13 November 2009

Le Concert

I've just come home from the cinéma.  We went to see Le Concert.  The film is in both Russian and French and I highly recommend seeing it if you have the chance.  While the film is a drama, there is quite a bit of comedy throughout.  We laughed and we cried.  It was beautifully done.  Here's a quick synopsis I found in English online:
The Concert was a big seller in pre-production at the Cannes market in 2008, and it’s easy to see why. The story is about a Russian conductor (Alexei Guskov) who is demoted to janitor under the Communists for his support of Jewish musicians. Years later, he intercepts an invitation for the Bolshoi Orchestra to play in Paris – and decides to accept, using the opportunity to reassemble his old orchestra, Buena Vista Social Club style, and finish the concert that was interrupted by the Communist authorities all those years before.
 Watching the film was quite the reading comprehension exercise for me!  Whenever the characters were speaking in Russian there were French subtitles . . . with proper grammar of course.  However, once the Russian characters began to speak (very broken) French, the subtitles were written exactly as it was said.  So the subtitles were then in very broken, very grammatically poor, French.  Now I understand what I sound like to everyone else!

It was  very fun to read and hear words that I've just learned this week . . . or to hear how French speakers phrase something differently than I've put together in my head (for example, when I ask someone what they are doing, I say Qu'est-ce que tu fais?  But in the film one of the characters said Tu fais quoi? (literally, You do what?)  So now, not only have I had an evening of fantastic, high quality entertainment, I've had a subconscious language lesson (And I think I've earned my metal for the week . . . watching a movie spoken mainly in Russian, reading it in French, and walking away having understood about 80% of what was going on . . . not bad for being in my third month.  Hmm.  I think the work is paying off).

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