Today, another migraine was upon me. Instead of blaming everything I ate last weekend, I’m going to blame French subtitles.
One fun experience I had planned for this month was to watch an American-made movie dubbed in French. Because I’m intrigued by the idea of a French Jack Sparrow, I chose Pirates of the Caribbean. To heighten the experience, I also chose French subtitles. As it turns out, the dubbing doesn’t completely match the subtitles word-for-word. I’m only a little disappointed; subs and dubs shared the same idea behind the dialogue, and the same nouns were used within both. I’ve seen POTC a few times, but not recently enough to remember most dialogue or the sequence of scenes. Despite my awful vocabulary, I was able to understand what was going on.
I remembered the following random quotes from the original:
Elizabeth: I can’t breathe. (falls off the balcony)
Jack: Easy with the goods, love.
Will: My blood.
I have no idea whether Jack is funny en français, but the physical comedy is still good. All of the actors in this film who have speaking roles are still quite good. I can’t say so much for the extras. Watching POTC in a foreign language certainly separates the talented from the cheap. I made it one hour in before my brain began to melt. I likely won’t watch this again in French, but the nostalgia trip was fantastic.
Speaking of nostalgia, I finally got to rewatch Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin)! This movie/film is terribly sentimental to me, and I had no idea how much until I experienced it again after leaving behind high school German class living with its fleeting memories. I’d remembered how the story followed angels who listened to people’s thoughts, and how one angel fell in love. I remembered the circus, the black and white filming, and the wings of the Siegessäule. If the following trailer tickles your fancy the slightest bit, please find it and watch it.
With some movies I’ve seen this month, I’ve watched them in chunks, at night, just before going to bed. It took me four days to see Wings of Desire. With some movies, the mood is gone when I return the following night. Watching this one, however, for even ten minutes gives one a sublime sense of peace. It makes one almost feel pure. The scene at the library is, by far, my favorite. The choral music best describes what I, or perhaps any book-lover, experiences at a library. After having studied dance, the character Marion’s efforts are dear to my heart. The best part of all, besides Damiel’s real-life experience, is seeing Cassiel close his eyes and rest is head on a human’s shoulders.
Something odd happened halfway through watching. I realized I’d begun to write down intriguing quotes, just as the angels were writing about the humans. When Damiel finished, it was the biggest déjà vu moment of my life. I’d written the same quote, somewhere, in my notebook in high school after seeing this movie for the first time.
Ich weiss jetzt,
Was kein Engel weiss.
I remembered exactly the pacing with which he said it. I remembered repeating the phrase in my mind after writing it. I remember physically writing it! It’s an understatement to say Der Himmel über Berlin is a part of me. This isn’t just a movie. It’s a film. A documentary. A visual journal. A single stream of many lives. I could go on!
To help me hone in on this point for you, here is a publication of articles (in .pdf) about Point of View within this film. Don’t be jarred by the scholarly print; it’s a good read.
Is this challenge over yet? I’m spent. On the 16th, I’ll return for the conclusion of this challenge.