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Art house lives

Art house films - wordy, sexy, foreign - are increasingly marginal to British cultural life.

By Mark Le Fanu   November 2000

There seems to be a general consensus that films aren’t as good as they used to be. What films? The films that we used to call “art house films.” Such films were different from ordinary Hollywood entertainment. For a start, they were in a foreign language, usually French or Italian, but also of more exotic provenance: Russian or Japanese or Brazilian. They were slow, they were “talky,” they dealt with psychological nuances-that was their whole subject matter-and while they were serious they were also, often enough, sexy. Conversations in an early Rohmer film such as Ma nuit chez Maud (1969)…

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