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December 1996, Week 3


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 09:22:07 -0600
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Murray Pomerance exults:
"Liz Weis's reply tickles me.  I remember having heard from someone else
the tale of actors handling dubbing jobs for multiple "original" clients,
but this particular one wasn't one of the cases.  Don't remember my
source.  But I'm convinced it's part of the practice.  I think Robert
Kolker's dubbing of adr as addition dialogue replacement misses by a
notch; it's additional dialogue recording, which opens more doors but
certainly includes replacement.  We seem to be searching for authenticity
here, don't we.  I'm sure I don't have to bring SINGING IN THE RAIN to
anybody's attention as a kind of template for a lot of the thoughts
hidden between the lines of these fascinating letters."
That prompts another reference point, the European films of Orson Welles,
where out of necessity he often overdubbed other actors' lines.  It's quite
obvious in some places, CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT especially (but also I think
some of Joseph Cotten's line in TOUCH OF EVIL).  The practice leads me to
wonder how *much* of a necessity it was for Welles.  Was it also testiment
to his remarkable voice (he was used to doing multiple voices in some of
his radio productions)?  Was it a testament to his own vanity?
Welles was very much a believer in the notion of the text as a complete, organic
unit, yet he was also very aware of and delighted in artifice for its own
sake as well.  Rather than look for a singe answer or interpretation of what
his "motives" might have been, I think it can be useful to look at his films
as meeting points for these contradictory impulses.
On a rather different point:
I seem to have started this thread by mentioning a student who did not "hear"
the dialogue in TOKYO STORY and assumed that the film was silent.
I have also noticed a related phenomenon from time to time.  When I show an
older color film, such as the original A STAR IS BORN, I often get at least
of couple of responses from students talking about that "black and white"
  Our print is not that faded!
But again, it seems to be a matter of expectation.  These students seem to
assume that "old"="black and white" and either do not see or remember the
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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