Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

At the flicks - again

I go to the flicks as often as I can. As with everything else I write in this blog I've mentioned it before. My life just isn't exciting enough to sustain a flow of new adventures.

All films at the cinema are dubbed into Spanish. I've discussed this several times with Spanish chums and students. They try to argue that the Spanish versions are as good - better for them. They're wrong. Changing the language just mashes up the film. Nonetheless I still love going to the pictures.

How much of the film I understand is down to chance. I never catch all the nuances or get all the puns and subtleties but it's rare for me to be completely lost. It does happen from time to time and when it does I come out of the film disappointed and angry in equal measure. The easiest films to understand are British ones followed by other European fare. Hollywood films are usually relatively straightforward but action films are an exception. I miss the vital links amongst the explosions and CGI. Spanish language films are the hardest because they are loaded with idioms. I saw one called El Niño yesterday and I was well lost.

In Pinoso there is a group called something like the Platform Against Gender Violence. Amongst their activities they often show films in the local cultural centre. There was one tonight  - a 2005 French Canadian film called Crazy.

Now around these parts as well as the language we Brits call Spanish there is a regional language called Valencian. To differentiate we use the term Castilian for the standard Spanish and Valenciano for the local one though I think it's actually Valencià in Valencian - if you see what I mean. The posters for the film were in Valenciano.

Being an event the local press were there to take some snaps. The photographer is a chum from our village, someone who recently helped me to arrange a language exchange with one of her friends. She came over to ask me how it was going. I stuttered and spluttered in barely comprehensible Castilian. It just compounded the trouble I'd had when we went on a bodega tour earlier today. It did not bode well for another adventure with the language. 

Being an arty sort of film there was an intro from one of the group members. It was in Valenciano. I crossed my fingers that the dubbing would be Castilian. It was. It would have been very difficult to get up and walk out as we were a very select group. It didn't help though. I understood next to nothing. 

Not knowing what was going on the film seemed to drag on and on. I was very relieved when the gay son reconciled with his dad and the credits started to roll. But nobody moved. We had to critique the film. Blow me if that wasn't in Valenciano too.

It won't stop me though. If there's another one, and I can go, I'll be there.

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