English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

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MichaelB
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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#101 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:13 am

In my experience, you can't generalise about "the average cinemagoer in Europe", as different countries will have sharply different attitudes.

I'm fully aware that this list itself risks accusations of generalising (and corrective comments from actual residents of these countries are warmly welcomed), but I hope it's broadly correct:

Germany/Italy/Spain - dubbing is universal both in cinemas and on television, so this is overwhelmingly the preference outside cinephile circles. I lived in Italy in the mid-80s and went to the cinema regularly, but the only two films I saw with subtitles were The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle and Down By Law - and I gather the latter was at the contractual insistence of Jim Jarmusch (who knew that the film would sell to Italy come what may, thanks to having an authentic Italian megastar in the cast, and so he'd be able to dictate terms), and vividly recall an outbreak of audience groaning when the first subtitle appeared. I even saw Ran for the first time in dubbed Italian, as bizarre as that sounds - and a decade later, when I took an Italian friend to see Il Postino in London, she was genuinely startled (albeit pleasantly surprised) to find that it was in Italian, as she assumed upfront that it would have been dubbed into English.

France - dubbing is extremely widespread, but an unusually strong cinephile culture ensures that you usually get an original-language option in the cinema, certainly in major cities (and invariably in Paris).

Belgium - because there are two official languages, subtitling is more common (in French and Flemish if the film is in neither language).

Netherlands/Scandinavia - these are single-language territories, but because of small population sizes dubbing generally isn't considered financially viable except when it's a practical necessity (kids' films, for instance). As a result, subtitling is all but universal aside from native-language productions, and frequently encountered even in popular television programmes, so it's widely accepted, and I suspect this is a major reason why people from those parts of the world are more likely to speak good English than people from elsewhere in Europe.

Eastern Europe/Greece/Russia - instead of dubbing, they frequently resort to the much cheaper option of an obtrusive voiceover translation, usually by a single voice. I gather that sometimes the translators become cult celebrities in their own right, a famous one being Tomasz Beksiński (son of the surrealist painter Zdzisław Beksiński), who was particularly celebrated for his versions of James Bond and Monty Python films, whose translations he'd sometimes perform live for audiences. To anyone who doesn't speak the relevant language, of course, these versions are unwatchable - you can hear enough of the original soundtrack to make it especially annoying that it's constantly getting drowned out.

UK - much like the US, i.e. a widespread aversion to dubbing (except in the case of Italian and HK genre films and anime, where it's considered more acceptable), but also a widespread aversion to subtitles. A blockbuster success for a subtitled film would be a gross of over £1 million, but this is very rare indeed.

Incidentally, when I sat down to watch Jan Komasa's The Hater on Netflix a few months ago, I was rather startled to find that I was automatically served up with the English dub. I realised fairly quickly what was going on, and switched to the original Polish with subtitles, but I wonder how many people would have simply ploughed on, especially if they were more interested in the film's disturbingly topical subject-matter (social-media manipulation of real-life personal and political events) than in linguistic authenticity.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#102 Post by knives » Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:52 am

Honestly, for your last point I kind of wish dubbing in high quality was more common nowadays as subtitling only, especially in the US, seems to have place too large a canyon for people to cross. The at least moderate mainstream status of a lot of ‘60s and ‘70s foreign films seems caused by dubbing opening the door.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#103 Post by tenia » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:06 am

MichaelB wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:13 am
France - dubbing is extremely widespread, but an unusually strong cinephile culture ensures that you usually get an original-language option in the cinema, certainly in major cities (and invariably in Paris).

Belgium - because there are two official languages, subtitling is more common (in French and Flemish if the film is in neither language).
I can confirm both of these are quite accurate. However, one important thing to consider is that there are wide disparities depending on the movies you're looking for and the size of the cities you're in. In France for instance, it's indeed much easier to find original-language options in major cities, but some of the bigger movies will be much more shown dubbed, while arthouse films are likely to be easily foundable in subbed showings.

Same in Belgium, with the specificity than you have discrepancies between Flandres and Wallonie : Flandres are much more used to subtitles (because of their proximity with the limited Dutch market being too small to justify paying for a dub), while Wallonie is French-speaking and thus more tied to the dubbed French market. In some places in Wallonie, it can be hard to find a subbed copy nearby, even more so for big Hollywood movie.

