Show me a European film and I'll watch it: LETTER

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The Independent Online
AN ASTONISHING number of Hollywood films are scene-for-scene copies of European (mainly French) originals, which US studios seem to treat like demo discs of potential hit songs. It's a great pity because the originals are usually as good if not better (eg Three Men and a Baby was funny, but Trois Hommes et un Couffin was hilarious).

At the same time, non-Hollywood films offer a glimpse of life outside California or Manhattan. Studio bosses seem to believe Americans only respond to remakes boosted by home-grown, made-by-TV stars.

Second, the preference in the UK and US for subtitling over dubbing makes foreign language films much less accessible to a mass audience. In Europe dubbing is brilliantly done by specialist studios. True there's a strong artistic argument in favour of original soundtracks, but if the result of dubbing is wider distribution that could save the European film industry from extinction, it's worth the sacrifice.

Keith Jinks

Vienna, Austria

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