One of my favorite films is 8 Femmes-a movie that was made from a play in France. The thing I have always liked about it was the unusual way the songs are incorporated into the film. Most of the time in musicals, the song adds to the plot or enhances what’s happening or what’s going to happen, but these seem to be just a character developing feature. The interesting thing is that the other actors watch the singers as if this is really happening. They respond to lyrics and when the song is over, they say things like “are you finished with all that rucus?”
And I LOVE IT!
I had seen it on TV back in 2003 or so (maybe on showtime or hbo?) and had a copy of it that I watched once in a while. The language is French with English subtitles. Recently, I wanted to see it again and instead of digging out my copy, I downloaded it from the internet somewhere. I watched it several times and noticed that the english subtitles did not match what I thought they were saying in French. I passed it off as my limited French vocabulary. The odd thing was, even though this is a strange movie, the first song, translated in the subtitles, spelled out everything that was going to happen in the movie and even gave away the surprise ending!
I decided to look for the DVD to see if there was a version with English as the language and found it on amazon.com. The description even said English language. I ordered it and got it today. I started watching it to hear the english, and there was no way to change the language track. I looked on the back of the box, and it didn’t indicate alternate language tracks. So, of course, I wrote an email to Amazon, explaining their mistake. They, of course, wanted to pawn it off on the seller, but I informed them that the seller didn’t have anything to do with the description that Amazon put up there. Either way, I am not sending it back. It was nice to see it in high quality (higher than what I had).
I started watching it from the beginning and got to the first song when I noticed that what I was hearing was being translated correctly and they didn’t give away the plot. Obviously, whomever translated the one I had was being “funny”. Who can I blame? No one… I downloaded it. LOL
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, I will tell you a little about it.
It starts off on a snowy day, in what appears to be the time frame of about the 40s or 50s. It’s hard to determine what was normal in France in that time frame, but they make mention of it being bad that women wear pants and read novels.
7 Women live in the house with one of the women’s husband. 2 employees, the wife and her mother and sister and the wife’s 2 daughters(one was away at school but just arrived home). When they try to wake the husband, he has been stabbed. There is a touch of grief, but then the whodunnit begins, lies and scandals come out and then the husband’s sister arrives. 8 women in the house.
The wife is played by Catherine Deneuve, whom I find fascinating. I don’t think I have noticed her in any of her other movies, but here, she is beautiful, graceful, elegant and fragile. Do I sound like I am gushing? I am. I love her in this role! Here’s a quick snap of her:
That picture really doesn’t do her justice!
The sister in this film is the comedic relief. The husband’s sister is the town whore, very upscale and looks a little like Sandra Bernhard. There are more similarities to Sandra that I won’t reveal-you’ll have to watch it.
There’s a big twist at the end, and then yet another twist!
This movie is not for everyone. I think first, there are types of people who can’t watch a subtitled film-so they’re ruled out. Second, you have to be able to appreciate this for the costumes, the weirdness and the beauty of the actresses. You also have be secure with your sexuality. (wink)
I would have loved to see this live! (Especially with Catherine!)