On a side note, Luxembourg has an habit for multiple-subtitles-copies, because they're just so multi-cultural. Most of the movies I've seen, including in big Cineworld-type complexes, were subbed in French and in either Dutch/Flemish or Luxemburghese.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#104 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:59 pm

Apart from the fact that I don't think it would be funny in any language, one of the truly untranslatable aspects of La Classe américaine is that Michel Hazanavicius used many of the original French dubbers of the Hollywood movies he excerpted and rewrote, so it would be like American audiences seeing the movie and hearing THE John Wayne or Paul Newman themselves talking about diarrhea etc

It's also worth remembering that most of the Hollywood films the Young Turks praised in their prime were seen by them in dubbed versions

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#105 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:21 pm

Slightly tangentially, this reminds me of Gilbert Adair's review of Alan Resnais' The Same Old Song, which he said was a rather humbling experience as he'd long considered himself not merely bilingual (even to the point of translating Georges Perec's legendary novel-length lipogram La Disparition into the English A Void, with an identical ban on using the letter E at any point outside the author's name) but also bicultural - until he saw the Resnais film and realised that it could only truly be understood by French people of roughly Resnais' own generation who'd fully absorbed their native culture from birth over many decades and who therefore could be relied upon to summon up specific associations from merely hearing a couple of bars of an otherwise ordinary French chanson. Adair was savvy enough to recognise this, but he also understood where he fell short in a way that he'd never be able to make up.

I understand that Zoltán Huszárik's Szindbád is similarly elusive to non-Hungarians - there's no doubt about its immediate visual impact (fifty years on, it remains one of the most bewitchingly beautiful colour films in cinema history, as amply demonstrated by the Hungarian National Film Archive obligingly publishing the first three minutes in 1080p on YouTube), but the spoken language is only truly comprehensible on the multiple intended levels if you're a native Hungarian speaker, as it's so crammed with subtle allusions and echoes of the past. And in neither case would dubbing work, as we're dealing with works that were calculatedly designed to be overwhelmingly French or Hungarian.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#106 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:25 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:21 pm
Slightly tangentially, this reminds me of Gilbert Adair's review of Alan Resnais' The Same Old Song, which he said was a rather humbling experience as he'd long considered himself not merely bilingual (even to the point of translating Georges Perec's legendary novel-length lipogram La Disparition into the English A Void, with an identical ban on using the letter E at any point outside the author's name) but also bicultural - until he saw the Resnais film and realised that it could only truly be understood by French people of roughly Resnais' own generation who'd fully absorbed their native culture from birth over many decades and who therefore could be relied upon to summon up specific associations from merely hearing a couple of bars of an otherwise ordinary French chanson. Adair was savvy enough to recognise this, but he also understood where he fell short in a way that he'd never be able to make up.
Absolutely true for that movie, and I had a similar realization when watching (as posted somewhere on this forum). Luckily as a romantic musical comedy, it still works and is entertaining, but there is a gnawing realization on the part of any halfway self-aware non-French viewer throughout that they're missing all the references that made it so popular with French audiences

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#107 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:09 pm

China is an interesting case, because 15 years ago it was all but impossible to find undubbed prints of foreign films outside the very biggest cities, and that's assuming undubbed prints were made available in the first place (for example, no Japanese films were released with the original soundtrack intact until Norwegian Wood in 2011). Today the situation has completely changed to the point that subtitled copies outnumber dubs almost everywhere, and many imported films (usually the "smaller" non-blockbuster fare) don't get dubbed at all. As someone who lived in a so-called "second-tier" city from 2007 to 2014, I saw the transition myself and was startled by how quickly it happened.

The best explanation is that the huge growth in Chinese cinema attendance has been driven primarily by young people who are more comfortable with foreign languages, through a combination of increased emphasis on foreign-language education, the growing internationalization of business and tourism, and the internet's normalization of subtitled original-language videos via fansub groups and streaming services that acquire lots of foreign content and don't want to lay out the money to dub it all into Mandarin. Domestic films have also played a big role in this normalization, since for the last two or three decades virtually every film released in China—even those with dialogue in the most formal standard Mandarin—comes with Chinese subtitles on the print, and open captions are ubiquitous on TV.

