Friday, February 23, 2007

La Ultima Rey de Escocia

Since the Oscars are on Sunday, I've had movies on my mind - thus the theme of today's post.

Last Saturday night, Matt and I went to see The Last King of Scotland, or La Ultima Rey de Escocia. (Forrest Whitaker's performance is spellbinding, if you haven't seen it.) The film was in English with Spanish subtitles, which was perfect for me. I could understand it AND learn a few palabras de Espanol (words of Spanish) at the same time. Here's a photo of people waiting in line to buy tickets at the Recoleta Village Multiplex, which has 14 screens.

We discovered a couple of interesting things about moviegoing here.

1) Seats are assigned at the time you buy your tickets. They show you a chart and inform you what's still available - then you make your selection. We really liked this because it allows you to go early and then return to the theater just as the movie starts without having to worry about being stuck in the front row. It's kind of like the ArcLight in LA, except you pick the seats.

2) Many movie titles just don't translate, and very few are the exact same as they would be in the US. (An example of the rare non-translated movie title is Borat.) But others, such as A Prairie Home Companion for example, are too idiomatic to translate. So they rename them, sometimes with amusing results. A Prairie Home Companion becomes Noches Magicas de Radio (Magic Nights on the Radio)...and Flushed Away becomes Lo Que El Agua Se Llevo (which I think means something like What The Water Carried Away). Feel free to correct me anyone!

3) Unlike Nicaragua, movies arrive in Argentina not too long after their US debuts - around one to two months later on average. For example, here's a sampling of what's currently playing in town: Dreamgirls, Blood Diamond, Apocalypto, Babel, Charlotte's Web, A Night at the Museum, Letters from Iwo Jima, The Holiday, and Perfume. I would say only about 10% of the movies showing are non-American films made in Latin America. Clearly, Hollywood dominates.

4) Most Hollywood films are shown in English with Spanish subtitles. Thus, it's easy for non-Spanish speakers to go to the movies here. The only problem is when a film or parts of a film are in a language other than English. An example would be Apocalypto, which is in a native language. Thus I wouldn't be able to see it here in Argentina because the subtitles would be in Spanish, not English. We also decided against seeing Babel here as parts of it are in Japanese apparently.


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