Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Think They Call This a Teaching Moment

Those who think I hung the moon and subdivided the stars (with some arbitrage in there somewhere) recall that my students chose Vicky Cristina Barcelona, written and directed by Mr. Woody Allen, as the movie to review in my Arts Reporting and Reviewing class. I have not begun to grade the reviews yet, so in all innocence I asked Ricky what he thought of the movie.

Well, he said, I watched it in Italian.

Ah, I said.

And then he explained in some detail why this was the only version available at the last minute from Netflix. I did not fully understand the explanation, but students have long since learned the reward for intricate, perhaps impenetrable, explanations presented to teacher (like a cat presenting a dead mouse to its patron) is the teacher's inevitable exhausted retreat from further inquiry into circumstance and contingency.

With subtitles? I said, dead game to the last.

No, he said.

But you speak Italian? I said.

No, he said.

Well, there you go, I said. That's a clever angle from which to compose a review, I said, always supportive, particularly when the conversation turns surreal, perhaps Allen-esque, though perhaps more Perlman-esque, and thus in any case blogworthy.
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Peter Moore said...

We watched Black Widow and Dune in Italian (in Italy) and found them more enjoyable as undecipherable than in English

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Well *there you go*!