Monday, September 22

Spain is the new France.

Or so proclaims the New York Times in this article. Paris is to the bourgeois and complacent nouvelle cuisine, as Barcelona is the dark and dirty but intoxicating nueva cocina. Spain is the land of the brave young chef, and the buzz word of the moment is making food taste lighter, or almost as light as air.

Meanwhile, at the Cine Europa last Friday, watched Charlotte Grey which starred the chameleon Cate Blanchett. Miss Blanchett looks very different every time in all the movies that I've seen her in. Sometimes, if I had no previous knowledge beforehand that she's part of the cast, I would find myself surprised to see her name at the closing credits. "So that was her, didn't recognize her." She loses herself in every role, that girl.

In the movie, there's this scene where she was given a test of word associations. Quick, name the first thing that comes to you mind. Man=balls, sugar=sweet, and then France. She announces, "Je voudrais acheter un billet pour le train." The doctor chastises her, only one word please.

In an earlier scene, we see Charlotte Grey in bed and in love with Peter Gregory, a soldier headed for France in the time of World War II. He doesn't know a word of French, and she was teaching him how to get tickets for the train, correcting his pronounciation and all. Hence France=love. She had this really off-world smile when she said that, and she seemed really in love. I was like, awww, how sweet.

I was a wee bit delighted to understand what she was telling him the first time. Also last week, followed Mark's links and read the transcript to Before Sunrise. In one of the scenes, Ethan Hawke was telling Juliet Delpy that he was at a train station in France, and he was practicing how to buy tickets at the metro, since he did have some French in school. But at the window, his mind went blank and all he could say was "Give me tickets, train" or something. It's all about getting tickets to get somewhere. Ah. Rusty present tense basic French still working, although slow.

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