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A place for you to post comments on our articles.
74

The Coming of "Geisha"
Topic by: JGereben
Posted: December 8, 2005 - 5:03 PM PST
Last Reply: December 16, 2005 - 11:04 AM PST

page  1  2  3  4      prev | next
author topic: The Coming of "Geisha"
ahogue
post #21  on December 9, 2005 - 2:48 PM PST  
> On December 9, 2005 - 2:05 PM PST Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > Out of curiosity, can anyone think of films made about America that don't get it right? Let's see...I'd say Zabriskie Point counts.
>
> So you want to open a can of worms, eh?
---

Sorry, Eo. I actually really like that movie, if that makes any difference.


> --
> > lars von trier's films would work.
>
> Meaning they don't get it right?
> ---------------------------------

Well, Dancer in the Dark was definitely a weird, dreamy idea of America.
Eoliano
post #22  on December 9, 2005 - 3:08 PM PST  
> > > Let's see...I'd say Zabriskie Point counts.

> > So you want to open a can of worms, eh?

> Sorry, Eo. I actually really like that movie, if that makes any difference.

Heheh, no apology necessary, I really like it too. A visually stunning film. By the way, have you seen the so-called new print of The Passenger?

> > > lars von trier's films would work.

> > Meaning they don't get it right?

> Well, Dancer in the Dark was definitely a weird, dreamy idea of America.

Not being one to appreciate LvT, I hereby abstain from any further comment.
ahogue
post #23  on December 9, 2005 - 4:07 PM PST  
> On December 9, 2005 - 3:08 PM PST Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Heheh, no apology necessary, I really like it too. A visually stunning film. By the way, have you seen the so-called new print of The Passenger?
----

I was thinking of seeing it tonight. Why, is it bad?
woozy
post #24  on December 9, 2005 - 4:22 PM PST  

> I was thinking of seeing it tonight. Why, is it bad?
> ---------------------------------

Heh, heh, If I went to night I could spy on you in the dark. Heh, heh.

The New Yorker complained about "The Triplets of Belleville"'s view of New York that they took to be obviously New York in that all New Yorkers were obese hamburger eaters, and New York is a hell-hole. What the new yorker didn't seem to understand, is just as Americans think France = Paris and London = England, to Europeans New York = America and it's all Americans, not New Yorkers, who are obese hamburger eaters and the city Belleville was no more a hell-hole than Paris. Anyway, so that got America wrong. 'course it was a *cartoon* so...

Eoliano
post #25  on December 9, 2005 - 5:29 PM PST  
> By the way, have you seen the so-called new print of The Passenger?

> I was thinking of seeing it tonight. Why, is it bad?

Not in the least! A terrific film and one of Antonioni's best. My only complaint was that the print I saw seemed awfully grainy since I remember the film being very crisp and clear when it was originally released... as one would expect from MA.
Cosplayer
post #26  on December 9, 2005 - 6:36 PM PST  
They're releasing it in Japan and everyone is pissed. I dunno, little things like that don't usually bug me. Music, makeup, accents, whatever. Maybe I'll see it with subtitles in Japanese from whatever the hell version they wind up seeing.
pooja
post #27  on December 9, 2005 - 7:04 PM PST  
You KNOW I want to see the Hindi dubbed version!
:-)

I believe a lot of Americans' objection to dubbing is due to the quality of dub scripts, direction and performance. I would submit that in countries where dubbing has been elevated to a well-established and respected film profession the quality is much better and there is more public acceptance.

Also, historically and functionally film has been a storytelling medium for the masses, even for a country with an imperfect literacy rate. That democratic aspect of film only works if the lines are spoken in a language that is understood by the viewer. So say you are watching a film from India or Africa or somewhere that doesn't yet have the literacy rate of the United States. One could make a case that the film's creator's intent is that the lines are HEARD not READ. In such a case the intent of the creator might be better served by dubbing rather than subtitling. Maybe Americans are justly proud of their literacy. But sometimes I think it's a matter of smug subtitle snobbery. You equate illiteracy with stupidity.

However, for me personally I prefer subtitles. I read fairly fast, and I happen to like the sounds of foreign languages and I want to hear it... For me the speech almost merges with the music in the score to give me an aural sense of the world of the film.

