04 Juni 2011


I bought a book in Barcelona, Gaudí x Gaudí. It's about 'the thoughts and work of Gaudí through photography and his own words'. And those words are written in Spanish, English and German. Neat, eh? Except that I felt a little bit guilty. You see, Barcelona is the capital city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. Gaudí was a Catalan nationalist, and even once was arrested by the police for joining a demonstration against the banning of the Catalan language. Well, my guide in Barcelona told us that he was arrested because he refused to speak Spanish, which sounds more dramatic. But the point remains. I wish I bought a book in English and Catalan instead of Spanish.

Having dealt with the Spain thingy, and visited Barcelona at last, I finally watch Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I enjoyed revisiting the city through Woody's eyes. I sort of like the omniscient narrator, although it can be funnier. Maybe if Woody narrated himself... And Penelope Cruz was brilliant. However, I found one very annoying thing. Nobody speaks Catalan in the movie!

Yeah, of course I googled it and of course there are other people noticed it as well. IMDb calls it incorrectly regarded as goofs.
The people in this movie (including the leading man) speak Spanish instead of Catalan. In Barcelona both Spanish and Catalan are spoken. In Oviedo, only Spanish is spoken.
Alright. Juan Antonio is from Oviedo, Asturias, so he doesn't speak Catalan (although still regarded as Catalan artist). Maria Elena is probably not a Catalan either, so she also doesn't speak Catalan. But Vicky is taking Master degree in Catalan Identity, and speaks a little Spanish at the beginning of the movie (which is fine), but later taking Spanish class. I mean, why?

I'm not easily annoyed with little bloopers in movie. It is, after all, a movie. But if it's inherently inconsistent to the characters... I think of Garasi. The characters don't speak Sundanese or even Sundanese accent correctly, which is bad. But it wasn't done deliberately, they were just bad actors. And the fact that they take brown angkots everywhere and spend a hell lot of time in footbridges are bloopers that probably only Bandung people would notice (oh okay, the latter probably not only for Bandung people, anyway...) I found a comment about Woody's characters in NY can easily find parking spots. But come on, you wouldn't watch a movie of people spending 24 minutes finding a parking spot (except an episode of Seinfeld). It does a little harm to the characters. Yeah, probably not many people realize the Spanish vs Catalan thing. But I start to think that Woody in Europe becomes like Miles Film in Garasi and 3 Hari Untuk Selamanya. Ouch, did I just compare Woody Allen to Agung Sentausa?

I don't know. Is it just Woody being Woody? Cristina can't hold her camera steady enough and sounds like a bad rip-off of Annie Hall. I actually prefer Scarlett Johansson in Scoop, she was being really blonde there. The characters in this movie are so (American) stereotypical I started to think that probably he did it on purpose. Maybe that's the genius of it.

You know, just like the Hollywood Ending finale :P

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