Wednesday, November 23, 2011

French Film Titles: a Story to Tell

Day in, day out last week I was flipping through the pages of a French Culture Publication called Spectacles a Metz that covers, take a wild guess: the spectacles around Metz, naturally, in La Moselle area, France. It is an interesting publication with a wide variety of spectacles -music, theatre, expositions and everything else culture-wise- but let me narrow down the results of my search, it's always cinema that has the priority here, you know it.

I had endless laughs every time I was opening the page to the cinema section, called Ciné, so sweet; it was the best time of the day indeed, not only for the laughing part, but also for the relaxation involved with going to the loo, I had the aforementioned publication in my private collection in my restroom, did I forget to mention that?

The thing that graciously brought about so many giggles and funny mood was nothing else than the French movie titles. Always so long and tedious, as if they are the beginning of a novel -and you know how much I love French cinema from the posts that I dedicate to it, to say the least, but I cannot turn the blind eye to that. I simply cannot help it; while their English and American counterparts try and find a dynamic one or two-word title, like, let's say Killer Elite, 50/50, Time Out, Contagion, The Immortals - I am giving a few examples from the issue I have in my hands, which is No 235, November 2011, the French want to be literary and poetic and give a title that wants to steal all the famous quotes' wit and grit, if not entire philosophical book chapters.

Let me name a small selection of long, funny French movie titles, for your amusement - and let's hope you get French to some extent, if not, the battle (read fun) is not lost, try Google translate: On ne Choisit pas sa Famille or Mon Pire Cauchemar or Celles qui Aimaient Richard Wagner, and then my favourite ones: Une Trop Bruyante Solitude and Qu'ils Reposent en Revolte.

Especially the last two titles I chose for you (translated: A Very Noisy Solitude and May they Rest in Revolt), my dear audience, they do deserve a more extensive mention. They belong to those film titles that try to have an inner contrast, a weighty counterpoint, as if such a depth is expected from a title. Man, why don't you do a decent film and cut the crap? Titles that sell well are just catchy, short, hard to forget and, most important, easy to repeat! Wouldn't you say so?

* Citing the above I do not mean to hurt anyone's feelings and I do not imply that French Cinema is not worthwhile, don't take me wrong. Just a bit of a chatterbox, at times.

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