Sunday, May 22, 2011

More Travel Viewing

In flight viewing:
Long flights mean lots of strange viewing of movies and TV shows that you may never get a chance to see otherwise. I tried a French, Little House on the Prairie style TV show, and a Curb Your Enthusiasm-like show – BUT much less funny. And the following films:

Another Year – I never even finished this movie because the plane landed, but I wanted to finish it! I’m going to wait until it’s on Netflix instant play. Another Year is a Mike Leigh film, the director known for having his actors improvise the dialogue after months of studying the character. This film is about a British couple whose house is the center of the social life for friends and family, and they are some dysfunctional friends for sure, especially Mary played by Leslie Manville who is flighty and ridiculous and lonely. The movie is in four episodes – one in each season of the year. As I am writing about this I am even more curious to find out what happens in the last scene but worried after I read, “The last scene is quite devastating.” Yikes, what could that be about?

Inception – probably not the best film to watch on an airplane, especially when there are many distractions surrounding me, the food cart, the dude next to me buying duty free big bottles of alcohol etc. Anyway, I tried my best to figure out what Leonardo was doing as he was flying around different dimensions or what cute Ellen Page was doing as she was falling to the ground in slow motion in a smart white parka outfit. I know people say that the LOOVE this movie but I didn’t get it. It seemed like it had one trick that they kept replaying, but as I said, I was distracted.

Post Travel Viewing
My Life in Ruins – A friend from work recommended this movie --another romantic comedy from Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame. And since I just visited Greece and am in love with all things Greek (the Parthenon, feta cheese, tziki sauce, priests with high hats) she suggested My Life in Ruins. I really enjoyed the tourist element of this movie – it is obviously filmed right at the amazingly beautiful ancient ruins in Greece, and there were some funny moments in the film but the romance is a little dull. I definitely recommend it for those who just got back from Greece though. It was full of all the wonderful things I liked about Greece.

Tamera Drew
– British movie about a writer’s colony and the village surrounding it. Very underwhelming.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A High Wind in Jamaica/ A Travel Movie

When I travel, I like to go to the movies. I know some say, why go into a dark movie theater in another country – you may just as well be at home? But I think being at the movie theater in another country or state is a cultural experience. I remember being in Kingston, Jamaica and listening to the loud Jamaicans caterwauling throughout the film (of course, I can’t remember what movie it was). Or being in an outdoor theater in Germany with my sister in my Mom watching West Side Story dubbed in German – that was an unforgettable experience.

Lucky for me, I was just in Paris visiting my nephew who is studying there this year and of course I wanted to go to a movie. Nick, my nephew, has been enjoying some old classic American films this year which are surprisingly ubiquitous in Paris – the Parisians, I learned, love archetypal American movies, the more iconic the better: John Wayne, westerns etc. Nick and I found A High Wind in Jamaica at the La Filmoteque Quartier Latin. This film from 1965 (the year of my birth!) has Anthony Quinn as a pirate accidentally kidnapping a passel full of children – these children turn out to be bloodless heathens and the pirates end up being the dupes. It was entertaining but kinda hokey.

There were only a smattering of moviegoers at La Filmoteque Quartier Latin, a basement theater with the smell of thousands of movie goers, musty upholstered seats, and some other odor I couldn’t quite place. Nick said Parisians don’t eat and drink in the movies (How un-American!) – so we snuck in some French cookies, some petite buerres avec chocolate or some such thing – and sunk into the familiar yet different transporting world of being in a foreign movie theater – that’s my kind of travel!