Cinema Babel: Translating Global Cinema
The original foreign film—its sights and sounds—is available to all, but the viewer is utterly dependent on a translator and an untold number of technicians who produce the graphic text or disconnected speech through which we must approach the foreign film. A bad translation can ruin a film’s beauty, muddy its plot, and turn any joke sour.
In this wide-ranging work, Ab Mark Nornes examines the relationships between moving-image media and translation and contends that film was a globalized medium from its beginning and that its transnational traffic has been greatly influenced by interpreters. He discusses the translation of film theory, interpretation at festivals and for coproductions, silent era practice, “ talkies,” subtitling, and dubbing.
Nornes—who has written subtitles for Japanese cinema—looks at the ways misprision of theory translations produced stylistic change, how silent era lecturers contributed to the construction of national cinemas, how subtitlers can learn from anime fans, and how ultimately interpreters can be, in his terms, “traders or traitors.”
Ab Mark Nornes is associate professor of Asian languages and cultures and film and video studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Japanese Documentary Film (Minnesota, 2003) and Forest of Pressure (Minnesota, 2007).
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Interpreters with Attitude The Traders and Traitors in Our Midst
The Circulation of Ideas Trafficking in MisTranslation
Voices of the Silents
Babelthe Sequel The Talkies
For an Abusive Subtitling
Other editions - View all
abusive subtitles Academy of Motion accents Alfred Hitchcock Aoyagi argued Atsugi audiences Babel benshi Bunka censorship corrupt critics cultural Czech dialogue director distributors Documentary Film domestic Donald Richie dubbers Eiga Elmo Williams English example Figure film festival film industry film translation film world film’s filmmakers foreign films François Truffaut French genesis file German global Harada Hitchcock Hollywood interpretation intertitles Japan Japanese cinema Japanese film Jimaku Kenkyu Kinema Junpo Kurosawa Akira Kurosawa Productions lecturers lines linguistic Margaret Herrick Library MLVs Motion Pictures Arts movie narration narrative national cinema original text Paul Rotha performance practice prints problem producers quoted role scene screen script Shimizu silent film sound track Spanish speak spectators story strategies subtitles sync talk talkie television textual theaters tion titles Tokyo Tora Tora traffic trans translator’s Truffaut Ueno ventriloquism ventriloquists voice actors words writing wrote York Zanuck