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Monday 9 February 2009, 17:00

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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And talking about talking, foreign languages and crazy accents are the theme of this week's round up of your points well made...

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    Comment number 1.

    I have an unrelated question. What do you think is the most overated and most underated films of all time?

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    Comment number 2.

    Bafflingly, the version of Che I saw (at Watershed, Bristol, which I assume is the same shown everywhere else in the country) had most of its diegetic dialogue in Spanish accompanied by English subtitles, but the homodiegetic narration had been dubbed into English, with the original Spanish faded down beneath it. I think I can understand why they chose to do it this way - narration is a very different beast to dialogue - but it nevertheless felt a little odd.

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    Comment number 3.

    Well I'm Dyslexic and I watch subtitled films. I watched JCVD today and it was terrible.
    And when he goes on about himself,I felt like swallowing my own tongue for two seconds.

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    Comment number 4.

    I like how you state the commenters' names in such a nonchalant way. "This one is from Liquid Cow, this one from Angel Football Wizard..."

    Granted, mine's pretty odd too. But it IS a Wrestler reference.

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    Comment number 5.

    My Grandad (now deceased) was German and came here during the war. He learnt English mostly from watching films.

    Also I'm dyslexic, not in the usual ways but still have problems with words. I prefer to see films with subtitles to hear the voices cast as intended and the script as it was meant to be.

    One particular line change I loathed from Spirited Away, occurs when Zeniba's illusion of herself is destroyed.

    Original: "Oh my, I was careless"
    Dubbed: "Ooooo! A Papercut!"

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    Comment number 6.

    to iambags - wasn't the dubbing actually a translator for che in the interview in the movie. Also Mark CHAY not shay! jonathon ross was doing it too when benicio was right in front of him saying it the right way. it made me want to eat my hamster with the shame.

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    Comment number 7.

    Hi Mark,
    I would like to take issue with your comments on the broken because even though I have not seen the film, I would rather sit through a interesting new horror film then any of these vomit-inducing remakes that I have uinfortunately been tricked into seeing, the owrast being that wicker man remale it wasn't scary. Now I know you are going to say it is like a remake itself butt here is a difference betwen paying lip service to a genre and remaking a film, the biggest problem I have with most modern horror is that it is in the middl of the slasher genre again, as a man I have seen Halloween and think if anyone is trying something interesting they should be embrassed rather than discouraged.

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    Comment number 8.

    NeonLoveChicken - i think you're right, but this does pose another question: in Spanish-speaking territories, do they get those segments with the original Spanish audio (non-faded) or with the English translator's overdub and subtitles translating it back into Spanish?

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    Comment number 9.

    One thing that could be done (but isn't, to my knowledge) with foreign-set movies filmed in English is to use regional accents to suggest the regional accents of the setting. For instance, I get the impression that, to Germans, a Bavarian accent implies much the same thing as a Texan accent does to an American. I know that BBC radio comedy uses a Welsh accent (fairly or unfairly) as a shorthand for "possibly inbred yokel," in almost exactly the same way that American comedians use a Southern US accent (fairly or unfairly.) Proper casting, or voice coaching, whilst still using English-speaking actors, could convey nuances that would be lost in subtitles.

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    Comment number 10.

    On the comment regarding Benecio Del Toro for the Kermodes... rubbish. Martin Sheen for Frost/Nixon. To redress the incomprehensible way he's been overlooked in favour of Frank Langella by BAFTA and the Academy. I agree FL's performance is the equal of Sheen's but it's a game of two halves. In an ideal world, they'd share the awards nominations equally, as the performances draw and build on the other and should be considered as a joint performance.

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    Comment number 11.

    Talking of BAFTA and the academy awards; can I ask the good Doctors opinions of the clamour for the Dark Knight to get a nomination.

    Personally while I enjoyed the movie, I can't understand the level of acclaim it has received and despite some rather sensationalist articles (Empire magazines blog "a dark day for the academy" is a perfect example) it was not worthy of its plaudits and definitely not deserving of a best picture nod (luckily the academy saw sense before it was too late).

