Saturday, May 24, 2008

Me and the (Swiss) Boys, Part II

This continues my night out with the Swiss film club.

After the meal we walked a few blocks to the cinema. It was surprisingly large for a Swiss theater and the kind of place that makes you feel guilty for actually buying popcorn as the floor was cleaner than my own so I had no qualms about setting my purse under my seat. (Something I would never do in a US theater as I would probably have to put up a fight to retrieve it from the sticky floor afterwards).

The movie (Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull thing) was in English with German and French subtitles. I mainly ignored them, pleased to be able to understand something for once in this crazy country. I did check the subtitles for words like “insanity” (Wahnsinn) and “stupid” (Dumm) to make sure their meanings were cemented in my head, as these kinds of words are always the most useful in a strange place.

The other thing I focused on was my laugh. Because usually it was alone in its glory. I laughed when the kid Mutt said, “My mother’s going to have a cow,” because I haven’t heard that phrase since high school. But apparently they don't say that in Switzerland, although they should really learn it as it would be most appropriate.

They say people feed off each other’s reactions when watching movies together, but this clearly is not the case, at least in Switzerland as no other Swiss felt like following my laugh at such things as a joke about Sears Roebuck and company. But hey, solo laughing in a theater is part of the experience.

I was thrown off by the intermission, which is not strategically placed at any certain point in the story, just when the reel runs out, so in the middle of a battle scene, suddenly the lights come on, which is jarring no matter if you expect an intermission or not.

Overall, I felt the movie lacked an emotional connection, but my Swiss friend was in love from the beginning since it brought him back to being 16 again, and for that reason alone, it was worth the viewing. The effects were fun, and the first half was entertaining enough, but it really fell apart after the intermission. Suddenly skeletons were turning to aliens and poor Dr. Jones went through two hours of battling the evil Soviets and termites to discover nothing but knowledge. What a disappointment. Who wants knowledge when you can conquer a kingdom or something? Oh well. It was a fun evening out anyhow.

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