But this doesn't apply to Cantonese films from Hong Kong, which are still released almost exclusively in Mandarin dubs—in fact until fairly recently it wasn't even permitted to release the Cantonese versions outside of Guangdong. The only films I remember opening with Cantonese versions in the city where I lived were for some reason all reissues: A Chinese Ghost Story, New Dragon Inn, and Ashes of Time Redux. My theory is that this was because a lot of the mainland audience would've grown up watching those films in Cantonese via VCDs or DVDs and the distributor and/or exhibitors wanted to tap into that nostalgia.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#108 Post by GaryC » Thu Jan 07, 2021 5:59 pm

With the caveat that it was a while ago, Switzerland seemed to be similar to Belgium - two sets of subtitles on prints, in this case French and German. When I saw Rambo III there, there was often a third set on screen as well, English translating Russian dialogue which is presumably what happened in English-speaking territories. (I didn't see the film in the UK - it wasn't until I got home that I found out the BBFC had cut it heavily.)

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#109 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:52 pm

Every film I've seen in Switzerland has had French and German subtitles (I remember watching Educating Rita there at about the time I took O-levels in those languages, which was very educational), although for obvious reasons I've exclusively gone to English-language films - I assume if they were in French or German, which I daresay is true of a pretty substantial number, the subtitling situation would be a fair bit more straightforward.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#110 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:41 pm

In Malaysia you find trilingual subtitles, where a movie in, say, French or Japanese might be subtitled in English, Malay, and Chinese. A movie in English would more likely be subtitled in Malay and Chinese, a movie in Malay in English and Chinese, and a movie in Mandarin in English and Malay. Neighboring Singapore is officially quadrilingual (English/Mandarin/Malay/Tamil), but in practice almost everyone knows English, Chinese, or both, so you typically get Chinese subtitles on English-language films and Chinese/English subtitles on non-English films.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#111 Post by _shadow_ » Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:06 am

One consideration that is typically ignored regarding subtitling versus dubbing is that the latter is considerably more costly than the former, and this impacts the decision about which format to use for localization along with regional preferences. Dubbing may be reserved for a few languages while subtitling is offered in a wider range, simply because it's not worth the investment of dubbing in the wider range of languages.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#112 Post by movielocke » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:01 am

After disdaining dubbing in my youth, the dubbing of the Ghibli films in the past few years has convinced me it’s far superior that subtitling.

But, important caveat, only if the dubbing actors are being directed by someone who understands the story and are skillfully cast and are performed by talented actors and the entire dub is assembled with care by an editor and director and mixer to blend back into the mix minus track

Then in that scenario dubbing is amazing. But dubbing into English is almost never like that.

In live action, the dubs done for the emigrants and the new land are my favorites I’ve seen, they were on the old WB vhs, but those were also reduced edits of the film, so the dubbed soundtrack wouldn’t match to the criterion edition and is probably why they didn’t include them on the criterion release.

The fritz lang story is telling, because the early/mid thirties is when they figured out they could mix a film with separates and could sell films internationally again by providing the mix minus track to be reused and a localized dialog track made to be married to it.

It was rough couple years that cinema production around the world briefly went from major international sales to none as the sound revolution took place. That this financial excision coincided with the Great Depression didn’t help either. Getting back international sales when dubbing was normalized was an important and necessary step.

Subtitles didn’t really take off for some time, Eskimo for instance uses inter titles like in silent movies. In smaller markets subtitles might appear as the cheap and dirty option. In large markets subtitles were fairly unnecessary so long as production was organized around delivering separates for audio. This meant that films had to be foley filled, sync sound was only a guide track for editorial (to be discarded in final mix), and all dialog had to be post looped. All very expensive tasks by well paid specialists. But not a problem to big film industries anywhere, The whole world of cinema production was pretty much all MOS all the time. And dubbing (like any other part of the industry stuck in cruise control) also got lazy and stodgy.

So when you have direct sound recording start to take off in the late fifties early sixties, along with the arriflex being both cheaper than a Mitchell and massively more mobile, you see this explosion of youth cinema production all over the world. Kids loved this cinema that caught their zeitgeist, only one problem. Most of them were not MOS (because that was the whole point of a lot of the new technology) but that meant the hot youth film couldn’t deliver separates for dubbing for international sales because their final sound was all baked together. The sounds of the street were in the dialog for example, the sounds of the street weren’t foley filled and the dialog wasn’t looped.

That meant that when these popular new youth cinema products were trying to be sold internationally (as fast as possible before the trend died) the folks in other markets had two options: spend massive amounts of money creating a full replica soundtrack from the ground up (including separate dubbed dialog),

Or spend a very small amount of money to commission subtitles and a medium/small amount of money on opticals to strike a new print with the new subtitles burned in.

