“On Friday, March 9, 2012 the film Silent House will be released here in the United States. I was unaware until I went to search for a trailer that it is in fact a remake of a Spanish film. A remake. Again. I know, right? My first thought was “where are the original thinkers?! Where is/who are the unique artiste(s) anymore? Well, we’ll let the excuses slide today as supposedly it is “inspired by true events”. Maybe. Will have to see the film first. Did you catch the reference to the FaceBook, the ubiquitous Book of Faces in the trailer? So which will be better? The original Spanish with English subtitles or the American, English language remake?
Not long ago I was perusing the foreign film section at my local library, a library btw straight out of 1969, and spotted the original Swedish film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. (No, no I have not seen the 2011 American version.) As time would have it or my mismanagement of time would have it, I didn’t start watching it until very late the night before it was due back. (there are no renewals on movies here, go figure.) I realize that foreign language films (with English subtitles) are not for everyone. Attention!! Ocular agility is a must! The eye dynamics are not for the feint of heart, eh? Slow readers need not apply. LOL
The question: “are you missing out on a better version of a film if the original is made in a language other than your native tongue?” Granted, if the only version of a film you have seen is the American, English language one then you don’t know what you may have missed. And then there is the likelihood that the first version (of the film) will always be the preferred version. No matter what.
For example, the 2006 film Fearless with Jet Li. I watched it with the English subtitles. The movie blew me away. I loved it. My SO on the other hand couldn’t handle the subtitle thing and fell asleep within the first 15 minutes. But the film had such an impact on me I programmed the DVD machine the next day to translate the dialogue into English and insisted my SO watch the last part of the movie. Needless to say I disliked it with the English “dub”. NO COMPARISON. For me, the power of the story – it’s essence, it’s emotion, carried the film way beyond the subtitle thing. Besides, excellent martial arts always gets a thumbs up from me. I get all gooey inside….love it.
A few final words about watching foreign, subtitled movies. 40 minutes into it, reading Eveyln Wood style… you don’t even notice you are reading subtitles anymore. If the film is done well, if you are watching a good movie, you will be transported to, placed within, a magical land of someone else’s life irrespective of language barrier(s) and become immersed within it’s scenery to witness, watch and wonder.