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"The Piano" Blu Ray - Missing subtitles?


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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   SD_Brian

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Posted February 01 2012 - 05:59 PM

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 of 8 OFFLINE   Bob Cashill

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Posted February 02 2012 - 12:39 AM

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...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 of 8 OFFLINE   SD_Brian

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Posted February 02 2012 - 02:00 AM

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

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted February 02 2012 - 05:03 AM

If the film ceases to make sense without them, they need to be there.


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#5 of 8 OFFLINE   SD_Brian

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Posted February 02 2012 - 09:04 AM

If the film ceases to make sense without them, they need to be there.

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 of 8 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted February 02 2012 - 10:07 AM

One would have to check an original release print.



"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#7 of 8 OFFLINE   DavidBC

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Posted February 03 2012 - 08:19 PM

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

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Posted February 03 2012 - 08:35 PM

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.