February 12, 2006

Exercices de style

In my attempt to become at least slightly conversational in French I spent the evening properly preparing for my next French tutorial on Monday. Sometimes I really wonder why I put myself through this... I also don't understand why I find it so hard after mastering a language like Japanese! If only I could speak this too...

In any case, tonight was a struggle. After cancelling last week's tutorial I had promised to send in my assignment not-at-the-last-minute (i.e. tonight, at the latest) to my tutor which meant I needed to finish it now. What we're doing is pretty tough though, if I may say so myself: we're (or at least, I am) re-writing our (my) own versions of Exercises de style. In a way it's a fun exercise, but much more demanding than just filling out grammar exercises in a book!

The original book by Raymond Queneau is a pretty fascinating linguistic experiment. One story, of two paragraphs, is re-written in 99 variations. It really is very interesting to see how he juggles the language to make it a fascinating read every time. I'm using the Dutch translation alongside it, but this would have been a major challenge for any translator!

So, I'm trying to do the same to my little story. Pffff... As I said, it's a struggle. But hey, it's me who wants to learn French so I really shouldn't be complaining, right?

Unrelatedly, I've also been looking for good new films. There seem to be quite a few out at the moment. Any recommendations? Will try to see at least one of the following I hope:
Me and you and everyone we know
Paradise Now
Walk the line
They all seem good though.

[update - 27/2]
See, I really don't go to the cinema all that often. Two weeks after posting that I had oh so many movies that I wanted to see, I finally saw the first of those listed (Munich) last night. Good, I think. Although it wasn't as great as I was expecting. Still a fun night out though, as I also got to catch up with a close friend.
Ah well, still a long list of movies to go ...


Jules said...

Munich was really good - very thought provoking. Walk the Line - amazing movie. Brokeback Mountain - also really good.

So many good movies out at the moment due to the Awards season. I really want to see Good Night & Good Luck, and Syriana (I think that comes out next week here in Australia).

machiruda said...

Oh yeah, the other three that you mention sound very good too. Luckily those aren't out here yet (I think) so that makes the choice somewhat easier!
I'm especially interested in Syriana, quite curious what they have done with the whole energy/oil-thing (I know, I know, nerdy but hey)

TessaJ said...

Yes, Brokeback Mountain and Walk the Line. Also Capote and Munich and Good Night & Good Luck are all great.

Two smaller films -- Mrs. Henderson Presents and Transamerica.

This is such a great year for movies!

chimera said...

All the films you mention are very good - I have a soft spot for Me and You and Everyone we know - it was fresh and quirky and different. I really enjoyed it.