A slightly crazy and loveable member of the fraternity who loves to drink and do amazing things with his eyebrows!
August 21, 2003 6:43 AM   Subscribe

How do you mean, "Hee-Haw, Sam Wainwright?" A collection of film synopses for english as a second language students. Some folks have taken on the herculean task of explaining idiomatic language in some popular films. It's an odd collection with some - Dr. Strangelove, Animal House, etc. being explained about as well as one can explain comedy. And others that even folks who do speak english don't really care about.
posted by ice_cream_motor (9 comments total)
...and the international communist conspiracy...
to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

"The international communist conspiracy" refers to the belief that the Soviet Union and other communist powers were out to make the whole world communist. "To sap" is to weaken, and "to impurify" is to make impure, or to corrupt. "Precious" is very valuable and rare, and "bodily fluids" refer to such fluids as saliva and blood.

Ohhh, now I get it.
posted by oissubke at 6:55 AM on August 21, 2003

Boy, they're really not afraid to take on the biggies. From American Beauty (line and paragraph breaks added for clarity):

You don’t think it’s weird and kind of fascist?
"Weird" is an important word that means strange or bizarre (It is widely used in this movie). "Fascist" usually refers to a dictatorial political system, but note many people use it more generally to refer to any system they think is unfair, such as how people are fired at a job.

Let’s just all sell our souls and work for Satan, because it’s more convenient that way!
A person’s "soul" is the non-physical part of them that lives on after they die, and "Satan" is another name for the devil.

Gotcha! Now explain "life," "the universe," and "everything" and I'm ready to roll.
posted by languagehat at 7:18 AM on August 21, 2003

I've noticed a few mistakes. For instance, in the explanation for "Fargo", night crawlers are identified as a type of pastry, and "Whoa Daddy!" is rendered as "Wow Laddy!"
posted by Shoeburyness at 7:44 AM on August 21, 2003

Wow, that Adobe GoLive sure makes some pretty web pages.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:00 AM on August 21, 2003

This one is brilliant.

He's kicking ass.
... In this case, "he's doing well."
... (Though to "kick someone's ass" is to beat them up).
posted by grabbingsand at 8:06 AM on August 21, 2003

It's an interesting concept, but they really need to find someone who knows more than three HTML tags to do their web design. The pages are practically unreadable.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:11 AM on August 21, 2003

I like how they try to explain some of the concepts behind the usage although they miss some important connections. For example, in the treatment of Doctor Strangelove it's not explained that Slim Picken's character is speaking a dialect of English associated with, well, hicks and that his accent and word choice have associations that go beyond just 'dated and silly'. For example:

"Something doggoned important is going on back there."
"Doggoned" is a dated and silly way of saying very.

"doggone" is a euphemism for "god damned" which is also used for emphasis.

I also want to add that it's this kind of thing that definition lists were made for.
posted by wobh at 8:36 AM on August 21, 2003

Didn't even check out the link -- just wanted to say thanks for the "It's A Wonderful Life" reference...I just love the way that line is delivered in the movie!

Hot Dog!
posted by davidmsc at 4:12 PM on August 21, 2003

hey really need to find someone who knows more than three HTML tags to do their web design.

Well, to be fair, the guy probably converted the PDF versions automatically. Let me just provide a testimonial: My Brazilian houseguest and I watched "The Producers" together recently as part of an ongoing Gotham film festival. This would have been very useful to have on hand!
posted by hairyeyeball at 5:04 AM on August 22, 2003

« Older squirt!   |   ... and then claims sun doesn't rise in the East..... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments