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December 1995, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Andrew Arnold/CAM/Lotus <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 21 Dec 1995 12:55:34 EST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (41 lines)
Welcome to one of my biggest peeves in the world
of rarefied films.  Crappy subtitling.
Just in general:
Why do they leave out huge chunks of dialogue?
I can read an English sentence of ten words in about a second.
Why don't they pick up the pace and / or enrich the dialogue?
Why do they NEVER translate songs?
Why doesn't someone please re-issue classic foreign films with new,
improved subtitles?
Here are the top three worst subtitling jobs I have ever seen:
1. _Breathless_, dir. Jean-Luc Godard
Among the many sins committed against this picture
is outright bowdlerization.  The famous last line
has been changed from calling her a "bitch," (I assume, my French is poor)
to "jerk."  The dialogue is obviously much more hard-core than the wincingly
outdated subtitled version that STILL makes the rounds.
2. _The Seventh Seal_, dir. Ingmar Bergman
Whole swatches of dialogue were ignored, and for those that weren't
the subtitles wouldn't keep up with who was talking, resulting in extreme
3. _Persona_, dir. Ingmar Bergman
This poor guy seems to get the worst of it.  As I recall there is an entire
four-minute monologue by one of the women, as she brushes her hair,
looking in the mirror, which is left totally and completely untranslated.  Was
it THAT risque?
Who was primarily responsible for the censorship of these films?
The American Distributor?
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