- About: British Chinese poet, writer and broadcaster Anna Chen
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- RSC The Orphan of Zhao controversy
- A Bad Case of the Trots
- Reaching for my Gnu: poetry
- Print Room protest: In the Depths of Dead Love chronology
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- Yellow Peril Orientalism
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Me and subtitled movies
Passive? Dumbed-down? Moi? I was pulled up short yesterday, when I realised my viewing life is jam-packed with Big Brother, its offshoots, and high-end/high-concept DVD drama sets (American). The last movie I saw at a cinema was a CGI cartoon - Beowulf. Ooh, dragons. The last subtitled film I saw and enjoyed immensely, without major martial arts stuff happening, was the the amazing Pan's Labyrinth directed by Guillermo Del Toro. And before that, a massive span of ten years since I saw the wonderful Ridicule which has a high old time dissing English "humour" and showing us how period drama should be made.
A new friend, let's call him "Babe", attempting to save my immortal soul from my cultural nose-dive along with the rest of the nation, presented me with a DVD of Celine and Julie Go Boating, a French film made in 1974 and directed by Jaques Rivette - in French! I mean, it's not in English or even American. I bet no-one gets shot or says "fuck" and "shit" every thirty seconds. Just the occasional "merde" which sounds so much classier - I suppose that's why our ancestors chose Anglo-Saxon, 'cause we rough types at the edge of the continent needed the catharsis and Romance is too romantic.
At three and a half hours, it's a terrifying ordeal for a girl like I to contemplate. The last marathon viewing I did was the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. And my mind even wandered with that. (Although I challenge anyone to follow the convolutions of the third movie. And if they did, kindly post bullet points here.)
But I've looked it up (on the net, natch!) and I see it's influenced Desperately Seeking Susan, and I reckon I can spot a bit of Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures in there, possibly the best female folie a deux movie evah!
So fellow culture-vulture Louise and I are planning an afternoon and evening (three and a half hours - remember?) of Celine and Julie.
As it's a lo-o-o-ong movie, I reckon it'll require an early start, and plenty provisions - it's gonna be a lengthy ride. It'll probably go like this:
Convene 1pm - have something to eat. Then movie.
1.45pm - something to eat to accompany the movie.
2.30pm - something to eat. Possibly Sara Lee cheesecake eaten straight from the freezer to allay subtitle anxiety. More movie.
3.15pm - we'll be feeling a bit peckish so something to eat plus film. Break open the crisps for a snack - must keep blood sugar up. Need fat to stay warm.
3.50pm - my eyes will be getting tired from reading the subtitles so some chocolate to freshen them up.
4.30pm - well, that's coming up for teatime, innit? Something to munch and watch the movie. Maybe cakes. People before profiteroles!
With breaks and reveries and checking up on the blogs we'll be hitting the halfway mark about now, so a little more refreshment and more movie.
By the end we'll be wanting dinner so we'll need a meal of some description. Perhaps a light roast. (Not in the Scottish politician/English footballer sense, I hasten to add.) And a bit later something hot to keep Louise warm for the journey home. My mother used to heat a brick in the oven and shove it in a sack when I had to go out into the cold and horrid. So we can do that.
All in all, I'm expecting a fab day's entertainment.