Please Stand, The Movie is About to Start

Day 007 – July 29, 2011


So what to do when the wife has the day off from work courtesy of the Peruvian holiday of Fiestas Patrias and the kids haven’t started school yet?

Go to the movies, that’s what!

In the States, when we wanted to see a flick, it would be a simple matter of firing up the computer, launching our browser of choice (which would be Firefox), and selecting the URL of our local movie theater to see what films were playing when. However, this was not possible at this moment in time in Lima because we were without the Internet. For us to access the global network of networks, we had to take our tiny netbook to our local Starbucks and piggy-back off of their wi-fi. This would mean either bringing our mini-PC to the cinema or going to the coffeehouse and then coming back to our house.

Instead, we simply decided to throw caution to the wind (just remember to stand downwind) and travel to the theater and take our chances. Fate smiled on us as we arrived thirty minutes before a showing of Cars 2.

I learned something about movies here in Peru. Children’s movies are dubbed into Spanish while more adult fare is usually subtitled. The reasoning here is that tykes, for those old enough who can, have a tougher time reading so it’s easier if the film is dubbed. What this means is that I would have to rely on my horrible command of the language to follow the plot of the latest animated film from Disney/Pixar.

Another curiosity, but by no means the last, was the ticket provided by the cashier after we paid. In Virginia (as most likely all other 49 states), when we bought admissions for our family of five, we received a quintet of tickets that we would individually hand to the ticket taker. However, after we laid down our soles, we were given a sole receipt much akin to a restaurant bill. This meant that we could not split up our group allowing one adult to wait in line while the other bought snacks because when the line started moving, we all would have to be together since we only had one ticket.

We would be snackless at today’s feature. (Boo!)

Before the movie began and even before the trailers and commercials started, the lights dimmed and then music started playing. If that wasn’t odd enough, everyone in the theater stood up. I know a cue when I see one, so the rest of our family also rose for what I can only guess was the national anthem of Peru. It’s a stirring tune that even has parts where just the men sing and parts for just the women. With the music done, all sat down, the curtain rose, and the show began.

At first, I thought it seemed bizarre to play the nation’s official song before a movie, but, upon further review, I recalled that my home country plays their national anthem before all sporting events for no other reason except that it was a tradition started by the owner of the Boston Red Sox back in 1918.




Later, I e-mailed a former co-worker of mine who hails from Peru and I asked her about the playing of the national anthem in the theater. She explained that this was done only during the week that Fiestas Patrias was celebrated. This was confirmed for us when we saw another film, Los Pitufos, in August.

If you’ve never heard of the film Los Pitufos that’s because that is the Spanish translation of the movie known as The Smurfs.

It’s been fun to see how the titles of movies are translated. Here are some examples (and any errors in translation are mine as explained by Disclaimer No. 2).

Horrible Bosses became Quien Matar a mi Jefe (Who Will Kill My Boss).

Insidious was translated as La Noche del Demonio (The Night of the Demon).

Bridesmaids was advertised as Damas en Guerra (Women at War).

The translation of Green Lantern isn’t that much of a stretch as it crosses over plain and simple as Linterna Verde.

Movie poster for Green Lantern in Lima, Peru

I was able to skip this movie on two continents

I only bring up this movie because one poster that I saw had a translation of the beginning of the Green Lantern Oath. Instead of “In brightest day / In blackest night…”, the text read En el dia mas brillante / En la noche mas negra….

I know something always gets lost in a translation, but there’s just something missing in the oath when done in Spanish.

On a final note, you should know that I occasionally torment my kids by reciting the whole oath to them. They think I’m a nerd and they’re spot-on right.


About sinpolaris

sinpolaris is the psuedonym of a guy who likes to write.

Posted on October 19, 2011, in Difference, Peru and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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