Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sorry. For once I have to apologize about using French material. That's only because the clip is from "Highlander," which is an English movie, and in my opinion few translations ever do justice to the original. Highlander is a conspicuous example of this... By misfortune, I couldn't find an English version of the clip, and this is about the length I was looking for. If you took French in school, but have forgotten most of it, maybe you can practice comprehension...

Highlander is a 1986 movie starring Christophe Lambert and Sean Connery, and it's one of my favourites. I posted the above clip despite the unfortunate dubbing, because some of you will have seen the movie and may remember this scene. Where Ramirez asks MacLeod to "feel the stag, his heartbeat," particularly reminds me of Spring - and it matches a recurring theme for me, which is the coming of Steelhead once the rivers have broken free of ice: sometimes it seems that one can almost feel it all happening, the rush and rumble of the water, the passing upriver of the fish.


Beyond the scene in the above clip, where the two sword wielders on the high cliff cannot possibly be Connery and Lambert, there is some pretty interesting goofiness in the movie. For example, consider the odd fact that a Scotsman, who has a thick Scottish accent and is posing as an Egyptian with a failed Spanish accent, is teaching sword fighting to a Frenchman, who himself has a thick French accent but is posing as a Scotsman with a (miserably) failed Scottish accent. What the ... is that? This really pushes Tolkien's concept of "suspending disbelief" to the max. Notwithstanding, the storyline has always held a lot of meaning for me. I especially appreciate the way the film treats "true" (a.k.a. "immortal") love calling out, via the symbolic invention of Immortals, the limits of love which consequence - or finally death - imposes. The symbolism of the Immortal becomes that of the memory of the beautiful thing that was, which in effect our children will eventually carry with them. And I believe that it's this symbolism that attracts the film's cult audience, to this day, in a similar fashion as "Romeo and Juliet," if of a lesser literary pedigree.

Anyway, the rivers have truly burst their seams. I've seen several today, and all of them are high and muddy, and the trout are fighting the currents even now...

p.-
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