Thursday, August 7, 2014

La fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain (2001)

"La Dispute" by Yann Tiersen is a piano piece I'm learning to play along with Cold Play's "The Scientist" and Meredith Wilson's "Till There Was You". "La Dispute" is supposedly easy to play, but it proves to be a stretching exercise for my patience and my perseverance, and the limits of the music learning part of my brain and of my fingers. 

I wanted to learn how to play it because it's such a beautiful piece. Playful, nostalgic (like remembering good memories), and quite happy. So far, I can play up to the 26th measure. Still working on the rest of the piece.

On movie night, we ended up watching La Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain partly so I could understand the context of the music. Although it's in French, there were English subtitles. I'm sure the French speakers wouldn't want to act as translators throughout the viewing.

The film is about Amelie, a woman raised by socially awkward parents and who decided that her destiny was to help people. She's a hilarious character. She took revenge on a neighbor who had fooled her into believing that her camera caused accidents by disconnecting the neighbors antenna from the telly during crucial times of a football match. She fought for the greengrocer's assistant by breaking and entering the greengrocer's apartment and messing with his toothpaste, slippers, and clock. She assisted a blind man cross the road, describing to him what they were passing by. She asked the help of an air hostess to take photos of her father's gnome statue as the air hostess made stops all over the world to encourage her father to go on an adventure. She made complicated schemes to help the people around her and make them happy... it was a remarkable trait! And finally, it was her turn to be happy when she met a man who collected photos from an instant photo booth.

The sense of humor is definitely different from comedies I've watched before. There is, indeed, an element of slapstick in the movie but somehow, it's a bit more subdued... or maybe it's because the movie wants to emphasize on the introvert nature of Amelie and her sneaky ways of helping others. The movie also appeared to focus on social awkwardness and capitalized on it for comedic purposes, reminding me of Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge somehow.

A good way to ease me into French films, I think.