Thursday, December 30, 2010

Imperfection celebration


A couple of weeks ago I was hankering after a foreign movie. Periodically I crave hearing languages other than English. I like to think this is because my ninth house is, as my astrologer put it, "loaded with planets." Poor astrology chart - I've barely skipped into Canada and Mexico, much less done any serious traveling. Still, from time to time I have to travel via the comfort of my own home and Netflix to places I've never been. And so recently I was in this mood and the description of a film from Singapore caught my eye: "This poetic film weaves together three stories of human connection with a minimalist flair."

Poetic and connection seemed good, but unfortunately I soon realized that there is practically no talking in this movie. And that English is one of the major languages in Singapore - news to me. Plus the main character of one story line is deaf and blind and much of that story appears only in subtitles with no talking and much of another story line takes place through phone texting. A good movie, with its own aesthetic, but sadly it wasn't filling my auditory needs. I found myself asleep about halfway through, shut it off, and finished my nap.

Fast forward to this weekend. I hate leaving things unfinished and this film had great reviews, so I decided to give it another try. Before I started it up, I quickly checked my iGoogle page that I'd just set up with my email accounts, Google Reader, even Pandora and a timer to help keep me focused when I'm online.

With that done, I started up the movie and settled into the quiet, slow pace, connecting much more with the characters, especially the deaf and blind woman. I hardly noticed when after about twenty minutes or so there was a shift in the tone of the movie. As one of the characters started connecting more with the outside world after the death of his wife, a lovely song started playing. The whole affect of the movie changed and it seemed a bold move, but an excellent one. I started to really like this movie, to plan ahead how I was going to give it five stars, recommend it here, etc. I watched the whole rest of the movie, probably about half an hour, really relishing the connection of the action of the movie with this great soundtrack.

It wasn't until the closing credits were rolling and I heard "This is Jewel. If you like this song, click here to vote for it," that it occurred to me that anything was amiss. Slowly it dawned on me what might have happened and I clicked over to my iGoogle page. Sure enough, part of the way through the movie the page had refreshed and Pandora had started up again. So much for a bold cinematic statement!