Overwhelmingly, the choice tended towards the latter. And audiences imprinted on it. Because they even if you don’t know the language, you can hear the performance as the actors have a greater range and nuance and sincerity than you got with stodgy lazy dubs.


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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#113 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:05 am

_shadow_ wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:06 am
One consideration that is typically ignored regarding subtitling versus dubbing is that the latter is considerably more costly than the former, and this impacts the decision about which format to use for localization along with regional preferences. Dubbing may be reserved for a few languages while subtitling is offered in a wider range, simply because it's not worth the investment of dubbing in the wider range of languages.
I pretty much covered this in my long country-by-country post above, and also added the practice of voiceover translations in eastern Europe, which may be the cheapest option of all.

And to add to movielocke's post above, Jan Švankmajer's first two features Alice and Faust offer an instructive lesson in the differences between good and bad dubbing. By the cheerful admission of executive producer Keith Griffiths (who commissioned the track in the first place), the English dub on Alice is dreadful - obviously done on the cheap, with next to no attention paid to lipsync (although admittedly Švankmajer's stylistic approach of shooting gigantic close-ups of Alice's mouth doesn't help here), it's only really endurable because much of it is voiceover and the film is overwhelmingly visual. The English dub was effectively the only dub available for more than two decades, until the BFI's Blu-ray included the original Czech soundtrack - although they included the English dub as well for nostalgia reasons (and also because I wanted to show the film to my kids, then in mid-single figures, and I knew they wouldn't tolerate subtitles).

By contrast, the English dub on Faust is a stunning piece of work, with a virtuoso performance by Andrew Sachs doing all the voices as though he was a puppetmaster giving a live performance. To my ears, it's a distinct advance on the Czech, not least because source writers like Christopher Marlowe can be quoted directly, and lip-sync isn't an issue because of the film's idiosyncratic general approach. When the film was restored at a decade or so ago, it had theatrical screenings in the Czech version, but I was delighted to see that Athanor's Blu-ray includes both.

And another Švankmajer film that plays noticeably better in English than in Czech is The Fall of the House of Usher. Since it's entirely voice-over, there are no lip-sync issues, English arguably is the original language anyway, since the Czech is merely a translation of the Edgar Allan Poe short story, and the most crucial improvement comes with the fact that this overwhelmingly tactile film no longer has to be viewed through a thicket of two-line subtitles. Sadly, I'm not aware of the English version getting a video release - I've only seen it once on the big screen. (I had no idea that there was an English version when I put the BFI's Švankmajer shorts box together way back when, because of course I'd have included it - and the soundtrack may of course have been recorded much more recently at the time of the restoration.)

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#114 Post by feihong » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:21 am

Thanks for this, it's very informative. I do think that many MOS films have a special kind of frenetic energy that can only come from that scenario. In Fellini pictures, for instance, you have a kind of hectic energy you can imagine comes from Fellini yelling at the actors to do this or that while the camera's rolling. There's an intensity of action in a film like 8 1/2 which you don't see in synch sound pictures. In Hong Kong in the 80s and 90s, you feel that same frantic fervor, for the same reason. Once synchronous sound enters the picture, that special feeling just isn't there. I don't think it's just pressure to create realism when synch sound becomes a factor, either; something about not being able to communicate the energy of the scenes makes it strange. Apparently Fellini would play music during scenes. King Hu would play a drum that signaled the timing of his fight scenes––which is why, I think, those scenes still come off with a special, charged energy you don't see as prevalently in films of the same era, like Deaf-Mute Heroine (not that Deaf-Mute Heroine was shot with synchronous sound; but it doesn't seem to have had the drum backing up the actors).

Still, there's part of me that loves the somewhat lost art of the synch sound picture with a very wet soundmix; films like The Scent of Green Papaya and Cyclo come to mind here; movies where moments linger as you hear traffic from far-off streets, the creak of a bicycle's rusty wheel, footfalls in foam sandals, and the extraordinarily specific cadences of people's voices. Nowadays the mixes often don't include such a wide variety and combination of foley and sound captured on the set. There's a kind of streamlining of the sound in most pictures that takes away the potential sensual quality of a very active sound mix.

As for dubs vs. subtitles, though, I much prefer subtitles. I watch the Ghibli films with my niece in dubbed form (she's 5 and is learning to read), and I do recognize how good those dubs are. Standard anime is not dubbed at that level of quality. Either way, however, I can't, as you say, hear the right intonation coming out of the dubbing actors' mouths, and it drives me crazy. The Fanning sisters and whoever they had doing the girls' voices on the Troma dub just don't sound like the characters to me, attentive and good as their performances are. They just sound like they come from another place, and things in the scenes mean something different to them than they did to the original performer. I have listened to dubs of some very trashy Hong Kong movies, like Crystal Hunt, where the copy I had offered no subtitles. It's not such a fun experience to me. But then, I often like the dubs on Italian giallos. The dub of Death Occurred Last Night is amazingly good, even though I'm positive that's not Raf Vallone's real voice dubbing for himself. I don't think it's Frank Wolff dubbing himself, either.

I guess in the end it works or doesn't work for me on a film-by-film basis. Generally, I think I feel like if the original track was laid down with a lot of subtlety and feeling, I'll almost always prefer that. If the film is deliberately shot multilingual and dubbed in every language, I don't care quite so much––so long as the dub is good. And if the dub is done badly, I just don't like it, nohow––excepting, of course, Modfuck Explosion, where it's supposed to sound that way and that makes it hilarious.

But also, I have to say––reading subtitles is an art not everybody is down for, but one that I love. I'm even proud of how fast I can read subtitles, what tiny fractions of seconds I can boil it down to, so I never miss an image of the film while I'm reading. I guess part of it is that I love reading––an act that makes me feel more alive than almost anything, and which makes me more alert for movies than usually I am when I don't have to read.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#115 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:07 am

Miklós Jancsó also post-synched his major 1960s/early 1970s films - unavoidably, since the incredibly long takes and complex camera movements (Red Psalm needed two focus pullers!) meant that recording live sound for anything other than reference purposes was impossible.

Although, that said, I'm not aware of any English-dubbed versions of the great Hungarian films - although the slightly later Private Vices Public Virtues appears to be equally legitimate in English and Italian (the cast comprises native English, Hungarian and Italian speakers, so lipsync is all over the place regardless).
feihong wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:21 am
But also, I have to say––reading subtitles is an art not everybody is down for, but one that I love. I'm even proud of how fast I can read subtitles, what tiny fractions of seconds I can boil it down to, so I never miss an image of the film while I'm reading. I guess part of it is that I love reading––an act that makes me feel more alive than almost anything, and which makes me more alert for movies than usually I am when I don't have to read.
I do virtually all the SDH subtitling for Indicator titles, and I quite frequently trust the viewer to be able to read faster than official guidelines suggest! Although the upcoming Twentieth Century may test that theory to breaking point.
Last edited by MichaelB on Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#116 Post by TMDaines » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:13 am

MichaelB wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:13 am
Eastern Europe/Greece/Russia - instead of dubbing, they frequently resort to the much cheaper option of an obtrusive voiceover translation, usually by a single voice. I gather that sometimes the translators become cult celebrities in their own right, a famous one being Tomasz Beksiński (son of the surrealist painter Zdzisław Beksiński), who was particularly celebrated for his versions of James Bond and Monty Python films, whose translations he'd sometimes perform live for audiences. To anyone who doesn't speak the relevant language, of course, these versions are unwatchable - you can hear enough of the original soundtrack to make it especially annoying that it's constantly getting drowned out.
I disagree somewhat on this. Lectoring, in my opinion, is just like an audio subtitle, and I've regularly been happy enough to watch films on Ukrainian TV that I'd otherwise run a mile from if dubbed. This form is much less intrusive than dubbing, as you get the original voice and sound dimmed in the background. The lector isn't hamming up and trying to personify American moviestars either. They are just translating.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#117 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:17 am

That's lovely for you, but I personally find them unwatchable, as for much of the running time, you really can't hear the original voice and sound well enough (one man's "dimmed" is another's "swamped"). Fortunately, I've very rarely been in a position where I've had no alternative, although I have had to subtitle English-language stuff with foreign-language voice-over translation (a recent example being a French TV interview with Joseph Losey for Indicator's Eve, the original interview track having presumably been junked more than half a century ago) and while I've tried to transcribe as much of the original English as I could thanks to a combination of what I could hear between the voiceover and lip-reading, it's ultimately been impossible to get it perfect.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#118 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:07 pm

