Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pop Culture Class: Better Than Politics, Not As Good As Actually Watching A Whole Movie

This morning, I dragged my tuchus out of bed to get to my Pop Culture & Cultural Studies class. This wasn't really that difficult, to be honest. Promise me a Swedish film and I'll be there. And I got even more than one film--I got five. Well, parts of five.  I present their chronology, written under the guise of "notes":

  • We begin with The Emigrants. Or, på svenska, Utvandrarna. Based on Vilhelm Moberg's book that I am probably too excited to begin reading. 
  • Man and woman are eating bread. Cut to ox. Back to people. They're moving a big rock. This is not a good plan. 
  • Yep. Man gets pinned under rock. Told you it wasn't a good plan.
  • Someone else is chopping wood. 
  • Interior dialogue. Most likely exposition. However, it's in Swedish, so who knows.
  • Blonde lawn nymph is swinging. I deduce she is Kristina, our heroine. 
  • Kristina ages. Or something. 
  • Pigs get fed. Cows get milked. Kristina makes a big deal of adjusting her skirt before getting off another swing to assist in the chores. I assume this is a subtle sign that she is pregnant. 
  • Somewhere else, a blond man I'll call John-Boy is holding a cat. Cat is angry. Cat knows he's a warlock and must alert the Charmed Ones...whoops, wrong genre. And decade. And country.
  • Soon after, the cat gets thrown into the river in a sack. WTF, John-Boy? To his credit, he is very upset. But so's the cat, so no one wins. 
  • Kristina and John-Boy discuss something important. EVERYBODY BE QUIET, I CAN'T HEAR THE DIALOGUE. 
  • "Now we jump forward to the end," says our professor. WHAT? Don't do this to me. Fast-forwarding movies is something I take great displeasure in witnessing. 
  • Dialogue is explained. John-Boy and Kristina are going to America.
  • Swedes worry about seasickness. Guys, you're going to a whole new country with a language you do not speak. Seasickness should be the least of your worries. 
  • The America-bound Swedes miss the boat. BUT WAIT! It's going to turn around for them! 
  • Yep. There's an establishing shot of something that's supposed to be the hull of a ship. 
  • Swedes attempt English. I think they're trying to say werewolf. 
  • More fast-forwarding. We are FLYING through this. 
  • Someone died.
  • Boat is moored. Hello, New York! Kristina is unimpressed. 
  • "Now they are on a train." STOP FAST-FORWARDING. 
  • "And they go to California." WHAT HAPPENED TO MINNESOTA? 
  • End of film, apparently.
  • Meanwhile, Lisbeth Salander just walked by outside.
  • Start of next film, As It Is In Heaven (Swedish Så som i himmelen). Good! I have wanted to see this. Plus, it has subtitles. And Helen Sjöholm.
  • However, the subtitles cannot be selected on this DVD player. 
  • We take a break so the technology can be arranged. I eat a cough drop for fun.
  • Begin film. 
  • This is good. However, we started at the middle of the beginning and I don't know what Michael Douglas's problem is. (He's not Michael Douglas. But he could be.) 
  • This is like a depressing Sister Act. I should share this observation.
  • No I shouldn't.
  • If you fast-forward through the choir parts, I will KILL YOU.
  • Yep, things just happened.
  • "And they have a party; you understand." KNOCK IT OFF. 
  • I am buying this movie on DVD so I can watch it how I want. 
  • But good news, we got to listen to all of Helen's song. Twice.
  • Next up: Docking the Boat (Swedish:  Att angöra en brygg). Our subtitle options are Svenska and Norsk. I don't think we'll be indulging.
  • "They didn't talk so much" actually is a valid reasoning for not using subtitles. 
  • HA, I just answered a question like a champ! 
  • Okay, there's a black and white part that will be important for a part we probably won't watch. Then there's glorious sixties color! 
  • This film is about people trying to dock a boat. And other stuff. But mainly the docking...or lack thereof.
  • Next film: The Seventh Seal.  
  • "Here we can read that I do not have the right to show you this picture in the classroom."
  • The DVD is skipping. Uh-oh.
  • Middle Ages. Beach. Angel of Death and guy from The Emigrants (John-Boy?) chat and play chess. 
  • That's all we get of that, apparently.
  • Next: A Swedish Love Story (Swedish:  En kärlekshistoria). According to the credits, someone's last name  is Engkvist. This is how people have spelled my last name here. Okay. Makes sense.
  • Flowers, park. It's Eva's birthday. A doberman can't handle all the excitement.
  • The children are smoking. BAMFs.
Soon after that, we adjourned. Let me tell you, it was a rich full day of culture. 

No comments:

Post a Comment