I think Americans need to remember how popular animated films have been recently here. Now there's even an Oscar category. Well, those films are essentially "dubbed" so there!
Battie
post #28  on December 9, 2005 - 8:41 PM PST  
> On December 9, 2005 - 7:04 PM PST pooja wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> You KNOW I want to see the Hindi dubbed version!
> :-)
>
> I believe a lot of Americans' objection to dubbing is due to the quality of dub scripts, direction and performance. I would submit that in countries where dubbing has been elevated to a well-established and respected film profession the quality is much better and there is more public acceptance.
>
> Also, historically and functionally film has been a storytelling medium for the masses, even for a country with an imperfect literacy rate. That democratic aspect of film only works if the lines are spoken in a language that is understood by the viewer. So say you are watching a film from India or Africa or somewhere that doesn't yet have the literacy rate of the United States. One could make a case that the film's creator's intent is that the lines are HEARD not READ. In such a case the intent of the creator might be better served by dubbing rather than subtitling. Maybe Americans are justly proud of their literacy. But sometimes I think it's a matter of smug subtitle snobbery. You equate illiteracy with stupidity.
>
> However, for me personally I prefer subtitles. I read fairly fast, and I happen to like the sounds of foreign languages and I want to hear it... For me the speech almost merges with the music in the score to give me an aural sense of the world of the film.
>
> I think Americans need to remember how popular animated films have been recently here. Now there's even an Oscar category. Well, those films are essentially "dubbed" so there!
> ---------------------------------

I have no obection to GOOD dubbing, but most dubbing is...bad. And besides, it's weird to see the actors' mouths moving, but the words not fitting it.

I kind of like the voice of the actor to be his own. Sometimes the voices don't match the faces or expressions...
ahogue
post #29  on December 10, 2005 - 1:44 AM PST  
> On December 9, 2005 - 7:04 PM PST pooja wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> You KNOW I want to see the Hindi dubbed version!
> :-)
>
> I believe a lot of Americans' objection to dubbing is due to the quality of dub scripts, direction and performance. I would submit that in countries where dubbing has been elevated to a well-established and respected film profession the quality is much better and there is more public acceptance.
> ---------------------------------

I agree that in principle dubbing is the better option when it is a simple matter of translation. Certainly, no matter how fast you are at reading, you are not paying enough attention to the film as a primarily visual medium if you are constantly glancing at the bottom of the screen, regardless of the filmmaker's intentions.

I watch some things dubbed, like Kare Kano, which has such rapid fire dialogue that I could never hope to read it all and watch the show at the same time. I imagine watching His Girl Friday with subtitles would be a challenge too.

On the other hand, if a film's intention is to portray another culture, with its own language, realistically, I think it should either 1) use the original language with subtitles, or 2) at least adopt a consistent dialectal convention. And in any case I am so sick of Romans who speak the king's english. These details really do matter. To me, at least.

Well, I think my ultimate point is that there's a difference between a French movie about French people being dubbed in English and an English movie about Japanese people being "dubbed" in English.
pooja
post #30  on December 10, 2005 - 7:06 AM PST  
> On December 10, 2005 - 1:44 AM PST ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> On the other hand, if a film's intention is to portray another culture, with its own language, realistically, I think it should either 1) use the original language with subtitles, or 2) at least adopt a consistent dialectal convention.

Yes, but what if the entire film is set in another culture? Let's say a bunch of Americans made a film set in ancient China, so far in the past that the Chinese spoken there is very different from modern Chinese... then you'd make it in English, right? Or is the Mel Gibson/Christ thing the way to go? Resurrect even a "dead" language for authenticity's sake?

> And in any case I am so sick of Romans who speak the king's english. These details really do matter.

I don't see how it does, if they make an effort to avoid anachronistic words and expressions. At least Britain was part of the Roman Empire once. I don't think Ridley Scott would have made Gladiator in Latin and subtitled it. It's not like anyone speaks casual Latin any more, let alone actors. What would you propose as an alternative? English spoken with some vague Mediterranean accent?

I don't think you need to make a hard and fast rule about this... if you make a good film, the audience would care less about what language is being spoken with what accent unless it's SO jarring it keeps reminding you that you're watching a movie.
woozy
post #31  on December 10, 2005 - 12:46 PM PST  

> Yes, but what if the entire film is set in another culture? Let's say a bunch of Americans made a film set in ancient China, so far in the past that the Chinese spoken there is very different from modern Chinese...

I'm not sure if I were an American making a film for americans in a *modern* country that I wouldn't use english anyway. After all, the aliens in sci-fi tv shows speak english. But speaking in English with an accent is just ... ?huh? where's the logic in that?

> > And in any case I am so sick of Romans who speak the king's english. These details really do matter.
>
> I don't see how it does, if they make an effort to avoid anachronistic words and expressions. At least Britain was part of the Roman Empire once.

Ha! Actually it's a big convention that the ruling upper class Romans all speak with oppressive upperclass English accents and the upstart individualist uderdog protagonists speak with rebellious American accents. In Sparticus, Jean Simmons, slave-girl character spoke with a well recognized english accent (seemed civilized and soft) and they wrote in she was tutured in Britain as explaination which considering there was no English nor English accents in Britain at the time makes no sense.

