Ruth's Diary


This weekend I was out at the Arts Centre 3 nights in a row. What an achievement. Friday night was for the play, 'Como Agua Para Chocolate' (Like Water For Chocolate). It was mostly in Spanish, with an English 'sum up' every so often. I could follow some of the parts more than most of the English-speaking audience, but a lot of the time I felt lost. My Spanish ability really is beginning to ebb-away a bit. The play itself is very surreal and the plot was nicely unpredictable, but I'm not really too sure whether I like it.

Now I can talk about movies. I like the cinema at the Arts Centre because: 1) it's cheap, 2) the broad range of movies: they show arthouse, foreign and blockbuster movies. The 2 reasons mean I'm going to the Cinema a lot more than back home, and I've only been here about 2 months. Within that space of time I typically only went to the cinema twice, if I was lucky enough to have good movies released. Now I've been 5 times and have already picked my next movie. Why can't most cinemas have such a range? Surely they'd get more audiences? Or not, considering the report last Summer that going to the cinema has never been more popular (if that's the case, why don't they lower the prices? £4.70 for students, sheesh).

Anyway, Saturday's movie: Esma's Secret. The Arts Centre was clearly excited to be showing this 'cos it won a Berlin Film award and was shown last night a month before its official UK release. I became interested once I found out the plot: a mother and daughter in Bosnia struggle to cope in the aftermath of the Balkan War. Now that misled me into thinking it was a story of a mother and daughter wandering through refugee camps and war-torn areas. The posters showing a young girl also misled me into thinking Esma was a girl. Well Esma is actually the mother and her daughter's name is Sara. As for plot, well it was filmed recently so in actual fact the movie shows modern Bosnia. The landscape itself is rough and the kids are pretty tough (I like Sara, she has such a temper). As for the secret, it's quite an emotional one. It's worth watching, but I also recommend you do a bit of research on the Balkan War (the 'third' one to be exact) before you see it because not very much about it is explained. I'll tell you now though that a "Chetnik" was a soldier for Yugoslavia and an enemy of Bosnian soldiers.

The centre made an awesome offer for Sunday: see both Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Breakfast Club practically back-to-back (only an hour between the two) for just £5 (instead of £7 for 2 movies). I jumped at the chance: they're both seriously raved about movies and who wouldn't take the chance to see vintage movies on the big screen? These movies are often just played a lot on TV. Funnily enough, when this offer was advertised, the info said what a good way it was to spend "a rainy Sunday afternoon". How much better could they have predicted that?

The Breakfast Club was awesome, Ferris Bueller wasn't as good, even though it was quite funny and had a wonderful moment of poignancy. But I learned a couple of things from them about their director, John Hughes: 1) He must have had a tyrannical headteacher because that was the behaviour of both of them in each movie 2) He either grew up in or had an affinity for Chicago. I also noticed how 80s movies were not on such good quality film as more recent movies, either that or the film was just very old.

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