"The Piano" Blu Ray - Missing subtitles?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by SD_Brian, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. SD_Brian

    SD_Brian Supporting Actor

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    I've seen Jane Campion's 1993 movie, The Piano many times, including theatrically, on LaserDisc and on DVD. In all cases, the Maori dialogue and much of Holly Hunter's sign language was subtitled. On the new Blu Ray version, however, none of these scenes are subtitled. There are two possibilities: 1) The subtitles are missing and the disc is flawed or 2) The subtitles were never intended to be there but were added by Miramax for the American release. I know, back in the day, Miramax would quite often make modifications to their foreign acquisitions before releasing them in the U.S., so it's entirely possible that was the case and the Blu Ray is finally presenting the film sans subtitles, as Jane Campion originally intended. Since communication barriers are a major theme of the film, the lack of subtitles certainly makes artistic sense. Does anyone know the answer?
     
  2. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    The script is online, and indicates where subtitles are used. (Whether this is the original script, or someone's transcription from a prior DVD, I don't know): http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Piano,-The.html I haven't looked at the disc, but it does have English and Spanish subtitles. Maybe you need to turn them on?
     
  3. SD_Brian

    SD_Brian Supporting Actor

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    I tried it with the English subtitles on: it subtitles the English dialogue but nothing else.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    If the film ceases to make sense without them, they need to be there.
     
  5. SD_Brian

    SD_Brian Supporting Actor

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    The movie works without subtitles, which is why I'm wondering if they were part of the original design or if they were the text equivalent of the Blade Runner voice over, mandated by a studio that was afraid the audience wouldn't "get it."
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    One would have to check an original release print.
     
  7. DavidBC

    DavidBC Second Unit

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    Jane Campion's published screenplay contains the subtitles. This disc would seem to be hugely flawed. Too bad, it's a great movie.
     
  8. Fritz Nilsen

    Fritz Nilsen Second Unit

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    The subtitles were omitted from the Australian Blu-Ray released a few years ago as well. The impact on the movie is debatable, but I miss them.
     

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