As for anachronisms, in the early 80's there was a TV mini-series about Roman occupied Isreal and there was a scene in which a roman soldier asks another to had him a few more meters of rope. This was an *american* show. Many viewers pointed out the inconsistancy of this. As America wasn't then on the metric system, it seemed the only reason to refer to "meters" rather than "yards" (or whatever term *would* have been used in ancient rome) was to make the Romans appear European.

IronS
post #32  on December 10, 2005 - 8:42 PM PST  
I'll probably see this film when it comes out mostly due to my bf's crush on Michelle Yeoh. I don't see what the fuss (over the Chinese actresses) is about since the Japanese didn't like the book anyway. If Pat Morita can be the Emperor, then why can't Ziyi Zhang be a geisha? As for dubbing the non-English speakers' lines, well, Glenn Close dubbed Andie MacDowell's lines for "Greystoke" so I suppose the filmmakers could have chosen people to dub for everyone in the film (except for Michelle Yeoh, of course). What an uproar would that cause, I wonder...
IronS
post #33  on December 11, 2005 - 7:37 PM PST  
> On December 10, 2005 - 8:42 PM PST IronS wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> If Pat Morita can be the Emperor,
> ---------------------------------

I mean the Emperor of China, of course.
ahogue
post #34  on December 13, 2005 - 1:29 PM PST  
> On December 10, 2005 - 12:46 PM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > > And in any case I am so sick of Romans who speak the king's english. These details really do matter.
> >
> > I don't see how it does, if they make an effort to avoid anachronistic words and expressions. At least Britain was part of the Roman Empire once.
>
> Ha! Actually it's a big convention that the ruling upper class Romans all speak with oppressive upperclass English accents and the upstart individualist uderdog protagonists speak with rebellious American accents.
> ---------------------------------

Exactly.
Eoliano
post #35  on December 13, 2005 - 1:42 PM PST  
> Exactly.

No accentuation without representation!
pooja
post #36  on December 13, 2005 - 1:54 PM PST  
Oh, you Americans and your love/hate relationship with the Brits! I bet you laugh every time Apu Nahasapeemapetilon opens his mouth in The Simpsons... Then you get all snooty and say dumb stuff like you can't stand Romans with English accents.... Grow up! Actually, if you all think Asians pronounce Star Wars "Staru Waru" you really don't know ANYTHING about authentic accents anyway...
:-p
ahogue
post #37  on December 13, 2005 - 1:57 PM PST  
> On December 13, 2005 - 1:54 PM PST pooja wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Oh, you Americans and your love/hate relationship with the Brits! I bet you laugh every time Apu Nahasapeemapetilon opens his mouth in The Simpsons... Then you get all snooty and say dumb stuff like you can't stand Romans with English accents.... Grow up! Actually, if you all think Asians pronounce Star Wars "Staru Waru" you really don't know ANYTHING about authentic accents anyway...
> :-p
> ---------------------------------

There I go being provincial again. Sigh.
Eoliano
post #38  on December 13, 2005 - 2:00 PM PST  
> Actually, if you all think Asians pronounce Star Wars "Staru Waru" you really don't know ANYTHING about authentic accents anyway...

Sheesh! Wattsa a matta you?
pooja
post #39  on December 13, 2005 - 3:05 PM PST  
> On December 13, 2005 - 2:00 PM PST Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Sheesh! Wattsa a matta you?

Nuttin' Uncle! But if the King's English with the veddy veddy upper crusty accent is an oft-used convention, I should also like to point out that in countries that were more recent crown colonies than the US it's also reality, in that the HIGHLY educated segment of society (or the upper class, take your pick) that affectation still often prevails. For example, in Parineeta which is set in Calcutta in the 1960's, the English spoken by the wealthy is British accented. So outside of the US, having the Romans speak with the King's English would seem rather natural... not realizing that and complaining about it only serves to show how ignorant, jingoistic, and narrow-minded Americans are about the rest of the world. Just because you don't know how a certain segment of certain socio-economic classes in various countries around the world attended British schools at some point, you assume that this is just a dumb convention that you find irritating. You want the rest of the world to just conform to your standards... you make no attempt to see films from abroad from THAT society's point of view. I think you should at least try, even if that country is an English speaking one (England, Australia, Hong Kong, India, etc.) instead of just assuming that since they're English-speaking they should naturally just fall in line with America.
ahogue
post #40  on December 13, 2005 - 3:09 PM PST  
> On December 13, 2005 - 3:05 PM PST pooja wrote:
> ---------------------------------
I think you should at least try, even if that country is an English speaking one (England, Australia, Hong Kong, India, etc.) instead of just assuming that since they're English-speaking they should naturally just fall in line with America.
> ---------------------------------

Wow! I would just like to say, if anyone actually cares, that this isn't what I said or what I meant.
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