Monday, February 03, 2003

Death of an Illusion

So far, I was angry only at Croatian DVD distributors for their mishandling of foreign titles – poor translation, chopping up original DVD content, dropping audio-commentaries, deleted scenes etc. But tonight I saw that even those that handle only cinema titles can also mess things up.

I came to watch Intimacy, the film best known for the scene in which Kerry Fox, otherwise "legitimate" actress, does on screen something that was until now only in the domain of X-rated cinema. But the most shocking thing happened long before – when I realised that Ms. Fox, Timothy Spall and everyone else in this London-based film is going to speak French. Nothing wrong with that, but the illusion began to shatter. Due to American cultural imperialism, the audience is accustomed to hear non-American (and non-English) characters speak English between themselves, but the opposite seems unnatural. But the real crime was the translation – obviously done by someone who had only English text and never bothered to check whether the characters' lines have anything to do with the events on screen. This is so far the most unpleasant cinema surprise I had in 2003.


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