Foreign Films

One of conversations we had with my parents was about the fact that they get most American movies in English with Spanish subtitling, unless they’re perceived as “children’s” films, in which case, there are Spanish-language versions (dubbed) with the occasional showing in English, which you can find if you read the movie schedule carefully. However, as I wrote a few days ago, the title of the films are often translated, and some of the translations can be quite perplexing.

This conversation returned as one of many subjects that came up during dinner last night, when Helen mentioned that it’s the same in Chinese, where often, the translated titles have no resemblance to the American version of the name.

That aside, I have a great fondness for foreign films, and while many are actually in English – like The Lover, which is one of my favorite movies ever, others come in two flavors, dubbed and subtitled. Almost always, I prefer the subtitled versions, because the voices never match the actors correctly, both in flavor and in synchronization, and that bothers me.

Favorite subtitled movies?
La Cage Aux Folles, the original one, of course.
Amalie, did anyone not love it?
Mostly Martha, a cooking film. I like cooking films.
Avenue Montaigne, I watched this a while ago, and now want to see it again.

Any suggestions?

Donate a Car, Change the World?

I have to admit, when I heard about a car donation organization that used the money to make children’s videos promoting good values, I was a little bit leery. I mean, yes, I attend church, but that doesn’t mean I agree with everything taught there.

But then I got deeper into reading about Car Angel / Boat Angel, and their organization Car Angel Ministries, and I found out they also reach out to the addicts and the homeless, as well as working toward prison reform – all the things street ministries and urban religious organizations should be concerned with – and that’s something I can support, at least in theory.

The Car Angel site is easy to navigate, and offers information about what sorts of vehicles they accept (cars, boats, motorcycles, and rv’s) as well as some of the projects they’re working on (adult literacy, outreach to children, drug prevention) and how you can get a copy of their anti-drug film “D.O.P.E.” for your organization.

The trailer for “D.O.P.E.” is below, courtesy of YouTube, but if you want to check out the free children’s videos they make, which are reminiscent of the claymation series with the kid and the dog that I remember watching as a child in New Jersey (and which, I’m told, are somewhat akin to Veggie Tales, but you all know I don’t do animation, so I wouldn’t know).

In any case, check out the trailer, and if you have an old car you want to donate in time to get it on this year’s tax return (you still have 24 hours or so), check out Car Angels.

Dream House?

The weekend before we left for Mexico, we attended a dinner party at which one of the hosts asked everyone, “If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?”

London and Hawaii were popular choices. I chose Paris, because I still want to spend a month there, writing. I will manage this before the year is out. It’s a promise to myself.

More recently, talking with my mother, I said I wanted to live on the beach, and teased that Fuzzy should get promoted a couple more times, so that we could afford such a thing. “Any more promotions,” he said, “will require us to live in Florida.”

“Oh,” I replied. “I don’t want to live on a beach there.”

My mother suggested we save our pennies and buy a second home somewhere coastal, which has me fantasizing: if I were to buy a vacation home, where would it be?

I wouldn’t mind living in Portland, OR, but it’s not on the beach, and rivers don’t do it for me. I love Half Moon Bay, CA, but it’s insanely expensive. Bolinas and Benicia, also in California, are favorite places, though Bolinas is a bit weird. And often smells funny. And I love love love the region around Tomales Bay – Pt. Reyes Station and Inverness – so much do I love that region, actually, that the town where my book opens is based on it.

But California is expensive, and I don’t really have ties there any more. So the search continues, with other dream locations including Ocean Grove, NJ, where we lived for a while when I was a child.

The thing is, I prefer cold, stormy beaches to just lying in the sand baking on hot ones, so warmth isn’t entirely an issue, though a temperate climate would be nice.

You may ask, “why not Mexico?”

My parents live there. I can visit any time. It’s not a place I really want to live.
But I really should visit more.