Nomological Net

Stray thoughts from here and there. The occasional concern for construct validity. No more logic. Fish.


faults in the clouds of delusion

Monday, November 20, 2006

It's just a story

La Meglio Giovent├╣

"Are you feeling happy? Then now is the time to be generous."

A six hour long film that leaves you wanting more. It's the story of an Italian family tracked over forty years from the '60s to the present.

Riveting, beautiful, ungetupable.
It's an experience.


Hate to do this, but this addendum seems necessary enough to go in. Don't get misled by the low IMDB rating (7.9). There's a thread on the discussion boards that documents how the rating slipped from an initial high of 8.8, thanks to an unusually high number of 1s that came in at one point. Reading through the thread, it seems that either this film was targeted by motivated interests trying to remove it from the top 250 list, or a whole bunch of people who had walked in knowing it was six hours long walked out after an hour saying that a film-maker who doesn't know how to say his bit within the standard two hours doesn't deserve to be heard. Take your pick -- both attitudes seem infantile to me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a Charlie Rose "Best Films of 2005" roundup with the critics, and this film was on everyone's list. In terms of good video rentals, Philly's been a big disappointment. I'll look out for this one at the local public library.

11/21/2006 3:35 AM  
Blogger MockTurtle said...

Never been very keen on foreign language films (I always feel I'm missing out with the translations), but this sounds like a good way to get reaquainted with the genre. Hope its not like Buniyaad.

11/21/2006 3:44 AM  
Blogger kundalini said...

thanks for the rec, tr. lets see if we can find it here.

11/21/2006 10:15 AM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

time to start netflicking?

wouldn't be able to say -- i never watched buniyaad. funny you should mention the translations: there's a discussion about the translation of the title itself. some italians on the imdb boards feel it would be better as "the best of our youth". i agree with them, but i don't think i lost anything much due to that, or indeed at any other point. (but then i sorely needed some distraction this weekend.) save up a weekend if you can and give this a go.

hmm, i wouldn't bet on it but you never know. pity.

11/21/2006 10:48 AM  
Anonymous The Drinker said...

You had six hours to spare to watch a film? Any spare jobs at your place?

(By the way, started blogging again. Guess who?)

11/21/2006 6:33 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

sure. i was watching this on my laptop on the side while helping out with recruiting decisions at a local law firm. we decided to behead all applicants as a service to society.

no need to guess, my friend. you emailed me the link :-D

11/21/2006 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MT makes a valid point. The "gaps" are very noticeable for instance when one watches a Ray film. Nuances of culture do not translate very well - example : "Ma Duggaa" in Devi (dont remember what it translated to, but it wasnt satisfactory as far as I can recall). An even more egregious example from the same film is provided by the reviewer who mistakes Sharmila for Chhobi Biswas's daughter rather than his d-i-l (this is not simply a gap in translation, as you can imagine). Yet another example : I was watching Taxi Driver in Geneva, so it had French subtitles. There is a point in the film where De Niro asks Cybil Shepherd where she is from, and she says "Uptown", but the French subtitles translated this to "Upstate". BIG difference!

11/21/2006 9:54 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

yes, some of these can be pretty bad (although i'll claim that you haven't seen anything till you've seen a hongkong subtitling). but still, would you rather a french speaker did not watch taxi driver due to that kind of subtitling?

11/22/2006 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Subtitles generally will miss out a lot, I suppose. I found French subtitling of English films quite, um, terse... "I'll be waiting for you" -> "Je t'attends", "What the fuck do you think you're doing?" -> "Que fais-tu?", etc... And no doubt one misses out on verbal humour.

But the examples ws gives are merely bad subtitling, they don't show why it's hard to cross the culture gap.

A lot of what we read is in translation, from Plato or Kalidasa to religious texts to Garcia Marquez... certainly some of it is lost in translation, but all of it would be lost if it weren't translated at all. And though I know some French, I would lose more reading Camus in the original than in English. So I'm happy. Vive les traductions.

(That and most Hollywood is such utter crap. Where would we be without films in other languages?)

11/22/2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

thanks -- you said exactly what i was thinking, more eloquently. i would add to the hollywood comment, though, that most films in other languages are also crap. i just watched the deer hunter last night and it was brilliant. (that doesn't contradict anything you said.)

11/22/2006 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Bad translation has never really been a binding constraint for me.

Deer Hunter is such a great film.

11/22/2006 10:24 PM  
Blogger MockTurtle said...

...and I suppose a good translator can actually add something to the content. Look at what FitzGerald did for the Rubaiyat.
My ADD denies me the pleasure of sitting through subtitles though. I remember being forced to sit through those morose Bengali movies that DD played on weekends (you know the type where a starving fisherman and his family endure various calamities until a big storm comes around and puts them all out of their misery). My father would emote volubly at the intricate dialogues, while the rest of the family had to bounce their eyeballs between the action on the screen and the witless type at the bottom ("Why are you crying, wife?", "The landlord raped me", "Woe upon us!"). I have stayed with happy-happy-sex-and-violence English movies ever since.

11/23/2006 12:19 AM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...


hilarious! i remember watching a hindi subtitled happy happy woilens woilens mowie where a wonderful string of freestyle new york invective was passed off as: "burey aadmi."

11/23/2006 1:18 AM  

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