November 22, 2010

Harry Potter et les Reliques de la Mort

I am a huge Harry Potter fan. Knowing that I would be in France when the first half of the seventh movie came out, I packed my hard cover copy of book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I also packed my hand made Ravenclaw Hogwart’s uniform to wear to the movie.

For reasons unknown, the film comes out in France a week later than in the rest of the world (not until the 24th of November!). At first this bummed me out, but then I remembered that Belgium is next door. The movie came out the 17th in Beligum, and I made FBF take me.

We went to Tournai, an adorable town about 30 minutes away. We had bought our tickets online, and had no trouble getting in to the theater and finding good seats.

My movie ticket!

After procuring seats, FBF and I were going to take turns going to the bathroom before the movie. FBF went first and announced that the “toilettes sont payant. Ils coutent quarante centimes” (you have to pay 40 cents to use the bathrooms).

Hating having to pay to pee, especially when I’ve already paid to enter the establishment and use their facilities, I decided to just hold it for the duration of the movie plus the ride home.

I was a little heartbroken to discover that I was the only one dressed up for the occasion. Sure, I had given FBF my spare Slytherine tie, but he was embarrassed because nobody else was in costume. Nevertheless, I didn’t let the lack of other people’s enthusiasm ruin mine.

The lights dimmed, and the WB logo appeared on the screen. In true fan fashion, I cheered for the start of the movie! Nobody else did. I was met mostly with people laughing at me.

Now due to the week-long delay of the release of the movie in France combined with the fact that the French hate subtitles, we figured we’d be getting to see the movie in English with French subtitles. However, the movie was dubbed in French. I now have no idea as to why the French are so behind the times as far as HP7 is concerned.

Despite not understanding every single word, I was enjoying the film. I was in the action. I was lost in the world of Harry Potter, and only slightly annoyed at the million things they had gotten wrong, when the projection started acting weird and going black. Thinking that something was wrong, I was concerned while simultaneously thinking that they’d better get it to work again really soon and give me some sort of refund for ruining my experience, when one of the theater’s employees walked in the room. “Mesdames, Messeiurs, on vend la glace!” (Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re selling icecream!)

I was shocked. They had interrupted the movie on purpose. To sell ice cream. When it’s 40 degrees outside.

This wasn’t a short little blip. It wasn’t a technical error. It was planned. It lasted 15 minutes.

Yes, Belgian movie theaters have an intermission.


  1. Hello
    Never seen such thing in a French theater... you're unlucky. And normally you might check on the Internet if your theater screens movies in VF (version française) or VOST (version originale sous-titrée). Allociné does that very well but only for France.

    Do you plan to go see it again in English at Lille ? :) Maybe you already did.

  2. Hello Julien!

    I do want to see it again in Lille in English, but I haven't gotten around to it yet!

    The Belgians are just weird, or so my boyfriend keeps telling me. It didn't say on their movie theater's website whether it was in French or in English, but luckily I speak good enough French that the chance of it being in French didn't hinder my desire to watch it when it first came out!

    Thanks for the tip about Allociné. I'll definitely check them out!


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