Friday, November 03, 2006

He bought the neighborhood deli

We went to a double feature of Amelie and The City of Lost Children at the Aero Theater. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who with the possible exception of Terry Gilliam is the greatest film director alive, was there to answer questions at the intermission! How great is that?

Jeunet's English is pretty good, but he also had an interpreter there to help with difficult expressions.

Ideally one would prefer to be one of the people engaging Jeunet in some witty conversation in French, rather than being one of the cretins just trying to get him to sign something. However, you don't always get what you want in this life. At least I got him to sign my Delicatessen DVD. Most people were waving copies of Amelie, but I told him Delicatessen "is the best one," which made him say to his companion something like, "See, there's one in every crowd."

The cretin behind me in line hadn't even thought to bring a pen for Jeunet to write with, so she asked to use my marker. And the next one in line also, and the end result was that I let Jeunet keep my Sharpie. Which is fine.

Both Amelie and The City of Lost Children are better on a repeat viewing. I remember on the first viewing I thought Amelie was great, but had a long slow section-- this time I had more patience. And The City of Lost Children is quite confusing the first time round-- obviously it's clearer the second time, although the ending is still a bit weak.

There is a twice-referenced quote in Amelie that gets translated in the subtitles as, "Without you, the emotions of today would be the scruf of yesterday's." The scruf? Of yesterday's? What is that supposed to mean?

And in The City of Lost Children, Miette says, "Born in the gutter, you end up in the port." I don't need to know the French to see that's a poor translation... The English should be, "end up in the bay."


In totally unrelated news, I ended the day in second-place out of 897 people in a Motley Fool stockpicking contest. The contest ends on Monday... It's doubtful I can hold on to my #2 position, much less pull ahead to #1 in two days. But you never know.


At 5:51 AM, November 03, 2006, Blogger Kathryn said...

I love him, too. I'm looking forward to "Life of Pi".

At 12:11 PM, November 03, 2006, Blogger Richard Mason said...

Whenever he mentioned Life of Pi he emphasized that it was not greenlighted yet and he might or might not be directing it.

Other items mentioned:

He regularly eats at the cafe in Amelie. Tourists take pictures of the cafe every day. They always ask him to get out of the way of the picture.

All the things the various characters in Amelie like or dislike are things that he himself likes or dislikes.

He sent Ron Perlman's agent the script for City of Lost Children. Since it was in French the agent threw it straight into the trash. Later they contacted Perlman by other means, and Perlman fired his agent.

In City of Lost Children they made the mistake of focusing on making a beautiful-looking movie to the detriment of the story. However, City is "not completely bad."

At 6:23 PM, November 15, 2006, Blogger Richard Mason said...

I ended up coming in 9th in that stock-picking contest.

Well, 9th out of 897 is in the top one percent. Mostly.

At 11:11 PM, November 18, 2006, Blogger Ashbloem said...

I, too, think Delicatessen is the best one, though I have a soft spot for Amelie (like you, after several viewings).


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