Lost in Translation

Online blog of life in Barcelona for a English guy making a life for himself out here and trying desperately to have a good time, become fluent in Spanish, and most of all - not be constantly mistaken for a tourist!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sniff up!

Saw a couple of films recently that I really enjoyed. The first was the new Bond movie Casino Royale. I’m not a big fan of Bond at all. I like the old Sean Connery and Roger Moore films, but once we got beyond that, I totally lost interest. I like Pierce Brosnan as an actor but I don’t understand what the fuss about how “great” he is in the Bond films. I find all of his films really tacky (too tacky even for 007) and the gadgets were just getting plain silly, not to mention the ridiculous accents on the villains. Robbie Coltrane doing Russian was a particular low point. Anyway, things have definitely improved with Daniel Craig and not only with him in the role, but also with the whole approach to the film. It’s far more real, less idiotic gadgets, and decent action that keeps you entertained. The fact that we see Bond get quite badly beaten up on a number of occasions, is far better than having him completely immaculate in his tuxedo after having just seen off half the North Korean army. Oh, sorry, it’s not North Korea, as they always “invent” a country in those Bond films. I reckon Austin Powers summed it up best when they used “Kraplakistan” (or whatever it was! Jeje). The finale of the film takes place in Venice, so I had my Italian friend (who was with me in the cinema) nudging me to say “Es mi pueblo!” with a tear in his eye! Bless! Jeje

The other film I saw over the weekend was Perfume. I had no idea was to expect from it, as I knew nothing of the book (which as usual, apparently the whole world has read… except me) and hadn’t heard any comments from friends about it. The only reason I went was because I was in the mood for a film and there was nothing else on that I fancied. The film is set in pre-revolutionary Paris and is a murder story with a difference. Very little (almost no) blood and guts (if you discount the fish market scenes at the start!) and lots and lots of atmosphere. It was filmed partly in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, along with country scenes which were filmed up in Girona (about an hour north of here). The basic outline is that an orphan is born with a heightened sense of smell and a growing obsession to be able to capture smells in any way he can as he grows older. The whole film had me glued to the screen, and I loved the narration. The scenes filmed in Barcelona are great, and although I haven’t been to Girona yet, I now really want to go! (I have a friend who lives there, so I can visit her and check the place out at the same time). The end of the film is just plain weird, and I wasn’t convinced that it really suited the rest of it. I won’t explain it here, but you’ll know what I mean when if you've seen it! Overall though, I definitely recommend it wholeheartedly, and I believe it’s out in the UK on Boxing day, so I might even go and see it again while I’m over there for Christmas.


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