film on the big screen subtitled...

Tom Mes china_crisis at
Tue Apr 13 05:18:59 EDT 2004

The reactions to my post on watching films without subs were very 
interesting, mostly because they seem to underline what I was arguing for.

Mitch said: "except to suggest that film is also a narrative form as well as 
being visual."
And Mike wrote: "what the characters were saying, not to see the picture at 
the expense of the script."

Both these reactions seem to suggest that a film's visuals are mere images, 
and that the narrative is conveyed on some other level, ie the dialogue. The 
whole reason I recommend watching films without subtitles is that it's very 
useful training in deducing narrative purely by means of form, rather than 
from what's being said. In a good film, the visuals ARE narrative.

I am very far from speaking fluent Japanese, and that's actually central to 
my argument. When you can't understand what people are saying, you have only 
the form of the film to hold on to. Just try it, you'll be surprised how 
steady that hold can be at times.


Midnight Eye

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