Crossing Borders: Investigating the International Appeal of European Films
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Jones investigates the international appeal of European films. He argues that most European films are unpopular outside their country of origin because they are low-budget productions with culturally specific or controversial stories than only appeal to niche audiences. Nevertheless, drawing on industry data, focus group interviews and textual analysis, he demonstrates that some European films do successfully travel within Europe because they possess certain characteristics. These include major film awards, the involvement of international stars and/or a critically acclaimed ‘auteur’ director, and pre-sold material (e.g. based on a bestselling book). He also uses a case study, that of French comedy drama Untouchable (Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano 2011), to show that even European films without these characteristics can still sometimes appeal to international audiences if they are shrewdly marketed and tap into wider social concerns.
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