A few days before the New Year I was able to download a copy of Amélie (Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain), a French comedy film I wanted to see for quite sometime now. It remained dormant in my hard drive except for a few seconds of playtime just to check on its quality; whether it’s dubbed or subtitled. (I prefer the latter).
Monday evening I transferred the file to my portable reader, inclined to watch it while curled up in bed, only to wake up the following morning barely remembering what happened in the beginning. I slept during the first 10 minutes of the film! I do remember some aspects though: I remember falling in love with its vintage cinematography, the language, the humor, the cautious mien on the actor’s faces. But the urge to sleep defeated my liking. Another night perhaps.
Early afternoon I traveled from Baliuag to Marilao, a distance of about 20 kilometers, to join my band mates for a scheduled rehearsal at my drummer’s turf. We tried out some new covers that we intend to perform later at Gweilo Bar. We’ve been learning a lot of cover songs ever since we acquired a new guitarist, songs that’ll be hard to perform as a trio, songs that makes us feel good performing above all.
The house where the Rudica family lives is under renovation. They expanded their living room to give more space for band practices plus an added 3rd and 4th floors. The 42″ brand new wide-screen TV mounted on the new section caught my attention upon entry and I immediately popped the question, “May bago ka bang DVD diyan na puede natin mapanood mamaya?” (Do you have new DVD films we can watch later?) To which Bachie cheerfully replied, “Meron pre!“.
When we finally decided to put down our instruments hours later, Bachie went upstairs and returned with two DVD copies of the following films: “Let Me In” (Hollywood version of the Swedish vampire film) and a subtitled “Amélie”. The choice was obvious.
I sat down on the floor propped against boxes of remote-controlled toys, having soda and instant pancit canton, enjoying the film on the large screen. It wasn’t the most comfortable position nor is the food we are having. But the bright, passionate eyes/acting of Audrey Tautou, the visual wonder, the sharp humor, the delightful creativity and rich imagination, added warmth to the cold and dusty cement floor, delight to forkfuls of noodles, and a profound spirit to the soda.
Odd and full of wonder. It’s a fantastic movie, both entertaining and illuminating. An instant favorite.
Narrator: On September 3rd 1973, at 6:28pm and 32 seconds, a blue bottle fly capable of 14,670 wing beats a minute landed on Rue St Vincent, Montmartre. At the same moment, on a restaurant terrace nearby, the wind magically made two glasses dance unseen on a tablecloth. Meanwhile, in a 5th-floor flat, 28 Avenue Trudaine, Paris 9, returning from his best friend’s funeral, Eugène Colère erased his name from his address book. At the same moment, a sperm with one X chromosome, belonging to Raphaël Poulain, made a dash for an egg in his wife Amandine. Nine months later, Amélie Poulain was born.
Narrator: Amelie has a strange feeling of absolute harmony. It’s a perfect moment. A soft light, a scent in the air, the quiet murmur of the city. A surge of love, an urge to help mankind overcomes her.
Narrator: Amélie still seeks solitude. She amuses herself with silly questions about the world below, such as “How many people are having an orgasm right now?”
[scenes of various orgasms taking place]
Amélie: [whispering in theater] I like to look for things no one else catches. I hate the way drivers never look at the road in old American movies.
Amélie Poulain: At least you’ll never be a vegetable – even artichokes have hearts.
Hipolito, The Writer: Without you, today’s emotions would be the scurf of yesterday’s.