Re: Controversial (but true) film opinions
I am hesitant to make general claims about the movies of entire countries or continents, but I'd probably agree with your Europe vs. America thing - although movies like Sunset Blvd. and North By Northwest and All That Heaven Allows suggest to me that those directors were influenced by America as much as they influenced American cinema. I have minimal ability to comment on Japanese cinema.
I couldn't sit through Thief, so I'm inclined to agree there.
Do you mean It's Such A Beautiful Day, the Don Hertzfeldt thing? I've been meaning to see that too.