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Foreign Films

Last night, pirateguillermo and I watched a beautiful Chinese movie called Together. The story is pretty simple. A poor father from a small town brings his violin prodigy son to the big city, sacrificing everything to give his son a chance at fame and success. He gets the boy an eccentric teacher (Wang Zhiwen, the Chinese Johnny Depp) who lives alone after having lost his college sweetheart. The father takes a series of menial jobs to afford rent and lessons. The boy meets a beautiful and sophisticated young woman who takes him under her wing, introducing him to the big city. The woman has a lover who takes her money and plays around, breaking her heart. The ending of the movie is predictable and logical, but no less sweet and lovely.

If this had been a Persian film, the boy would have lost his violin and the father would have sacrificed everything he had, traveling miles on foot and selling his most prized possession to buy it back, only to drop it under the wheels of a moving bus while bringing it to the boy. At least once he would walk past a blue pond of orange fish.

If this had been an American film, the boy would have gone to the international competition and, in the middle of his difficult solo, the father would have appeared in the audience, inspiring the boy to even greater heights of artistry and winning both acclaim and his father's love.

If this had been a French film the plot would have been exactly the same, but the film would have been in black and white and there would have been at least one graphic sex scene involving the 13-year-old boy.

If this had been an Italian film, the boy would have lost his violin the minute they got to the city, they would have lost all the money they'd brought, everyone they met would try to cheat them or at least yell at them, and the father would be arrested at the end of the film. And it would be hailed as a masterpiece and a brilliant insight on the human condition.

I highly recommend it. Really.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 8th, 2005 04:22 pm (UTC)
For some reason I was completely taken with a Hong Kong film called Rouge. There are many things about it that are not perfect (and that's only the movie - the DVD transfer is not great, and the subtitles are at times atrocious), but I was utterly enraptured by it.
Jun. 8th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
I love your "If this had been an XXX film" scenarios. Wonderful, as always.
Jun. 8th, 2005 08:32 pm (UTC)
Wait. If this had been an XXX film, I'm pretty sure the boy wouldn't have been a *violin* prodigy...

- Ian
Jun. 8th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC)
It occurs to me that if it had been an American film, it would have been about some stupid sport, like baseball or basketball, instead of music. And there would have been at least one car chase.

And if it'd been a Swedish film, it'd have been daylight all the time and there'd only be 3 words spoken per minute of film.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )