Saturday, August 25, 2007

This Preview is Rated R

I recently told some friends that I prefer to read subtitles to watching a dubbed foreign movie. Last night I watched a French film which I first watched with subtitles then watched dubbed. Although I still prefer the subtitles so that I can hear the actual voices of the actors, I'm now wondering if the dubbing isn't a more accurate interpretation of the writer's intent.

I never thought about it before but subtitles, out of necessity, must be severely edited to keep up with the pace of the movie. It's going to take me a lot longer to get through my NetFlix queue now if I start watching all my foreign movie choices twice, once with dubbing and once without.

My one exception to my preference for subtitles is 1970s Japanese kung fu/karate/ass kicking movies. I watched some of the movie below today and it and all its sequels are now in my ridiculously long Netflix queue.


Susan in St. Paul said...

I watched "she's got to have it" with German subtitles in Berlin. It was very interesting, in general the subtitles were complete with the exception when Mars (Spike Lee) says "Please baby, pleasebaby, please baby, baby baby please!" they translated it as "please baby"

If you haven't seen that movie, its interesting. Are you also going to watch "my father's glory" too?

Laurie said...

Susan - I've already seen "My Father's Glory." The movie I saw Friday night was "My Mother's Castle" which is the sequel to "My Father's Glory." It was wonderful.

Lorna said...

I can't figure out which part I liked best: the thigh tattoo, the killer haircut or the fly-over-and-drop-the-knife-into-his-head move.

And my word verification is OVABS---how appropriate is that?

Laurie said...

Lorna - That thigh tattoo was KILLER! I want one.

Andreea said...

I don't think that subtitles are (usually) cut in any way. On the contrary I think that dubbing takes away a part of the magic of the movie (just imagine Shrek dubbed in any other language, the voices just won't hold the same magic as Eddie Murphy's and Mike Myers').

Luckily in my country only subtitles are used (with very few exceptions) and I can tell you that only in very few cases they skip parts of what is being said and never important ones (duh). However in other countries (Hungary, Germany, France, Italy, etc.) the movies are dubbed so I have had my fair share of these too, so I know both sides of the story :P

There is one major advantage that I think subtitles have over the dubbing: translation mistakes. I met quite a few of these too. Luckily if I happen to know the original language and there seems something wrong with the writing I listen to what's being actually said and can detect the mistake. Whereas if the movie is dubbed... I'll be kept wondering forever :P

Jen T. (soon to be E.) said...

Brian watches subtitles no matter what. He says it allows him to pick up on things he'd miss if he was just listening to words and watching actions.

Laurie said...

Andrea - Thanks for the tips and nice to meet you. :)

Jen - I do that, too, when I think about it.