I just got back from a great new culturural experience with the host family--the Swiss movie theater experience.
When my host mom asked me if I would like to go to the movies with them, I said sure, only then realizing I hadn't been to a movie theater in over 5 months. In fact, I have only watched two movies not on my computer since I have been here, the Sting with my host family, and the Denzel Washington movie about a robbery with my old host sister Eva. And I have already seen both of those! I realized how much I missed just seeing a new movie, so I was excited by the time we pulled up to the theater.
There are some major differences in a Swiss movie theater compared to an American one. First of all, most movies you have to reserve seats for. My host Dad forgot which ones we had reserved be the time we got there, so we had to buy ours anyway. (hahahaha)
This was the only movie theater in Zug, so I was surprised by how small the screen was. It was about the size of one of the mini-theaters they have in malls in America. Also, all the seats were huge and velvety. I don't mean like normal movie theater velvety--I mean like Lazy Boy lounger comfy. And our movie theater had a balcony, like in a play theater! No one ate snacks or anything, so the seats didn't have cup holders which was pretty interesting for me.
We saw the movie Intouchables, or Untouchable in English. It was a French movie with German subtitles. I felt so proud of myself while watching it! Not only could I understand bits of French while listening, but I could understand all of the German subtitles! There would be a word once in a while I didn't know, but halfway through the movie, I realized that I had been reading the subtitles like they were in English. I wasn't translating what they said anymore, I just was reading them like I would read any dialogue. I was so happy when that dawned on me!
Of course, reading dialogue is way easier than reading a newspaper or book. Think about it, in most movie the conversations are almost always at 3rd grade reading comprehension, like "Hey, how are you?" "I'm good, you?" and so on. It still was cool feeling semi-trilingual though!
The movie stopped halfway through for an intermission, which really confused me at first. During that time, people go on and buy ice cream and socialize for 15 minutes, and then the movie starts again. It was actually really nice, I liked having time to stretch and talk about the movie (which was really good by the way).
I don't know if it has come to the states yet, but I would totally recommend seeing Intouchables. Its about a rich man who is paralyzed that hires a guy from the slums to help him. It is Pretty Woman meets the Blind Side, and I think it is one of the funniest and heartwarming films I've seen in a long time. It's getting all this French Oscar buzz, especially for the guy who played the lead.
All in all, seeing a Swiss movie was totally worth the $16. J Edgar Hoover is coming out soon, and I've decided I want to see it on the nights they play it with German subtitles now.