Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cines de verano

In summertime, with the heat, people in Andalucía live by night. (Like the vampires, I suppose.) One of the many late-night diversions are the cines de verano (summer movies). These are like drive-in theaters, but without cars. You come in with your munchies, or even your dinner if you like, and sit watching a movie under the stars. This week with the Perseid meteor showers, it makes for a nice show. There’s a snack bar complete with alcoholic drinks….the most popular is the “tinto de verano”, sort of like a wine cooler, with red wine and soda water on ice. It creates quite an agreeable atmosphere. The first show is never earlier than 10:00pm, and there’s generally a second show after midnight. Night owls of the world, unite!

One interesting thing with watching movies in Spanish is that they don’t translate the titles directly. A direct translation of a title won’t always work in the other language….for instance, the Spanish movie “Abrazos rotos” by Pedro Almodóvar would translate as “Broken Hugs”, which just sounds odd in English. It’s a marketing decision; you want a title which sounds good to the people who’d be seeing the movie here. Here are some of the more entertaining examples of movie names translated into Spanish:

Animal House => Desmadre a la americana (literally, “Wild party, American-style”)

Blame it on Río => Lío en Río (literally, “Trouble in Río”…notice the rhyme)

Child’s Play (remember “Chucky”?) => El muñeco diabólico (literally, “The diabolical doll”)

Men in Tights => Las locas, locas aventuras de Robin Hood (literally, “Robin Hood’s crazy, crazy adventures”)

Sometimes, the movies also have unexpected surprises. The recent movie of “Che, guerilla”, based on the last days of Che Guevara, had a cameo appearance by Matt Damon as a German priest (or a journalist? not completely clear) in Bolivia. You know, Matt Damon seems to speak pretty good Spanish! Maybe his voice was dubbed, but it sure sounded like him. According to what I read online, his Argentine wife Luciana Barroso has been teaching him.

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