

That's an interesting idea. Not a movie I would have thought of. And a movie that a lot of people don't like.

I don't know why Shopaholic thought of this movie, but it does embody a few ideas that are kind of typically "American."

The idea that you can get a second chance.
The idea that friends will rally 'round a good person and help them out.

All that Western migration during the early years of the country? A lot of those people were looking for second chances or a better chance at making a living than they had where they started out from. All the immigrants from various countries over the years? Looking for a better chance than they had at home. 

And from the beginning, people had to help each other out--sharing the work of farming, harvesting, raising houses, stitching quilts--in order to survive. The quilting bee, the barn raising--these are ways that the community came together to help one person.

And the idea that a single person can make a change--as the hero of the movie does (can't remember his name right now). In Huckleberry Finn, which is considered by many to be as close as we come to an American epic, the key point in the novel is the decision of one small boy to buck convention and break the law to save a fellow human being; to do what is morally right instead of what is legally correct.

It's a Wonderful Life may not be a perfect movie, and it may not be the ultimate movie to form or embody the country's identity, but it has a lot of the right factors. At the very least, it's a thought-provoking answer and I'm going to have to watch it again and think about this.

(And for those of you who have only ever seen it on TV, it gets a lot of editing to fit in a normal time slot. There are some scenes that get cut that make the movie a little less sappy. Not that I'm saying if you hate the movie, you need to sit through the entire thing. But it was interesting to watch the entire, uncut movie and see what TV cuts out.)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 07:20:49 AM by camlan »
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oz diva

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What about Australia? No, I'm kidding, it's The Castle here too. Not that I really know anyone as dumb as the kerrigans, but it has a quintessential Australian sense of humor. "It's going straight to the poolroom"

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