In the US, we have Hollywood. In India, they have Bollywood. I have no idea what they call it in Spain but I am dubbing the Spanish movie and TV industry Spollywood! Seems to follow some sort of convention and I think it has a nice ring to it!
Lately, I’ve been consigning myself to just Spanish TV and Movies, to help train my ear for the language. At the beginning, it seemed everyone spoke very fast. It was like listening to a ‘Chipmunks’ movie where they speed up the recording. But slowly and surely, it’s starting to slow down. And while I still have subtitles on in English, I’m starting to tease out words on my own and also to mechanics of the language.
This also requires me to be completely present. I can’t follow the drama or action while doing something else, like packing boxes. It doesn’t work that way – I tried. I have to sit down and pay attention. No multi-tasking on my phone or on my laptop, either. Nope – Spanish visual arts require my focus, and they are getting that 100%.
And, I’ve discovered there is some amazing Spanish produced TV and movies. Where has this stuff been in my life before? They’re original stories, too. Something the US film industry struggles to come up with. I finished the ‘Spanish Queen’ with Penelope Cruz. Very funny. And I’m obsessed with the series ‘Las Chicas del Cable’ on Netflix. Wow! Talk about drama and strong female characters and brilliant casting.
I’ve noticed other differences too. There is a lot of shouting and more arm waving than we have here. But I like it – it’s expressive and helps heighten the drama. Spanish TV is less provincial than we are. If they have something to say, they say it. If it means taking characters to uncomfortable place where the audience might squirm in their seats? Bring it on! It’s actual ART!
Jeff sat down with me last night to watch a couple of episodes. He laughed when he saw the costumes and the cars.
‘1928 – right in your sweet spot’ referring to my preferred costume drama period for cinema for 1900-1950. ‘But without a war.’
At first, he was on his iPad and then he got sucked in. I explained the plot and who the characters were.
‘Carolina is the horrible one who is Francisco’s secretary at the phone company. She is after Alba/Lidia, to expose her secrets and destroy her. And Carlota is confused if she wants a girl friend or a boyfriend. And Francisco, we can’t decide if he’s a good guy caught up in difficult circumstances, or if he was a good guy who is now a bad guy.’
Soon Jeff was looking over the rim of his glasses. I could tell he was enthralled. Just like me.
I haven’t thought much about what our life will be like on a day to day basis when we finally get our visas and land in Spain. But now I know what our evenings will entail. A bowl of popcorn and some world-class entertainment!