On Sunday morning, we went to see “Ernest et Célestine”:
It was lovely. However, the IFI, in it’s wisdom not only had subtitles but had the sound slightly lowered and someone reading out the subtitles in English. I found this approach deeply unsatisfactory. Looking around the cinema, it seemed to me that the vast majority of the young patrons were either francophone or able to read. While it was undoubtedly a good approach for the small minority who were unable to read or speak French, it ruined it for everyone else. It’s actually surprisingly hard to concentrate on a film when it is in French with English subtitles which are read aloud.
In the row behind us there was a woman with her 11 grandchildren. With great fanfare each of them received sweets of some kind. One grandchild was sent to the Spar to get extra bottles of water to carry them through the 90 minutes of the film. Our lot, seeing the largesse being distributed at great length in the row behind asked whether they were going to get anything. “No, it’s 11 in the morning,” I said tartly. To be fair to them, they accepted this despite the ongoing distribution of bounty in the row behind for the duration of the film. Bah, humbug, I know.
After lunch in Milano’s – the excitement – we went off to see the launch of Bliain na Gaeilge. This was something of a damp squib. A cold nasty rain was raining and the Irish dancers and traditional musicians were huddled under a small awning. A number of young people were speaking Irish enthusiastically and the children spoke Irish for long enough to get the following: their faces painted and a balloon, notebook, pen and highlighter each. They were touchingly delighted by their haul of free goodies. We decided not to wait to see the Lord Mayor and battled driving wind and cold rain back to the car. Honestly, the children love it really.