15 January 2010

Everyday Adventures

Finishing the translation of Superman 
Tonight I finally finished translation work on a film from India, Superman of Malegaon. This is a huge relief! Our school librarian had originally asked me to do some translation stuff for the Festival International des Cinémas d'Asie, which starts next week, back in November. I'd excitedly agreed, envisioning myself smoothly and efficiently translating the film...perhaps finding a new career path...becoming the next Pevear or Volokhonsky...................huh. Yah.

As it turned out, the translation to be done was from English to French, and a far different scenario ensued. The film itself is great, a 50 minute documentary made lovingly and humorously about a small town in India where cinema is the rage. A group of local folks get together and regularly make their own films--usually remakes of popular Bollywood films, but put into the local language and context. This time, they decided to take on the Superman movies. The documentary crew followed them all over town as they endeavored to solve various (and generally hilarious) problems that arose, usually having to do with people not showing up to the shoot, grazing animals or interested townspeople getting in the way, and having a very very low budget. What I loved most were the ingenious ideas they had for overcoming budget problems. The cameraman sat on a bicycle while several people held onto the bike and ran forward to create a "zoom" shot, for example.

The film was originally in Hindi, with English subtitles. The subtitles weren't too badly done, but they were generally very vague and prone to simple, but obvious errors. "I feel very bad. I will now have to take pain coolers" was my favorite. Translating very colloquial language into French proved way over my head, especially when technical film terms, and very ambiguous subtitles were added in. Another of the English teachers gamely agreed to help me finish the work at the last minute, and we actually had a lot of fun doing it. I learned some great (and sometimes strange) French expressions "It's the foot!" for "That's the coolest!" and together we made what I think was a pretty darn good translation. The film will be shown in the festival next week, and I can't wait to go and see it with my friends!

Cooking biscuits and soup

I got a huge craving for Genie's (my grandmother's) biscuits a couple of days ago and, after finally managing to find the equivalent of baking powder (not the stuff I had bought to make sugar cookies!) I managed to make some pretty passable and tasty biscuits (special thanks to Paula Deen and butter) which I ate/scarfed with my second-ever Solo Soup effort, a potato and green lentil soup with carrots, bell pepper, and garlic in a chicken broth. Yay!

La Bonnefemme de neige...La madame de neige??

We've had a fair amount of snow in the last couple of weeks, very exciting for the two Mexican assistants who had never seen it before. So last weekend, Elaine, the other American assistant and I went up to the Motte with Pam, the other Mexican assistant in town and Astride, her French roommate. We padded slowly up the slippery, winding path to the monument, had a snowball fight--very difficult, actually, since the snow was wonderfully powdery--we really had to work to form the snowballs, (boules de neige).

Then we began forming a snowperson, very very carefully. The results were quite inspiring, actually. Astride got very into the decorations. Our snowwoman looks very mischievous in the first photo, rather wistful in the second. Apparently there is no way to say "Snowwoman" in French. Bonhomme de neige is used for Snowman, (kind of sexist, really) so we decided to coin our own term.

Les Soldes

Adventured to Besançon with Pam, in spite of the "strong perturbation" in the local bus system due to the weather. January and June are the only times of year when French retail stores are permitted to have sales--I think this is meant to standardize prices and prevent undercutting. This results in some very good shopping deals. We spent a very satisfying afternoon picking through the piles of sales clothes in the Galeries Lafayettes. I found a great trench coat. Once we were totally spent (hehe...ouch) from all that shopping, we found refreshment in a Salon de thé with some marvelous pastries--Coconut Flan for Pam, Chocolate and Banana tart for me! Rounded the day off at the fabulous Campo book store.
An aside: Kind of like BBS, Campo winds its way around several different buildings, with mezzanines and catwalks and atriums everywhere. A true book lover's haven, if only the sales staff were a little less---totally and completely bitchy!

The Kitchen reproduction

Lastly, more cooking adventures. Ever since Troy and I went to brunch at the Kitchen over the summer I've been dying to have what we ate there--exactly what we ate there. I managed to figure out what kind of sautéed mushrooms to use, and tonight I made a Serendipitous Omelette (you know where you start out with low expectations, you're like, "How 'bout scrambled eggs?" and then, miraculously, you find you are on your way to an omelette before you know it? Conversely, most times when I set out with the intention to make an omelette, it ends in disaster OR at best, a scromlette). Not only was this a Seredipitous Omelette, it happened also to be the Best Omelette I Have Ever Made Thus Far. I topped this off with a broiled tomato, very delicious. It was my first time trying to broil a tomato, and my little toaster oven did a very respectable job. All in all, a very satisfying breakfast-for-dinner endeavor.

1 comment:

  1. Lindsay, the potato and green lentil soup soup sounds good but, really, biscuits call for a good ole country gravy, preferably with sausage. Oops, carnivore here. I'd love to see the film, sounds like fun. Congrats on the translation. Let us know how well it is received.