Film History and Meaning : Does watching a film using subtitles lessen the experience?

Does watching a film using subtitles lessen the experience?

It is my opinion that when watching a foreign film that requires the viewer to follow along using subtitles the ability of the viewer to address the quality of the film is significantly hindered. For example, how is a viewer suppose to judge the quality of the acting when he/she is not familiar with the language being spoken in the film but is instead reading the words as they come across the screen. What do you think? Do you think that repeated viewing of foreign films gives one a better ability to judge the acting despite being in a foreign language?

Also, I would really appreciate it if you checked out my list of the 100 greatest movies ever made

http://www.imdb.com/list/ls058949608/?publish=save

I still have minor adjustments to make, but please let me know what you think.

Thank you!



Re: Does watching a film using subtitles lessen the experience?

Love your list
Adjustments will be continual.

I have a few i disagree with, but thats what makes it great.

Check out mine
http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070455564/

Re: Does watching a film using subtitles lessen the experience?

Watching a movie with a subtitle not only hinder your ability to judge the acting quality, but you losing the actors facial expressions and as a result emotional connectedness with the characters, in addition A LOT OF actual meaning of the words is getting lost in the process of translating a movie, because the true equivalent of the word and meaning doesn't always exist in the culture and language of the foreign movie we watching, so I think in addition to watching it multiple of times, one can benefit from studying the culture that movie is coming from.

Re: Does watching a film using subtitles lessen the experience?

It's the other way around: watching a dubbed film lessens the experience as you lose half of the original casts' performance (imagine watching Choi Min-Sik's meltdown in Oldboy but with a different actor's voice). You also lose a lot of the cultural impression, you get inferior sound mixing and often the dubbed voice actor doesn't fit the face, plus the recording may not be synchronised to lip movement properly.


Most people get used to reading subs fairly quickly, developing a skim-read technique so that you have time in between the words to look at the faces and scenery. Skim-reading doesn't mean you lose any deeper meaning, but you may find a rewatch a year or so later yields interesting dividends regarding more subtle references. Then again, you get that with films in your own language too.

It might get tricky in dialogue-heavy films/TV: must be a challenge sometimes for non-English people to read the hectic dialogue of Doctor Who and still keep track of the action. Pulp Fiction too.


Saying that, I've watched a fair bit of talky Korean, Spanish & Hungarian cinema and not had any real issues reading & watching simultaneously. The only film I can think of which had a scene where I struggled to keep up was the taiwanese Shutter: which had a group dinner scene at the beginning with them all chatting quickfire banter at the same time, with the quickly-disappearing subs only feeding us one line-at-a-time. Other than that, never an issue.

But I've always been an avid reader, so maybe those of you who don't enjoy regular reading may struggle.

It's worth the effort, tho'



Re: Does watching a film using subtitles lessen the experience?

Who said anything about dubbed?

Your film gods: Lee Van Cleef and Laura Gemser
http://tinyurl.com/pa4ud44

Re: Does watching a film using subtitles lessen the experience?

I so totally agree with dholliday-imdb - dubbing really kills the experience, and subbing doesnt take much away from it, imho.

Also, I never thought subtitles hindered my viewing experience, When the acting is good, it just transcends the screen. I'm not sure the analogy is the best, but consider <a href="The%20Artist%20http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1655442/">The Artist http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1655442/</a>, shot as a silent movie: the 5 oscars it won speaks volume about the importance of acting, and acting alone,

Sure, subtitles deprive you of the feel, but facial expressions, inflexions, intonations, etc., always carry a good deal of emotions and context, which are complemented by the subtitles.

Now, the translation has to be faultless.

Cheers

Totally agree with you, and...

I couldn't have said everything you did as articulately as you said it.

I will add one thing. I think age and experience of it makes a huge difference. Soon you learn to read them faster and an see both facial expression and tone. A few years ago, my adult children hated foreign films not dubbed. However they have since changed their mind and have realized what an asset it is to have it subtitled. You get used to it and if it's really good, I'll watch it twice so I can focus less on the dialogue and on their faces next go around.

Random Thoughts: http://goo.gl/eXk3O

Re: Does watching a film using subtitles lessen the experience?

I don't think that I agree, except maybe when you are very first starting to watch foreign films. I've found that I can read the subtitles and look at everything else just fine.

http://kinopravda23.blogspot.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/evanchester1988

Re: Does watching a film using subtitles lessen the experience?

Dear ccccometti:

1) I, myself have never had much trouble reading subtitles while following the action in foreign films. But that's just me.

2) Personally, I just don't understand all the negative user ratings and all the negative user reviews of foreign films that I've seen on various movie sites that are PRIMARILY based on that viewer's "problem" with reading subtitles. Come On!!! There's a lot more to any foreign film aside from any "problems" with reading subtitles to warrant a negative rating or a negative review based SOLELY on "problems" with reading subtitles.

3) Whatever minor difficulties that I initially did have with subtitles in foreign films was quickly overcome with just viewing LOTS & LOTS more foreign films until now whether a film has subtitles or not is not even a consideration for me. Hence, I think that a lot of the film fans who are seemingly turned off by subtitles just never stuck with foreign films long enough to get accustomed to this minor impediment.

4) *** WARNING: I'm Just Stating A Personal Opinion Here So Nobody Should Get Offended By It.*** Even if reading subtitles were a big "problem" for me, which it is not, I would still continue to watch LOTS & LOTS of foreign films because, in my opinion, foreign films in general are clearly superior to the stuff that has been coming out of Hollywood. I am particularly into European films and it's gotten to the point where I rarely even bother watching a Hollywood film anymore because, at least for me, Hollywood films just do not match up. For me, it's just not even a close comparison.

Re: Does watching a film using subtitles lessen the experience?

Subtitles have never hindered my film experience.


Do you think that repeated viewing of foreign films gives one a better ability to judge the acting despite being in a foreign language?


I think this is true for any movie, regardless of whether it's foreign or not.

Can't stop the signal.
Top