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E7S7LEV @ TOE.TOWSON.EDU (Peter Lev) writes,
 
>In BELLE DE JOUR, there is no way to know which scenes
>are "real," and which are dreams or fantasies.  Bunuel himself told inter-
>viewers he had no idea where the fantasies began or ended.  Or, in terms of
>the original question to SCREEN-L, Bunuel didn't know when the narrator was
>unreliable.
 
There has been some discussion of this on rec.arts.movies -- in the subtitled
version, the dream sequences are subtitled in italics, and the non-dream scenes
are subtitled in normal type.  People were a little outraged that the ambiguity
had been ruined this way.  But other posters who'd seen the film in the
original French, without subtitles, said that they were tipped off that the
scenes were not real because the speech on the soundtrack didn't match the
actors' lip movements -- it was either very out of sync or the actors were
speaking words other than the overdubbing added in post-production.  This only
happened in dream sequences (they reported).
 
If this is true, Bunuel certainly must have known where the scenes began and
ended, and was intentionally tipping off the viewer.  If it's not, how and why
would a subtitler use special type against the director's wishes?  They've had
20 years to make new prints, if Bunuel had objected to the italics, and in all
the reviews I've read not one has mentioned any objection on his part.
 
Personally, it was pretty clear to me even without the italics where the
fantasies/dreams began and left off.  I'd be interested to hear what other
screen-l readers think --
 
Molly Olsen
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