The question of dubbing (The Passion of the Christ, and others)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by John Besse, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

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    I really wanted to see this movie in the theaters and I still want to see the film. However, I will only watch it if they dub the voices in English. I see no reason to ever purchase or watch a movie that isn't spoken in my language. I know this is a very niave statement, but I do not want to sit through a movie that is over 2 hours and read the subtitles. I've tried this before and never made it through the movie. The funny thing is, I read lots of books. However, I just cannot justify reading a movie... So, does anyone know if there is going to be an optional English dubbed track on this film?
     
  2. JonBoriss

    JonBoriss Stunt Coordinator

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    No there isn't thankfully, and I hope there never is.
     
  3. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    It's not like this is a typical foreign film. It was written and directed by an English-speaking filmmaker, with an English-speaking star. It was made in Latin and Aramaic for artistic reasons, so Mel Gibson isn't about to dub the movie for people who don't like subtitles.

    Your loss.


    No offense, but this is one of the saddest things I've ever read at HTF.
     
  4. Jeff_Standley

    Jeff_Standley Supporting Actor

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    I second that.
    John I hope you will reconsider this movie even with subtitles.
     
  5. Jonathan White

    Jonathan White Stunt Coordinator

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    I was like this until I saw City of God, this opened my mind to subtitled films. After 20 minutes I forgot about the subtitles and just watched the film. However if there is a dubbed English track I will always watch the film listening to it and I see nothing wrong with this. If City of God was dubbed I would turn off the subtitles. But alot of foreign films don't have dubbing but I still want to watch them. I think there is a certain snobbery when it comes to dubbing.
     
  6. JoshB

    JoshB Supporting Actor

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    I have been watching foreign films for a long time, and to only watch a film in your native language (especially being from the US) is closing yourself off to many of the finest films made. IMO you cannot call yourself a film expert or critic until you have seen films in their original languages. Such a statement to only watch films in your own language is very disturbing to me, and I don't believe I have ever heard such a remark before.

    To me, dubbing is dumbing down a film to audiences, simply trying to gain more appeal or attraction. They realize American audiences are not very open or aware of foreign cinema, and neglect it severely in my opinion. Many fail to do well over here, perhaps because studios feel the same way as audiences, that they want to watch and not read a film. Sometimes, the film will get major studio backing, or a famous named slapped on the title or promotion to help it sell.

    Many foreign films that show up on network or cable are the dubbed versions and they are robbing audiences of the viewing experience and not showing it as intended. In fact, showing any dubbed film is not showing us the film the way the film makers had intended.

    To me its no different than not watching a film in its OAR.

    So I think many should embrace and not neglect foreign films based on subtitles being there and the film not being dubbed. I feel many on the HTF will agree with me on this. I think the argument is similar to the fullscreen widescreen debate, but I think most of the movie going public, even those not entirely interested in foreign cinema would rather see it as it was intended, not something butchered or manipulated by others. These are just my thoughts and feelings, so take them for what you will.
     
  7. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I pretty much have the same reaction. I hope PASSION is not dubbed, and I do find it kind of sad that someone would hope otherwise.
     
  8. James N

    James N Extra

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    I agree, this is sad.

    To think, this guy is missing out on Felini, Kurosawa, Ozu, Truffaut, Tarkovsky, Bergman, Godard, and Melville, because of simple ignorance.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    Thankfully, Mr. Gibson and Fox know better and do not plan on releasing a dubbed version of the film.

    If reading the subtitles really is too much of an effort, here's a solution: buy or rent the film, then ask friends or family to watch it and have them read aloud the subtitles for you. You can turn it into a movioke event.
     
  10. Jonathan White

    Jonathan White Stunt Coordinator

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    Do directors who make these films want us to read them rather than listen to it, was this their original intention, do they want us to look at the bottom of the screen reading and not fully taking in the visuals they have created?
     
  11. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Their is a HUGE difference between;
     
  12. James N

    James N Extra

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    No, it wasn't their original attention, and while not ideal, is the lesser of two evils, compared to a dub.
     
  13. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    They would probably receive an even bigger audience if they were also re-edited to become summer blockbusters with new digital explosions and other special effects, but perhaps a bigger audience by whatever means necessary is not what the studios and distributors are trying to achieve with these films.
     
  14. Marc Bax

    Marc Bax Second Unit

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    Dubbing is the devil, open your mind and you'll be rewarded. You will not even notice that it's subtitled after awhile. Passion isn't a real dialouge driven movie anyways. Originally it was going to be released without any subtitles. This movie speaks without words.
     
  15. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    I don't mind subtitles myself and can empathize with John's viewpoint. Is a book or movie that is translated from it's original language any different? The opportunity for a movie to be presented in the viewer's native language should always be available.

    If the product is good enough then the viewer may take the extra step to experience it in it's original presentation to catch all the nuances.

    Do we despise alternate language tracks on mass market films?

    I find it sad that people are judgemental in how one prefers to experience media within their own domain.
     
  16. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    not very convincing, that's all.
     
  17. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    I happen to agree with this statement. If someone wants to watch the film in their language, I don't see a problem with that....as long as the original language track is there as well for people (like myself) who want to see it in it's original form.
     
  18. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    John, since Mel Gibson originally intended to release the movie without subtitles because he thought the images would speak for themselves, why don't you just watch it without the subtitles?
     
  19. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    I wouldn't lose any sleep if people watched this film dubbed into English (or in Pan & Scan). However, the DVD does not present a dubbed option. Is this really such a huge problem that it's impossible to watch the film at all?

    Besides, I'm not sure the HTF, with its clearly defined mission statement, is necessarily the place to criticize a DVD release for "only" having the original theatrical presentation, as intended by the filmmakers.
     
  20. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I really have to disagree with your "especially being from the U.S." statement. For all the great foreign language cinema out there (and there's a lot), it would be far worse (IMO), to have no English language films in one's stable (no Hitchocock, no Scorsese, no Kubrick, no Wilder, no Allen, no Hawks, etc., etc.).

    I realize it's an unpopular opinion around here, but I don't agree with lumping subtitles with OAR. OAR is getting the whole film as it was intended to be seen. Dubbing may not get you the correct audio track, but subtitling isn't the correct video. If there was a film in English, would you (assuming you don't have a hearing problem), watch it with English subtitles on. Doesn't that change the experience. Even if you took that film and added nonsense characters at the bottom, it would NOT be the film made by that director.

    Now, one can argue whether it's dubbing or subtitles that's the lesser of two evils, but this is not the same as the clearly incorrect p&s versus the clearly correct OAR. If you prefer subtitles, fine, but don't act like it's somehow keeping the director's original vision, when all it's really doing is keeping the director's original audio.

    If you had to watch a movie on an airplane, and your only choices were to have scenes with objectionable language excised, or kept in with bleeping over the bad words, you could certainly argue that one was better than the other, but neither would be correct.

    If you want to see a foreign language film as the director intended, your only true choice is to learn that language and watch it undubbed, and without subtitles. Subtitles may be better than dubbing, but it's not on the same plane as OAR.

    BTW, I have, watch and enjoy many subtitled dvds in my collection, so I'm not opposed to subtitles, just to elevating them to the status of OAR.
     

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