classic film on the big screen subtitled...

Peter Larson bulb at
Fri Apr 9 12:00:41 EDT 2004

He said he had nothing against subtitles at all. I think that what the
man is saying is that the lack of subtitles shouldn't be a factor in
whether one watches or doesn't watch a film. I've met many people who
flat out refuse to watch movies without subtitles. I, personally, don't
mind and have watched many movies made in languages I do not speak and,
in most cases, it hasn't impaired my enjoyment of the film at all. Back
when I did not speak Japanese, I watched most of Terayama's work on
video without subs and was blown away by it. Now, I speak Japanese  and
my experience is even better now but it didn't keep from exploring
Terayama's work then. Certainly, it's a case by case scenario, some
films rely on the dialogue more than others. 

Peter Larson
BULB Records
4609 Hunt Rd
Adrian, MI 49221
517 270 1418

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-KineJapan at
[mailto:owner-KineJapan at] On Behalf Of Mitch
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004 11:55 AM
To: KineJapan at
Subject: Re: classic film on the big screen subtitled...

--- Tom Mes <china_crisis at> wrote:
> I'd really like to second Roland's suggestion of
> watching films without subtitles. It is an extremely
> educational and useful experience to watch 
> films in a foreign language without the aid of
> subtitles. Not that I'm saying we should forget 
> about subtitling, not at all, but cinema is at heart

> a visual (though today audiovisual) art form. 

I agree to some extent, Tom, although I suspect you're
fairly fluent in Japanese.  But please don't forget
that film is also--for the most part--a narrative form
as well.  Ideally I'd love nothing more than to just
view a film for its visuals alone, and, in fact, I've
done this.  However, perhaps a dual option should be
made available--one in which subtitles are provided if
they are needed, and can be removed when they are not
wanted (I guess that's called a DVD; in my case I
often watch a film first with the subtitles on and
then watch it again without subtitles so I can absorb
the images without any distractions).  In terms of
pure cinema, though, I think Shindo's "The Island"
best gives the ability of one not to be bogged down by
the distraction of subtitles while, at the same time,
being unable to speak or understand Japanese.  I'm
curious if there are any other Japanese films that
function in the same manner.  Suggestions?  Thoughts? 
Corn Flakes?


Most recent propaganda (updated when I remember):

"As the movie industry becomes more like the merchandising industry, the
book business becomes more like the movie industry.  There's more
pressure.  I think it's very difficult to be a young writer today.  I
fear that young writers, after one or two books, will disappear the way
young film directors do."  --Don DeLillo

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