Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Torrente, el brazo *tonto* de la ley

Oh dear. I am up early, huddled under a blanket with my coffee in the sharp morning chill of Santa Monica (we tried to get our heat turned on yesterday, and learned we must wait a few more days), waiting for e-mail confirmation that Art Boy successfully dropped off our rocket cat at the vet. What an action-packed sentence! Anyway, while I am waiting, I have been browsing Defamer and idly opened a link to a Variety story about why Spaniards dislike Ali G. At first I scrolled past it, then I thought, "well, actually, Ali G/Borat seems very much like the Spaniards' cup of tea." Going out and humiliating the man on the street, while wearing a funny suit, is right up their alley; and SBC is good about asking questions that confirm Europeans' ideas of how dumb Americans are. So what's the problem? Why, it's that Spaniards already have "Torrente," the hilarious cop created by Santiago Segura who points up the Spaniards' own prejudices. (I like on the IMDb page how the full title translates to both "The dumb arm of the law" and "The stupid arm of the law." Imagine having to sit around and figure out which might be marginally funnier to English-speaking audiences.) I have never actually seen "Torrente" but certainly his concept doesn't translate to me, so it's fair enough, I suppose, for the "Ali G" concept to not translate to Spain. In fact, it's rather endearing. Oh, little Spaniards, you and your Torrente and your "Shadow of the Wind." I will visit you and eat your food and make fun of your American movie posters, but even after living amongst you I will never understand you.

(Yes, this is a wordy post. Must type to keep warm.)

Aiee! Santiago Segura was in "Hellboy."

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