The only films I ever watched like that was the pre-Milestone DVD of I Am Cuba and one of the DV Godard films (I think Vent d’est), the latter of which had TWO audio translations running at the same time as the French original audio. I have no interest in seeing/hearing any others

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#119 Post by knives » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:20 pm

There’s also the Russian War and Peace.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#120 Post by Swift » Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:42 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:17 am
That's lovely for you, but I personally find them unwatchable, as for much of the running time, you really can't hear the original voice and sound well enough (one man's "dimmed" is another's "swamped"). Fortunately, I've very rarely been in a position where I've had no alternative, although I have had to subtitle English-language stuff with foreign-language voice-over translation (a recent example being a French TV interview with Joseph Losey for Indicator's Eve, the original interview track having presumably been junked more than half a century ago) and while I've tried to transcribe as much of the original English as I could thanks to a combination of what I could hear between the voiceover and lip-reading, it's ultimately been impossible to get it perfect.
I've often been searching on Youtube for somewhat obscure films and only found Russian voiceover ones. I've found that practice ridiculous but your mention of a TV interview reminds me that this was actually a common occurrence (still is?) on sports interviews in the 90s in the UK. It was certainly used on programmes like Transworld Sports and I think on Channel 4's Italian football coverage. Obviously it was then used for comedic effect on Eurotrash as Colin mentioned. Then of course you have the voice ban on Gerry Adams which resulted in media outlets farcically having to hire actors (including Stephen Rea) to dub him in order to circumvent the ban.

Thanks for your (and others') insights on this, very informative.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#121 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:05 pm

The Russian version of Sokurov's The Sun has a single-voice translation by Sokurov himself. He has a pretty characteristic voice-over style that I knew from his documentaries, so it was interesting to hear it applied to a performed drama.

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#122 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:05 am

domino harvey wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:07 pm
The only films I ever watched like that was the pre-Milestone DVD of I Am Cuba and one of the DV Godard films (I think Vent d’est), the latter of which had TWO audio translations running at the same time as the French original audio. I have no interest in seeing/hearing any others
The one that comes to mind to me is also a Godard: the scene of Jane Fonda reading her latest article to camera in Tout va Bien, which then gets overdubbed by a French narration, that itself then gets translated back into English by the subtitles! I have to admit that it took me a couple of viewings of the scene to get past those layers of translation to properly comprehend and internalise what Fonda was actually saying, though being a Godard film those layers of obfuscation (even the added English subtitles) felt amusingly appropriate.

And on dubs there is that amusingly bizarre fully English language dub of Contempt on the Criterion DVD that entirely negates the function of Georgia Moll's translator character, turning her from a (selective) translator into somebody who just parrots everything her boss says!

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Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#123 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:09 am

colinr0380 wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:05 am
And on dubs there is that amusingly bizarre fully English language dub of Contempt on the Criterion DVD that entirely negates the function of Georgia Moll's translator character, turning her from a (selective) translator into somebody who just parrots everything her boss says!
Probably the most linguistically challenging French novel I've ever read in the original is Raymond Queneau's Zazie dans le métro, and I thought I did pretty well until I saw the film and realised that a character that I'd visualised as a man sitting in the corner of a café repeating the same banal phrases over and over again was in fact a parrot.

Orlac
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:29 am

Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#124 Post by Orlac » Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:06 am

colinr0380 wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:05 am


And on dubs there is that amusingly bizarre fully English language dub of Contempt on the Criterion DVD that entirely negates the function of Georgia Moll's translator character, turning her from a (selective) translator into somebody who just parrots everything her boss says!
See also the English dub of Way of the Dragon, where said parrot is Mr Ho (Wei Ping Ao), and Bruce Lee's constant problems with understanding English (in Italy!) make little to no sense!

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TMDaines
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Location: Stretford, Manchester

Re: English Dubbing/Version Inclusion on the DVD

#125 Post by TMDaines » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:36 am

MichaelB wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:09 am
colinr0380 wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:05 am
And on dubs there is that amusingly bizarre fully English language dub of Contempt on the Criterion DVD that entirely negates the function of Georgia Moll's translator character, turning her from a (selective) translator into somebody who just parrots everything her boss says!
Probably the most linguistically challenging French novel I've ever read in the original is Raymond Queneau's Zazie dans le métro, and I thought I did pretty well until I saw the film and realised that a character that I'd visualised as a man sitting in the corner of a café repeating the same banal phrases over and over again was in fact a parrot.
:lol:

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