A few days ago I watched Blindness, which is an adaptation of the book of the same name by José Saramago. Great book, great film — you all should go get them. (Did I mention Saramago won the Nobel Prize in Literature shortly after publishing this book?) Besides that, I just had to comment how funny it is to watch the extras when the film is an international production!
The film was shot in Canada (Ontario and Guelph), Brazil (São Paulo and Osasco) and Uruguay (Montevideo); the producers are from Canada, Brazil and Japan; and finaly the book author is from Portugal, but is married to a Spanish woman. That is surely a lot of countries! As a side note, the “making of” shows the Canary Islands, where this year’s GUADEC and Akademy is being held. José Saramago and his wife live in Lanzarote, the easternmost island, and the event is being held in Gran Canaria, in the middle of the archipelago.
The “making of” had people speaking mostly in English, but also in other languages. In one scene, an actress was talking to the audience about how hard it was to shoot a specific scene, and then she acknowledged she didn’t know how to say gincana in English — Alice Braga is Brazilian (and I doubt there’s a decent translation for gincana). The director, Fernando Meirelles, is Brazilian too. He directed City of God, but is probably best known abroad as the director of The Constant Gardner. So, when Fernando Meirelles talked to someone in the “making of”, some times he would be talking in English, but some times in Portuguese, and I had to jump from the subtitles to the audio and vice-versa quite often. (I can read English much better than I can listen; and thanks to a remote controller malfunction the subtitles were in English, not Portuguese.) But then the “making of” had a scene which language I couldn’t decide… it was Spanish! César Charlone (cinematography) lives in Brazil, but was actually born in Uruguay. In the “making of” he talked a lot about how happy he was to be back in Uruguay, always speaking Spanish, and in the end he added with a smile: “Now you put subtitles on that!”
(Before someone claims this is mostly a Brazilian film: most actors are American, and the dialogs are all in English, except for two characters who talk to each other in Japanese. The story is contemporary but it is intentionally impossible to recognize the city(ies) where the scenes are shot.)