Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Subtitles for the Accent- and Mumbling-Impaired
After all, I made it through SWEET LAND and very much enjoyed it, despite the gal's gibberish "German" and the fellow's unintelligible Norwegian accent. Kind of the like the time I saw AMADEUS in France as a teenager. You just go with the gist. Pretend you're watching a silent movie and grasp things like plot from the visuals and the ups and downs of the soundtrack.
I dread the day when actual physical DVDs are a thing of the past and everything downloads directly to the TV because what will I do without the subtitles? How could I have understood THE COMMITMENTS or THE FULL MONTY without subtitles? We struggled through NORTH AND SOUTH, loving it, but being totally at sea whenever the "Milton" (that is, Manchester) folk opened their mouths. I would turn to Scott and ask, "What did he say?" To which my husband would reply, "I'm only following this scene in the most general sense."
Maybe it's all those rock concerts we didn't attend in our youth? Of course, part of the problem could be our ancient television with its not-so-state-of-the-art sound system. Or it could be poetic justice because older people in our congregation frequently accuse Scott and me of speaking too quickly.
In any case, if the People's Choice Awards ever opens to new categories, we would like to suggest Best Enunciation. Or, Most Easily-Read Lips. Or, Best Screenplay Not Dependent on Dialogue.
Have any favorite mumbling actors?