Thursday, November 24, 2005

Yay for take-home exams!

My film teacher asked us to write an interpretive essay on Francois Truffaut's "Tirez sur le pianiste" (Eng. title: "Shoot the Piano Player") by the first week of January. I'm all too glad to be doing it. Immediately, I went and got "Jules et Jim" to better acquaint myself with French New Wave cinema (next week's screening, I believe, will be Jacques Tati's "Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot"). So far, so good. These movies feel indiscreetly modern, you can feel the seismic shift in celluloid sensibilities. The kinesis, the adaptibility, the visual puns: the movies feel right if only for their artistic accessibility.

Now about the language spoken in the movie. What is it about that frustrating Parisian patter that drives me nuts? I couldn't make out basic salutations during the film! Mush, everything was mush! (Somewhere out there, Fat Albert's Hey, Hey, Hey-ing in his junkyard grave.) And worse, I can't understand Quebecer French either! It's all quack quack here, and yak yak there, here a fromage, there a dommage, everything sounds crap crap. My ear is perma-tuned to only two frequencies: Euro-version and broken immigrant. There's just no room for anything else.

***

Came back from watching "Paradise Lost". I don't know if there can ever be a fair portrayal of would-be Palestinian suicide bombers, but this was damn close (not that I'd know, of course). The conscientious treatment was commendable considering the controversial subject matter. It was critical without being preachy; sympathetic, not pitying. The chugga-chugga current of tension held strong until the end, which, depending on your perspective, was both highly climatic and anticlimatic. It wasn't ambiguous, but from an aesthetic standpoint, it sort of ... was. I don't know! But I do!

Movie. Good. Go see.

***

"And you are?"

He shot me a "Don't do this to me, you know me and you know it" look.

Repartee over, hand shaken and stirred, this candied yam glanced over at his grinning friend before turning back his attention to me as I walked away.

"I'm Stephano," he called out.

I stopped mid-stride: "Of course you are. [beat] You're infamous."

Stephano. Ha! It's S-T-E-V-E. You're French-Canadian, maple syrup veins. Get over it: Everyone knows about your flagrant non sequitur.

But it damn sure don't undermine them cheekbones. Ryan-Phillipe-naked say what?

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