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Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Night at the Brazilian Embassy Theatre

If you are a bit confused by the title, then you will know how I felt when I got a text from my friend Dana the other day. The gist of it went something like:

"They are showing a Brazilian movie at the embassy, would you be interested?"

I texted back that of course I would. I was thrilled as Dana, my Dutch friend who was in the Ginger Crunch performance with me, had just earned the right to stay on in New Zealand another two years. So this would be our first chance to catch up in a few months.

Anyways, I made the assumption that Dana meant there was a Brazilian movie being shown at the Embassy Theatre, where they held the world premieres for the Lord Of The Rings trilogies. So when Dana texted me back the next day confirming that we were, in fact, going to the movie, she confused me when she gave me the address where I'd meet her: Brandon Street. The Embassy Theatre ain't on Brandon Street!

Yes, there really is a Brandon Street in downtown Wellington, and I am long overdue in getting a photo of me standing underneath the sign - perennial tourist that I am!

But I should know better than to ever 'assume' anything, as it only makes an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'. Brandon Street is quite a long way away from where the Embassy Theatre is, so I figured that Dana must be working on that end of town and I'd meet her there and we'd head to the theatre together. Given the time she'd mentioned to meet up, however, I knew we'd be getting to the Theatre late!

So I show up at the address a little early, and step inside the building. Then I read the building's directory and it finally dawns on me: we were meeting at the Brazilian embassy where they would be showing a free movie! The actual "Embassy Theatre" across town didn't enter into it, except in that fictional notion I had that they would be showing a Brazilian movie there. With my thick mindset, I didn't pay any attention to the fact that the only two movies on last week at the Embassy were Hitman and Into The Wild.

Why I'm sharing my dimwittedness with you, I'll never know, except in the hopes that it gives you an idea of how much stuff is in Wellington and how easy it is to get confused here.

But it turns out the Brazilian embassy here in Wellington runs a wonderful yearly program of free movies. They even provided free wine, cheese and crackers for us! And I got a free T-shirt, simply because I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at their final film of the 2007 season. The embassy staff were quite welcoming and friendly and I'll certainly be headed back for a movie or two next year. If/when I ever make it over to my own United States embassy I'll have to see if they are doing anything this nice for the masses! If they are showing free American films, however, this could really backfire - depending on the film.

But that is another topic for another day!

The film on offer this day was called O Caminho das Nuvens or "Middle Of The World". A bit coincidental that it sounds similar to "Middle Earth", home to the hobbits?

Nah. It was an uplifting movie about a poor family's struggle across the vast expanses of Brazil in search of work and happiness. I'd recommend it to anyone as the performances were excellent and it's a nice window onto Brazilian culture. There were no hobbits in sight (not that they're ever easy to spot), but if you want your next hobbit fix then you'll have to wait until 2010 or 2011!

So I really enjoyed finding yet another way to enjoy Wellington, this time via the Brazilian embassy and their open-handedness with the plunder: free movie, food, wine and T-shirt! After the film Dana and I repaired to KK Malaysian on Ghuznee Street for yet another first for me, but for Dana this place is a regular stop. I had the fish curry and it was excellent, and we split an order of mussels as an appetizer and they were top-notch as well.

I'll be going back to all of the above places again in 2008, of this I have no doubt!


Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Christmas blessings to you, Brooksie!

I, too, have made such assumptions. Unfortunately, I usually end up at the wrong spot.

The Brazilian Embassy films series sounds superb.

I, being myself an old Hobbit, am really looking forward to Jackson’s new film.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Brooksie said...

Thanks for the Christmas cheer, Nick! Always good to hear from you. I hear you about Jackson's upcoming Hobbit film. I can't wait until they start filming it - I'm going to drive around and see all the sets that I can!

8:10 PM  

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