Friday, May 23, 2008

McCain for Equality?

Here's one guest that won't be at Ellen DeGeneres' wedding to Portia de Rossi: John McCain.
DeGeneres engaged the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in a discussion about the "the big elephant in the room," the recent California Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage, when he stopped by her TV show for a taped interview airing today (watch above).
"I just believe in the unique status of marriage between man and woman," McCain said. "And I know that we have a respectful disagreement on that issue."
DeGeneres, who has campaigned for Hillary Clinton, compared a ban on gay marriage to the time when "blacks and women did not have the right to vote.
"We are all the same people, all of us," said DeGeneres, who just celebrated her 50th birthday party. "You're no different than I am. Our love is the same."
McCain responded: "People should be able to enter into legal agreements, and I think that is something we should encourage, particularly in the case of insurance and other areas."
Keeping the senator on the hot seat, DeGeneres replied, "When someone says, 'You can have a contract, and you'll still have insurance and you'll get all that', it sounds to me like saying, "Well you can sit there; you can't sit there". "It doesn't feel inclusive… it feels… isolated," she added.
McCain admitted that DeGeneres' argument was "in a very eloquent fashion," and that he "along with many, many others, wish [her] every happiness."
DeGeneres told McCain she was "planning on having a ceremony this summer anyway, even though it wasn't legal."
"Then it just happened that I legally now can get married, like everyone should," DeGeneres said.
"We just have a disagreement," continued McCain.
"So, you'll walk me down the aisle?" DeGeneres joked.
McCain responded: "Touché."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Jones in Seville

GOOD NEWS: The new Indiana Jones film opens today in Spain's major cities in English (with Spanish subtitles) and on the big screen! If it is Spielberg's, it's entertainment guaranteed. Don't miss this opportunity to see it in the original version! Only at VO cinemas in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

British Cinema: Social Films with a Laugh

In the wake of the global success of The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo, 1997), British cinema has made a joyous comeback. Probably the third most productive film industry in Europe now, after the French and Spanish, British cinema is finally making the screens of continental arts cinemas proving that entertainment needn’t be shallow or unconnected to everyday life. A series of high-quality independent films have proved to be major box-office hits without having to resort to sentimentality, as most Hollywood films tend to do.
A common feature of all of these films is a social concern combined with humour. They aim at showing the shortcomings and achievements of today’s multiracial, multicultural Britain, and narrate stories of racial, social or sexual integration, thus analysing ethical conflicts in the best tradition of European cinema.

Get Real (Simone Shore, 1998), based on a script by Patrick Wilde, one of Britain’s most reputed scriptwriters, is a typical coming-out story of adolescents with enough humour to make it fully enjoyable; it is both moving and hilarious. (I particularly recommend this film to language learners because of the well-enunciated English spoken throughout.)

The family conflicts derived from second-generation descendants of Asian immigrants trying to reconcile their fully-Westernised lives in today’s Britain with the prejudices and outlandish traditions they were brought up with is the topic of East Is East (Damien O’Donnell, 1999) and Bend It Like Beckham (Gurinder Chadha, 2002). These two films have become huge box-office hits in the UK in recent years by word of mouth. The latter film stars actress Parminder Nagra in the role of a girl who wants to play in a football club against the wishes of her conventional Hindu parents.

Probably the most successful British film at the turn of the century, Billy Elliot (Stephen Daldry, 2001) has had rave reviews worldwide. The story of a boy’s inner struggle to face the stereotypes of a macho society to become a dancer has moved filmgoers around the world. The film also stands as a metaphor for an individual’s fight to be oneself despite the narrow-mindedness of mainstream social expectations. As an added bonus, Julie Walters, in the role of Billy’s dance teacher, gives a stunning performance.
Finally, Born Romantic (David Kane, 2000) portrays a series of social misfits who set about finding true love in and out of a London salsa nightclub. Actors Ian Hart, Adrian Lester and Catherine McCormack give superb performances. The dialogue is witty from the very start and the soundtrack will have you dancing in your seat! Another feel-good film not to be missed.
In short, here you have some wonderful, highly-entertaining stories with substance to rent out on dvd from your local video store.