Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Waltz With Bashir

Waltz With Bashir is a disturbing look at the Israeli-Lebanese War. It is told from the point of view of a veteran of the war trying to recount the memories of his days as a young soldier. The main character seems at the beginning to have lost his memories and meets with his old comrades and other soldiers who were involved in the war to reconstruct his memory and figure out if his memory of the massacre at the camps in Beirut is real or not.

This film uses a style of animation that is quite peculiar, not to the extent of A Scanner Darkly but getting there. I think the decision to use this animation was a good one, it gives a versatility which just wouldn’t be possible with live action, and means the film doesn’t have to be about crazy visual effects and stunts, which would ultimately detract from the horrifying message of the film.

It’s an eye-opener, I was born in 1988 and the war was in 1982, so I had no prior knowledge of the war. It shows the complete and utter disorganisation of the armies; 19 year-old un-tested soldiers put in charge of a tank and just firing aimlessly into the night; officers disjointed from the horror of the death and destruction they leave behind, and a complete absence of respect for the enemy’s life and property.

But while the officers showed a complete lack of regard for the people around them, the main character and his comrades show an extraordinary amount of empathy and care for their fellow soldiers and a crushing amount of responsibility for what they did in the war even though they were under the orders of officers and did not fully understand why they were doing what they were doing.

At numerous points in the film I was horrified to the point of endless cringing. The veteran’s old comrades have some fantastic tales, and the artwork brings some beauty to a very ugly point in human history. Some people really dislike seeing films that challenge them, and point out horrors, but I think it is important to see these films, and to challenge ourselves, and to face up to the ugly truths of our past. Even more important is to remember those who needlessly died for the sake of—from what I can tell from the film—religion.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Lost in Translation

According to my brother's tumbleblog ( http://tomscrace.tumblr.com/ ) it is some famous French guy's 188th birthday (yes obviously he's dead, it's just a celebration of his birthday). It just so happens that at work today I was working with a colleague called Yann who is from France. It was a slow day at the cinema so we found other ways to occupy ourselves as usual. Today's activity was a clever game invloving taking film titles, translating them into French, and by the clever use of French Homonyms, making it so that if translated back literally into English, we could have a rude title. I have a fairly good knowledge of French considering I have no qualitifcation in the language, so that made it fun. So in a tribute to this famous French guy here are the titles we came up with. Oh and I can't be bothered inserting all the accents so please excuse the inaccuracy of some of the titles.

Race to Witch Mountain becomes La Course a La Montagne, which I am reliably informed by Yann can be translated to The Big Fat Witch Race.

The Boat that Rocked becomes Le Bateau qui Demenage, which can be translated to mean The Boat that Moved Out, Ok that one isn't very rude or funny but still good homonym work by Yann.

Terminator Salvation was an especially good one, Salvation in French is Salut but as many readers may know, Salut also mean's "Hi". This opens up a whole cornucopia of fun translations. Le Salut Du Terminator can translate to The Terminator's Salute or my favourite Hi! Terminator.

Drangonball Evolution is probably the best and sounds like it should be a Jack Black film after translation. L'Evolution Des Couilles Du Dragon, translates to The Evolution of the Dragon's Balls, and yes I mean testicles.

Actually I've changed my mind, this next one is the best, G.I.Joe, Rise of Cobra, translates to La Montee Du Cobra which translates back, quite awesomely into The Cobra's Jizz Explosion. We were playing around with The Cobra's Hard On but decided Jizz Explosion was funnier, yes we're quite immature on occasion.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the fallen becomes La Revanche Des Dechets, which excellently means Revenge of the Garbage.

X-Men Origins Wolverine, translates to Les Origines Des Hommes Du X, which translates back to The Original Porn Guys.

Fast and Furious - Rapide Furieux - Furious Rapids.

17 Again - 17 ans Encore - 17 More Years.

Ice Age - L'age de la Glace - The Age of the Ice Cream.

It helps that Yann has a similar sense of humour to me and could figure out what would work because of his extensive knowledge of French rude colloquialisms. This was lots of fun, hope you enjoy it, leave a comment with your own clever film title re-translated.