Reading the Movies

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Fletch, Nov 30, 2002.

  1. Fletch

    Fletch Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here is something my wife and I found interesting.After renting Amalie the other night,we thought it was good enough to recommend to a few friends.The next day at work they complained that they had to read the subtitles.Now,how many people out there in HTFland have heard someone complain about that?
     
  2. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ugh, I know several people like that too. It annoys me to no end because these are intelligent folks who I know have no problem readings. Seems, though, that when it comes to movies they don't want any words. I just brush them off like I do all the P&S folks. I am an anime junkie who insists on watching it in it's original language and hates dubs, so I have honeslty gotten so used to reading subtitles I don't even notice anymore.
     
  3. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My mom complained, but watched Rashomon anyway.
     
  4. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    Messages:
    6,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm not sure if I've encountered anyone like that before...

    Does anyone get so used to watching subtitles that it's like they're not even there and the characters are actually speaking English (or whatever language the subtitles are in)? I think that's only happened to me with one movie (Shall We Dance?), but nonetheless...
     
  5. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I can think of a lot of folks like that, and not all of them are dumb. Indeed, I have a friend (a university reader) staying with us at the moment who's borderline dyslexic and has an appalling time with subtitles.

    I personally have no problems with subtitles. If anything, I get nostalgic about them. When I was a student I used to practically live in the local art house cinema with its seemingly endless parade of foreign movies, all subtitled. I occasionally catch myself thinking 'I really should be working on that essay' whilst watching them.
     
  6. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    2,143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Francois Caron
    Whenever I watch anime features filled with Japanese mysticism (both real and imagined), I can't even begin to listen to it in English! Even when a French language track is available (I find movies translate better to French than to English), I still can't listen to a movie such as "Mononoke Hime" without cringing! It's like a badly made puzzle. It just doesn't fit!

    I know a couple of people who might object to subtitles. However, most of the people I know don't object to subtitles in principle and can easily live with them. For me, subtitles are only a problem during events such as the Montreal World Film Festival where everything is subtitled so that at least both French and English language versions are available on the screen. Unilingual people may not realize this, but listening to a movie in one language and reading it in another (both of which you understand) can make your brain do a 180° turn on its stem.
     
  7. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah, I know people that complain about having to read subtitles. If I mention a foreign language film where reading them is required, they usually just say "No thanks". My wife, for example. She likes love story movies just about as much as anyone, but she would not watch Amelie. I on the other hand, pretty much hate "corny love movies". Not that Amelie was one(well, actually it was) but I enjoyed it a lot. Watched it about 8 times. She also would not watch a non English version of "Life is Beautiful". She's missed at least 2 excellent film because of this. They are just 2 great movies !!!

    As far as subtitles on "regular/nonforiegn" movies, I use them too but not on the first viewing or if someone else that doesn't like them is watching with me. I, for one, can not read the subs and follow the movie closely. I would miss way to much. Thats why I use the subs after a regular viewing. When the movie starts, I ask, "Subtitles or no subtitles?". We enjoy finding and noting discrepancies. It is alway amazing how often they say something different than what I thought they said. As an added plus, they can be a decent way to bone up on your 2nd language skills too.
     
  8. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    4,374
    Likes Received:
    405
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Real Name:
    Clint
    I have no problem at all reading Das Boot while I watch it in German 5.1. If a person likes the movie, it really doesn't matter about subtitles.
     
  9. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2000
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Subtitles, dubbing and pan and scan are all alterations to a movie that detract from it. The directors certainly didn't intend for you to be reading something at the bottom of the screen, and I've seen films where the subtitles obscured parts of the movie, blocking important images. Likewise some movies have the dialog going so quickly that you just can't keep up with subtitles, or the subtitles are not proper translations of what is said.

    However until the day comes when we can download a language instantly, subtitles are a necessary evil if we are to appreciate foreign language films. However I for one would prefer a perfect dub to reading subtitles so I can watch the film, but such are very hard to come by.
     
  10. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2000
    Messages:
    15,790
    Likes Received:
    402
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Real Name:
    Steve Christou
    Well I don't mind at all reading subtitles for my Hong Kong action favorites or 'Das Boot', but with anime I can enjoy both subtitles and dubbed equally. I've watched 'Akira' dubbed and it was still effective (especially the new dub), but I've been watching it in its original language for years so I prefer it subtitled.

    But I also watch some of my English speaking films with English subtitles because my German girl Sandra prefers them on, it helps her a lot with learning English and spelling. So I got used to it.
     
  11. Fletch

    Fletch Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You folks make me feel a lot better about it. We have quite a few friends that will not rent a movie unless it is dubbed. No subtitles for them.Pity what they are missing.
     
  12. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1998
    Messages:
    7,585
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You know, I am not against a dub per se because just as it is not the "original" version neither is one with printing all over it which you must glance down at as you watch the film.
    But since almost all dubs are done horribly with terrible acting the subtitle approach comes much closer to giving you a native language experience.
    Das Boot is a case of a strong dub however, done mostly (or totally) by the original actors.
    I don't need the lips moving correctly, I need the same great acting. If that can be done (along with a solid translation) then I think a dub is a very effective tool for bringing a film to a foreign language.
    My point being that there is nothing inherently "better" about watching with subtitles, but sometimes I think it is presented that way. It is tied in with the OAR fight, but they aren't the same thing. Subtitles ARE NOT how people who speak the film's native language saw the film either. I think films should always have the native language as a track on the DVD, but any technique that can bring film viewing experience close to what a native language speaker had when watching the film is fine by me.
    Of course the subtitle approach is very easy to adapt to and anyone who skips a film for this reason is clearly missing many great films for no good reason. But subtitle translations can be just as bad as a bad dub. I have some imports of Kurosawa films that are translated so poorly that its worse than reading pigeon English or something. In that case, if those DVDs had dubs that were translated better (they don't of course) and acted moderately well I would always watch the dub instead.
    In the end it would just be better if I could understand all the other languages. I guess I need to step it up. [​IMG]
     
  13. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 1999
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     

Share This Page