    I guess therefore my question is, if it were not for the tragic untimely death of Heath Ledger, would there have been any call for such an obviously flawed movie to get awards. While it sounds callous, I think the movie is entirely undeserving of its acclaim and grief has clouded the vision of many otherwise respected critics, especially considering that it was neither the best sequel, comic adaptation or sci-fi like movie of the year (Hellboy 2, Ironman and Cloverfield respectively).

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    Comment number 12.

    To add to a point made in the video concerning use of known, english speaking actors; I reckon there's another reason to not cast films in this way. Some of the best movies I've ever seen have a relatively unknown cast, not knowing that actors 'celebrity' status, not knowing their personality in real life and what not, means that a role is far more pure. Only fantastic actors can really rid themselves of their own well known persona to convincingly play somebody else. The advantage of 'new blood' actors is that their personality (whether we know it or not) plays into the mix of how that character comes across.

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    Comment number 13.

    I think you've really hit the nail on the head there Doctor. I get increasingly annoyed with crap accents in films. Why have Tom Cruise in Valkyrie when you could have had Thomas Kretschmann. If your character is east german, then give the role to someone from east germany. It's really that simple. I also think a language reform would help separate the men from the boys in cinema. The truly greatest of the great would learn the new language enough to say their lines convincingly. Some actors already have this potential, Christopher Lee can speak something like eight languages, yet he gets cast aside all too often or forced in to crap like 'The Howling 2'.

    The only problem I can see is that of viewing figures. You mentioned the American poster in the video but I think this problem is spreading. I'm 17 and I cannot see many of my peers wanting to have to go and read subtitles. "If I wanted to read i'd get a book". I would love the language reform, but i'd hate to see the death of cinema.

    Oh and i've got a question. With this new 3D revolution (i.e. Avatar), how would subtitles work? Would they ruin the 'immersion'?

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    Comment number 14.

    Oh, and I would very much enjoy hearing the good doctor's opinion of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and ofcourse, Vincent Price.

    I love the old horror films like Hammer House and Corman's Edgar Allen Poe Adap's, and being the major horror fan that he is, I think the good doctor's opinion would be very interesting indeed.

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    Comment number 15.

    Excellent, I got a mention in the Uncut blog! I'm dead proper chuffed to be told that I make 'a good point' too.

    To echo a few previous contributors, I would love to hear a full review of Che part 1 Mark. I haven't really heard you go into it in much detail.

    Jo

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    Comment number 16.

    While Mike Figgis' point is indeed astute, it is worth noting that his ideas were expressed in the excellent Kevin Brownlow Thames TV documentary from 1980 - Hollywood: A Celebration Of The American Silent Film in the very first episode of the series.

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    Comment number 17.

    HI DR MARK,

    I RECENTLY SAW THE AWFUL NICHOLSON/FREEMAN MOVIE, THE BUCKET LIST.

    WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBSIH.

    BUT IT DID REMIND ME OF A MUCH BETTER MOVIE MADE IN THE 80'S, STARRING TIMOTHY DALTON AND ANTHONY EDWARDS CALLED HAWKS.

    THERE SO MANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THEM.

    WHAT DO YOU THINK DR. MARK.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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    Comment number 19.

    Mark, asking the audience - and let's face it, you mainly mean Americans - to read subtitles is just a non-starter. They have enough difficulty understanding English movies with subtitles, let alone foreign ones. And asking Hollywood - despite citing examples where it has been done - to do movies in the accent it was designed for, is just even more of a non-starter. You seem to be forgetting just how racist Hollywood is: remember your review of 'Taken'? You called that film racist because of the way it depicts anyone who isn't American. And you are right, it is. THAT is Hollywood, and it's a long way from the culturally open-minded ideal you are hoping for. Hollywood takes great delight in taking films like '[REC]', redoing it in English, and utterly destroying it in the process. THAT is Hollywood. Look elsewhere for cultural diversity, not Hollywood.

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    Comment number 20.

    Hi Mark

    It will probably shock and disgust you to learn that i have never seen "The Exorcist". After hearing you constantly claim it to be the greatest film of all kind i feel compelled to watch it. However a quick search on the internet revealed several versions of the film, the main ones being the original theatrical release and the director's cut. Which shall i opt for? My instincts would lead me to the director's cut, but i am slightly dubious of William Friedkin's judgement. Did he cut it in his prime or after he'd gone a bit nuts?

 

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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

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