Door always open.
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2004-01-27 7:40 PM
Dweeb, c'est moi
I am such a dweeb.
So we're in Montreal, and I'm sitting there watching French TV, and this thing comes on, which seems to be about a cruise ship employee in a piano duel with Jelly Roll Morton, sometime around the turn of the century. I loved it--but being as we were there to spend time together, I could only put off leaving the hotel room until the duel was over. So I never got the name of the thing.
A couple of months ago, I ordered NI POUR NI CONTRE from Amazon France because you can't get it here and I'm trying to collect as many Bruno Delbonnel DVDs as I can find. (He's the cinematographer who shot AMELIE.) It's a Region 2 DVD, which means you can't play it on a U.S. DVD player--but the DVD-R on my laptop will handle it. Once I discovered that, I went on a mental binge, fantasizing about the huge Region 2 DVD library I would purchase, ordering from exotic places like Amazon France, pasting entire web pages into Babelfish to read about bonus disk features; and ah! What about that movie I saw in Montreal?
Half an hour later, I'd tracked it down: "La Leggenda del Pianista Sull'oceano," with (of all people) Tim Roth. What's he doing in a French flick? Region 2 only, not available in the U.S., and Amazon UK had it.
So today I'm finally watching it (in English, with French subtitles), and feeling quite the cineaste, and I notice, during the opening credits, that the English title is different. It's "The Legend of 1900." About halfway through the movie, this is itching at me enough that I google it.
It's a good thing I find myself amusing when I do dumb things, because I spent $60 on a DVD with French subtitles you can't get rid of when I could have spent $20 on one that not only doesn't have the subtitles, but that I could actually watch on TV instead of on my laptop.
C'est la cineaste.
As long as we're on the subject, NI POUR NI CONTRE should be required viewing for film noir buffs, and THE LEGEND OF 1900 has some of the best piano-playing sequences I've seen. The actors aren't entirely convincing with their fingering (says this keyboardist), but the whole music thing is just great, and the piano duel with Jelly Roll Morton is worth the price of admission on its own.
I figure the best mistakes are the ones that say you really care about something.
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