Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Friday, December 27, 2013

Minority report

So, tonight Coco and I used some aging AMC gift cards to go see Personal Tailor, a Mandarin-language comedy (dramedy?) film that portrayed an episodic tale of a Fantasy Island-like company that makes client's dreams come true, at least for a time. Their motto is "Fulfilling you by debasing ourselves." It was pretty good: by turns funny and dark, with frequent clever insights into human nature and current affairs in China.

For some reason, the manager let us cut the line when he saw we had gift cards. As he was processing our tickets for the show, he asked us "You know this movie has sub-titles, right?"

There were about a hundred or so people in the auditorium, and Coco and I were the only non-Chinese there. I casually remarked on this as the lights went down.

During the film, I had to go to the restroom, and I left the auditorium at the same time as a young man. As we journeyed together to the men's room, we had this conversation:

Him: I thought only Chinese people would go to this movie.

Me:  Well, I think we're the only non-Chinese in there.

Him: Did you know this was a Chinese movie before you came?

Me: Oh, yes.

Him: Why did you come?

Me: Well, we saw it on the website, and watched the trailer, and it looked like it was funny.

We talked a little more as we took care of business; he said that many of the situations and set-ups in the film were just funny to Chinese people, even without the dialogue or story. (This likely explained some of the laughter we heard but did not participate in.) He said in response to my question that the sub-titles were pretty good, in his estimation. And we made out way back to our seats.

I'm not sure what to make of any of this. Foreign films are not at all unusual in Seattle, so it seemed like an odd occurrence to us that we would be the only non-Chinese there, but I can't shake the feeling we were the only two who thought it totally normal that we would go see this movie.

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