Art of the Title Interview

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Philip, what are your thoughts on foreign language dub tracks?

Peter Chung, Thursday, 19 October 2017 08:18 (five years ago) link

I think watching dubs makes for a completely different (and sometimes better!) movie for me, but therefore I'd also assign a bit more credibility to the thoughts of a blind movie reviewer over one who has seen a dub (or is watching with translated subtitles because he isn't a native speaker).

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 19 October 2017 19:44 (five years ago) link

For animated films I usually prefer dubs. Hardline sub people who think you need the most "authentic" experience are silly, for several reasons.

1) It's not an "authentic experience", you're reading text at the bottom of the screen and taking your eyes away from the rest of the visual information. In some movies this is worse than in others.

2) It relies on a belief that the creator(s) always do a good job with voice casting and directing. This often isn't the case. I don't need to hear bad Japanese voice acting while missing 60% of the animation to get a good experience from the work.

It's especially funny when people take this stance with video games, which usually have awful voice acting anyway as well as awful stories.

J.P. McDevitt, Sunday, 22 October 2017 23:02 (five years ago) link

I think it really does depend on the film. I'd rather watch Bloodlust in English than in Japanese, but something like The Tale Of Princess Kaguya would be jarring to watch in English.

Having said that, I really don't care for most redubbing of films, and usually avoid dubs. I've been watching subtitled movies since I could read; I don't find subs distracting or overly-mediating. I can see why someone else might experience subtitles as visual pollution, but to me it's just a natural part of watching foreign films.

And live-action movies are almost always much better subbed than dubbed. I can't think of one that was improved by being redubbed in another language, except maybe for comedy purposes.

Blair Gilbreath, Monday, 23 October 2017 21:04 (five years ago) link

With subtitles, I very much feel I'm at the mercy of the translator. The English subtitles for Okja, for example, has a few deliberately mistranslated passages, perhaps to drive home that point.

Philip Nunez, Monday, 23 October 2017 22:32 (five years ago) link

ten months pass...

Finally got around to reading this thing, very interesting. Thanks for doing this interview, Peter.

Nhex, Sunday, 16 September 2018 06:40 (four years ago) link

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