lunes, 18 de febrero de 2008

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The French poster

Le Scaphandre et le papillon
(The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
Directed by Julian Schnabel
France and USA, 2007
In French with English subtitles

Watching this from the front row of the Coolidge Corner Theatre's 45-seat video screening room a few weeks back probably wasn't the ideal way to take in the thing, but boy did it heighten the film's sense of claustrophobia...biography of former Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby's journey from speechless stroke victim to best-selling memoirist--painfully "dictating" sentences with a blink of the eye whenever his assistant lands on the appropriate letter of the alphabet--alternates the suffocating point of view of a man literally trapped in his own body with gorgeous visuals suggesting the victory of imagination over physical decrepitude...not sure how this emotionally murky memento mori will transfer to DVD, but for now this is one art house smash that deserves all its downer accolades.

4 comentarios:

  1. I did not see that one either. I must confess I rely entirely on my wife's decision when it comes to choosing a movie...to such an extent that very often I have strictly no idea what kind of movie I am going to see till the light gets off...No to mention the movie titles which generally I am striclty unable to remember...

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  2. Joan,

    Please have your wife send me some movie recommendations then! I have about 10 new French DVDs that I'm waiting to see, but you can never have enough of these things! On a more serious note, I wonder if you could tell me if any of the films (foreign or domestic) that play in Tolosa are available with either subtitles or dubbing in the regional languages or just in French?

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  3. They are all in French except, as far as I remember, one l'orsalhièr which was rather a documentary. The orsalhièrs (bear tamers) were these people from the Ariege department (Pyrenee mountains, south of toulouse) who made a (hard and poor) living on exhibiting brown bears (ors, generally pronouced oos) from the Pyrenee mountains. They eventually migrated to NY city and founded a community over there, without their bears, though (rather restaurant keepers).

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  4. Thanks for the info, Joan. You are like a one-man Wikipedia on these things!

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