Sunday, January 15, 2006

I knew watching Star Academy would come in handy!

Yesterday Jube and I watched Le Déclin de l'empire américain (also known as The Decline of the American Empire). It is a Canadian movie, but French Canadian, so it is entirely in French. I thought Jube would be proud of me for picking out a French language film, because I usually insist on getting American or British DVDs and watching them in English. Plus, this movie was nominated for an Oscar and won lots of other awards, which my latest pick (Spanglish) did not. However, he grumbled as we rented it because "they'll have accents."

We settled in to watch the queb
écois discuss their sex lives. I didn't find their accents to be too difficult to understand, in part because I had followed semi-religiously last year's season of Star Academy. For those of you not living in France, I'll give you a quick summary of how the show works: a group of about 16 "students" live together in a "chateau" to learn how to become "stars" (hence the name, Star Academy). Every week three students are nominated for elimination according to their evaluations. This is the most gripping episode of each week, in my opinion--the students have to prepare a short piece of song and dance and perform it for the "professors," who then decide who the worst three were. On Fridays there is a huge variety show where the students perform with real stars (last year they included Madonna, Mariah Carey, and Céline Dion). At the end of the show, one of the three nominated students is saved by the public, and another is saved by the non-nominated students. (Phew! What a long explanation it turned out to be!)

Anyway, the reason I say that this year's season helped me to understand the movie last night is because one of the students who made it pretty far in the game was qu
ébecoise, and spoke with a really heavy accent. Her accent was much heavier than the ones in the movie last night, so I hardly had any problem at all understanding. Jube, on the other hand, who dismissed my devotion to Star Academy as frivolous, trash TV, had some major oral comprehension problems, even asking to rewind once and wanting to put on French subtitles (unfortunately for him, this DVD didn't have any special features like subtitles).

So I just wanted to give a big Merci, Star Ac'! You help me with higher forms of culture now!


Karina said...

i've been meaning to rent that one. the cover always makes me curious :) good to know you liked it.

Gem said...

Be prepared for some nudity (male full frontal), but the sex scenes aren't graphic. Now I want to watch the sequel.

Jube said...

The movie was all right. In fact, hearing a couple of horny Quebecois talking about their sex for two hours didn't thrill me. Also, the "male full frontal" Gem advertises above really isn't that exciting, believe me.

Samantha said...

Fab always says StarAc is stupid and for 10 yr olds, but it's true that I've learned a lot about French music/artists because of the songs they song. How many of us ever would have heard about Daniel Balavoine if it wasn't for StarAc 5?

Samantha said...

Sorry, that should be "songs they sing", not "songs they song". *S*