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Old 03-16-2017   #91
Speaking Mute
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Re: (Why) Have we stopped reading fiction ?

Quote Originally Posted by Mithras View Post
Has anyone ever encountered someone proclaiming to avoid subtitled films? I do not like being elitist, but I can't help but look down on people who avoid subtitled films.

If I limited myself to English speaking films, then I would be a lesser man, I feel. Bergman and Tarkovsky's films had formative effects on my life.
I never understood how subtitles were highbrow in themselves. The only reason more films aren't overdubbed or even reshot with actors speaking the audience's native language is expense. European filmmakers only fume about this now with English parallel shoots, remakes, and dubbing because America currently dominates the market, but the same phenomena is repeating itself with Mandarin as the Chinese film market booms.

For much the same economic reasons, it was once common for American and English pop songs to be rerecorded in German even if the singers could barely pronounce the language - most the German samples on the Residents' Third Reich N' Roll are actually sung by Chubby Checker, James Brown, and The Beatles.
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Old 03-16-2017   #92
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Re: (Why) Have we stopped reading fiction ?

I remember hearing among friends about people who simply refused to see a subtitled film.
At certain cinemas they warn you about subtitles if you request a ticket for such a film.

I'm thankful you hardly ever see English dubbing anymore. A lot of old Italian films are stuck with a bad English dub because the practices of the times. I once heard that even in modern times Italy doesn't allow subtitled films but that's too crazy to be true surely?

I once seen an utterly infuriating article somewhere about technology that allows people to insert a surprisingly convincing mouth speaking a different language onto actors onscreen. But it would probably look really bad in practice and its a huge insult to the actor's performance. I hope there's never enough people who think it's a good idea.

Even with dubbing, you lose a large part of an actor's performance.

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Old 03-16-2017   #93
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Re: (Why) Have we stopped reading fiction ?

Quote Originally Posted by Mithras View Post
Has anyone ever encountered someone proclaiming to avoid subtitled films because they don't like to read? I do not like being elitist, but I can't help but look down on people who avoid subtitled films.

If I limited myself to English speaking films, then I would be a lesser man, I feel. Bergman and Tarkovsky's films had formative effects on my life.
Many of my favourite films are subtitled but I'm not surprised that some people can't deal with them. It may not be an aversion to reading, but just an aversion to constantly switching their attention from the picture to the subtitles.
One of my pet hates is TV channel identification logos which are on screen all the time (and In Programme Pointers, IPPs, are even worse). All are abominations but some are so obtrusive that I literally cannot watch programmes blighted by them. Yet someone could accuse me of hypocrisy by saying "why aren't you bothered by subtitles then, which are distracting you from the beautifully crafted imagery?"
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Old 03-16-2017   #94
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Re: (Why) Have we stopped reading fiction ?

I was watching something recently in which both the subtitles and images were very difficult to keep up with at the same time. It was probably a Hong Kong film.

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Old 03-17-2017   #95
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Re: (Why) Have we stopped reading fiction ?

Dubbing in other languages is quite common in my experience. I've spent nearly a decade of my life living in Israel and another year in Egypt, and have seen many English language films in theaters overdubbed with Arabic, Russian, and Hebrew. This included a surreal viewing of a Harry Potter film dubbed in Russian with English subtitles - and a female voice actress in Potter's role.

I can understand the annoyance at poorly acted and poorly edited dubbing - but this ignores the number of films with poorly translated and poorly edited subtitles. Likewise, much of the angst against people who find subtitles distracting equates dislike of subtitles to a dislike of foreign language films themselves, which doesn't follow at all. Just mentioning one major counterexample to this sentiment, many Anime fans learn Japanese so they don't have to rely on subtitles or wait for subtitled releases.
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Old 03-17-2017   #96
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Re: (Why) Have we stopped reading fiction ?

Quote Originally Posted by Speaking Mute View Post
I can understand the annoyance at poorly acted and poorly edited dubbing - but this ignores the number of films with poorly translated and poorly edited subtitles.
I don't think so. Bad dubbing is way more damaging than bad subtitles.

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Old 03-17-2017   #97
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Re: (Why) Have we stopped reading fiction ?

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Speaking Mute View Post
I can understand the annoyance at poorly acted and poorly edited dubbing - but this ignores the number of films with poorly translated and poorly edited subtitles.
I don't think so. Bad dubbing is way more damaging than bad subtitles.
I personally wouldn't generalize either way. A poor translation is going to hamstring a movie whether it's in subtitles or dubbing. I immediately think of how Akira and Tetsuo were viewed as either completely incoherent or given over to all sorts of esoteric interpretations when both actually had straightforward plots and themes.

In a different direction, dubbing can cover bad voice acting or bridge cultural differences in acting aesthetics. I have nothing against Japanese language itself, but one of the reasons I dislike anime is because female Japanese voice roles seem to be typecast as either obnoxiously squeaky and girlish or a kind of sleepy monotone. Since this acting aesthetic doesn't carry over to Japanese film, I have no problem watching them with subtitles, but when it comes to anime, I definitely prefer dubbing.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #98
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Re: (Why) Have we stopped reading fiction ?

"We need to understand the role of art and literature and stop thinking about it as an option. It's not an option; it's not an option. What is it said, 'Man does not live by bread alone'...that's exactly right. We live by beauty, we live by literature, we live by art. And, literally, not metaphorically, we cannot live without it because life is too dismal and tragic in the absence of the sublime."

It's nice to hear a modern intellectual speak this way about art and it's absolute importance in our personal, and collective minds.

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Old 4 Days Ago   #99
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Re: (Why) Have we stopped reading fiction ?

I don't see why dubbed films would have a better chance of being better translated than subtitled films. They both involve translation. I find it difficult, myself, to get over the fact with dubbing that the voices are so obviously not those of the people on the screen. This is less of a problem with anime, for obvious reasons.

Addendum: This doesn't apply to everyone, of course, but if one is watching a subtitled film, with some grasp of the original language, then there are two chances to catch what is said, and if the subtitles are mistaken, one can often catch the mistake. With dubbing, you won't have a chance to catch the mistake. Subtitles are preferred by language students, again for obvious reasons.

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy

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Old 4 Days Ago   #100
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Re: (Why) Have we stopped reading fiction ?

Forgetting dubbing or subtitles for a moment, I cannot believe the number of people who refuse to watch a film if it isn't in color. Have any of you encountered this as well?

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H. P. Lovecraft
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