Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas Break, Day 10

I sat down with 8 1/2 again to finish it. The movie is so bewildering until it finally starts to pull itself together and Fellini's genius is staring you in the face. Then as I was doing some dishes, I put it on again with the commentary track and learned a whole lot, like I already knew that Fellini would choose his actors for their looks, then have them say their lines in their own language, and dub in their voices later in Italian, but this commentary track pointed out that the studios at Cinecittà were built before sound movies and were therefore not soundproof, and so this voice dubbing thing was actually quite pragmatic. It is also why even the Italian actors' voices don't really seem to be coming from them all of the time, why, for example, Mastroiani's voice often seems so much larger than it should be, even though they matched the words to his lips pretty well. Anyway the film is delicious and worth watching so many times. And listening to the commentary, I realized that I had understood and followed along watching it just in Italian without subtitles just fine, even though it was confusing enough that I worried that I had missed something at the beginning. I know that in all reality, I really do understand Italian, but I look at watching a movie without subtitles as a proof and a test, and that always makes me a little nervous, like failure is immenent, and like I will suddenly lose it and be pulled back to the world of speaking only English.
I went to lunch with Katie--we just met at the food court of a mall, because niether of us would decide what we felt like eating--then we walked around the mall and shopped and chatted for a while. We went into this store that specializes in really garish things for pre-teen and teenage girls--rugs and pillows and handbags and the such, all with lots of fucsia feathers and sequins. They had a cool pillow, though, a Tootsie Pop, with a stick--I imagined myself bopping my students on their heads with it to keep them in line, the fantasy soon ended when I realized that their reactions in this situation would amount to pure chaos, and that eventually they would steal the pillow from me and bop each other, and possibly with the stick, not the pillow end. That wouldn't have ended well.
After that, I went to a karaoke party. Actually, when I got there, they were watching Napoleon Dynamite, which makes me laugh a lot, especially since Dad's from Preston, and it shows the spirit of the town well even if the film portrays everything stuck a little too much in the 80's. I have to say that the movie loses a lot on the small screen, because part of what makes it great is Napoleon's dance at the end, and a big part of that is him being blown up larger than life on a movie screen. At any rate, the party moved forward to karaoke, which proved quickly that there were really only two people at the party who could sing, (I was definitely among the non-singers) but we all had fun anyway.

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