films not about here

The Netflix movies I've been watching lately are mostly French: Enter the Void (well, South American French), Irma Vep, Pierrot Le Fou, Mon Uncle, Playtime, Mr. Hulot's Holiday, La Jetee, Masters of Time, Fantastic Planet...

So much self-reflection and paradox: worlds within worlds, movies about making movies...

Those Tati films, in particular, can be watched over and over. The restaurant scene in Playtime is some of the most perfectly organized chaos ever filmed.

But it must be added that the Netflix diet also includes copious Japanese monster movies: Son of Godzilla, Mothra, Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster, War of the Gargantuas (with Russ Tamblyn!).
Here are tragedy, scale, naked displays of emotion, and relentless corny humor.

The common thread in these extremes is a sense of beauty and style. America does unidimensional, ugly, redneck vulgarity very well (our Internet Art is steeped in it) but it gets old.