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August 2000, Week 2


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Eugene Walz <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 8 Aug 2000 16:45:16 -0600
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The third time I watched The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeoisie, I watched
and listened and read the subtitles, only to discover how inadequate they
were; for instance, early in the film the young  bourgeois girl is told
that she is being "indiscrete" in the French dialogue but this is not
translated at all into the English sub-titles, which, given the film's
title, one would suppose would be more than just a minor omission.

It made me very wary about teaching films in another language, even while
recognizing the necessity of doing it to give an accurate sense of world
cinema and alternatives to Hollywood. I am especially nervous when
presenting Chinese cinema where culture and language can skew an

Like the other respondants, all I can advise is: consult, consult, consult:
with cultural experts, essayists, and even students, many of whom take a
foreign cinema course because they have special preparation.

Gene Walz
University of Manitoba

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