Bartlett's Bizarre Bazaar

Comment, Comics and the Contrary. Contact: aj_bartlett1977*at*yahoo*dot*co*dot*uk
Enter your email address below to subscribe to Bartlett's Bizarre Bazaar!

powered by Bloglet

Monday, May 08, 2006


The Department of Culture, Media and Sport

The little Culture that I have to offer is a reflection on non-English language cinema. Discussing the film Princess Mononoke, it was agreed that subtitles are part of the plus points of these films. Not simply, or hopefully at all, for the snob value*. Nor simply, though this cannot be discounted, because it prevents me from having to listen to bad voice acting. Or, at least, bad voice acting that I find comprehensible. Nor, further, is subtitling preferable because dialogue that might be perfectly workable in Japanese, in Russian or in French cinema appears to be particularly artless scripting when translated into English. No, the subtitling of a film is a plus point because it forces creative and imaginative engagement. It cannot rescue the film from its unrelenting, unreflective pace – a book, by contrast, can be consumed at the pace set by the imagination of the reader – but subtitles do demand that the viewer follow every line of dialogue, using their imagination to give the lines a life that mirror the emotional expression of the otherwise unintelligible actors. When watching a subtitled film we are forced to give them a far greater space within our inner worlds then that demanded by a film in our native language.

*That said, I was astounded when buying a ticket to watch Night Watch in the cinema the teller leaned across and warned me that it was ‘in foreign’. When I laughed, she told me that people had asked for their money back. It cannot have been a bad as when I went to see Dogville; more than half the admittedly small audience got up and left as soon as they realised, I presume, that this was not ‘a Nicole Kidman’ movie.

In Media, I am a new writer over at The Sharpener. I do, though, have two problems; I have not yet decided when to publish my first post, nor have I decided what subject/s to discuss. Suggestions that answer my latter problem are welcome. I have also agreed to write the occasional post over at The Fluffy Economist; watch that space for more of me.

And so finally to Sport, and it can only be England’s twenty three. Fantastic! And I mean that. For my money, Eriksson has made the correct response to the loss of Rooney and has signalled that he will change the system to allow our two remaining world-class players, Gerrard and Lampard, as the main attacking force supporting a lone striker. All the controversy has been centred on Walcott, but taking a twenty-third player of, apparently, considerable talent, for the experience is perfectly laudable. Admirable, even, given that the ‘resigning’ Eriksson will not reap the rewards of this decision. As for Lennon, well, surely he had to be the choice over the bench-bound Shaun Wright-Phillips. And no-one is mentioning Downing, a brave pick who offers to play the role of dangerous ball-player on the left complementary to that Beckham plays on the right. With both of those pinging them off the head of Crouch, knocking the ball down to Gerrard and Lampard (and Cole) surging forwards we might have a system that accommodates the payers that England do have available, not the players that England wish that they had.

Good to see a positive reaction for once. Was quite surprised at the hostility to bringing in Walcott, shame the lad is an outlet for people's frustration re Rooney. As you you say, a brave choice, with subs that will be able to change the nature of the game, not reliably ape, but in poorer fashion the players they come on to replace
Excellent news that you're now on the team at The Sharpener - well done.

I agree with your conclusion on subtitles v. dubbing in non-English language films. In general terms I have an allergy to dubbing, though I think my reasons are slightly different from yours - if I'm watching an actor acting, I'd like to hear him/her as well, not someone else particularly (usually) a far inferior bit of acting. I find the combination of one person's body not quite matching with someone else's voice bizarre and distracting.

For this reason I feel less strongly on the subject when the film is animation - in particular they put together quite a reasonable cast for the English language version of Princess Mononoke, and I found it pretty tolerable. Though in general I'd still opt for the original, because it better reflects the film-makers' wishes.

Subtitles can cause their own problems though - I found the subtitles on The Ghost in The Shell rushed by at such a pace that they demanded my full concentration, and I couldn't properly appreciate the animation. Again the English-language version wasn't bad.
Post a Comment

<< Home


August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   February 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   March 2007  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

«#?» Listed on Blogwise