Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Same But Different: #2 (Going to the Movies)

So I wanted to establish a way for Pete and I to get out on the occasional date, and I also wanted to see The Dark Knight Rises.   In the US, as part of the local MOMS Club I was in a babysitting co-op in which the moms exchanged babysitting using a ticket system.  Then, after a couple years of that, a few of us started trading off the record, figuring it all evens out in the end.  So I am spoiled in that I'm completely unaccustomed to paying for a babysitter.  (Hello, sticker-shock.)

But through the unending magic of the American Women's Club of Luxembourg and Facebook, I was able to set up a babysitting trade!  Another mom and I agreed to exchange a few hours of kid-minding for date nights/afternoons, and we got to go out first!

I don't know why this looks so much like a stock photo but I promise I took it.
We went to Utopolis in Kirchberg, where American films are shown in English.  We didn't have much time to take bloggish-pictures or really savor the experience since we were trying to find the right buses (which turned out had some alternate weekend routes) and basically just make it there and back in a reasonable amount of time.

There were three main differences between the cinematic experience here and in Oregon (and you would call it going to the "cinema," not the "movies."  Although I can't speak to the concession stand, but it looked similar and we saw buckets of popcorn.  I will say we had no trouble smuggling in our own treats like we always did before.  Anyway, the differences:

  1. Before the movie, previews and advertisements are alternated instead of the ad chunk followed by the preview chunk.  The ads were mostly in French, some in German, and with some random English tag-lines thrown in.  Previews were English.
  2. Previews are NOT rated for all audiences.  Thus, we were treated to an extremely foul preview for an upcoming American movie, complete with numerous F-bombs, naked (elderly) people, and graphic sexual dialogue.  Yes, when American trashiness and a European lack of modest sensibilities collide--that's where the real magic happens, folks.
  3. Subtitles during the movie are simultaneously displayed in both French and German, one under the other.  This resulted in an overwhelming compulsion for me to use it as an opportunity to practice my French comprehension skills.  I probably would have enjoyed the movie more if I could have brought myself to ignore the subtitles.
preview (and here I thought I escaped these guys...)
Other than that we could have been in any American theater watching any American movie; it really looked and felt the same.

This truly is an amazing world - I can move half-way around it, yet still set up a babysitting trade with another mom (from the US), and then go see a current American movie in English.

But maybe I'm easily impressed.


Katie Toppel said...

One thing that was different about movies in Germany was that at some theaters there were assigned seats and you could view a screen when you bought tickets to choose where you wanted to sit based on the availability.

PS Glad the letter made it!

Anonymous said...

Love the blog.... just sayin.