Ronald Bergan is spot on in his article in the Guardian about schools needing to educate students on world cinema but is dead wrong to use two of the best films to come out of contemporary Hollywood as poor examples of cinema today.
You can not say one film is “better” than another. That’s personal opinion. I studied European film at film school in London and while nothing excites me more than watching French New Wave for the feeling of artistic superiority it briefly gives me (joke), Hollywood at its best is also something to be treasured and adored. There is a lot of crap that comes out of Hollywood but that is because they have the luxury of mass production. When Pulp Fiction came out, I wanted to dismiss it as some overrated film for boys. But what makes this film great is the fact that is has stood the test of time and stands up as an example of intelligent filmmaking. Shawshank Redemption is a great story cast with a couple of great lead performances. It too stands the test of time. You will notice that both films rely on great dialogue and strong characters. These films have as much validity to be studied at school as any French film of 1960’s. I would not have said this when these films were released. Surely the proof of a great movie is the shelf life of that movie. I just find it odd that the author picks two of Hollywood’s greatest movies as a bad example of Hollywood. Does this author know anything about contemporary film or does his knowledge stop at 1977? Why not pick something truly crap to come out Hollywood. There’s plenty to choose from and all are mostly forgotten despite relative success upon release.