31 Oct 2014

Subtitle

Over the years I have downloaded many films that did not have subtitles. I kept them in a special folder hoping that one day the subtitles would be found. Recently I decided to watch them all without subtitle tracks and I am truly enjoying the experience. I genuinely hate subtitles and always found them to be distracting- if not entirely annoying! I can fully engage and connect with films without the use of subtitles, as cinema doesn’t need them in order to communicate. A true cinematic experience will always find a way to express itself. I found this quote by Peter Kubelka really fascinating:

“Subtitling films is somewhat a poisoned medicine. The subtitles become the strongest visual element that appears on the screen and the film becomes a vague optical event in the background which you have to disregard in order to read the subtitles. In my view, subtitling a bad film doesn’t destroy much. But with a good film, everything on the screen is important and you have to use all your attention to concentrate on what you see and hear without getting distracted by the subtitles. Of course when I watch Japanese or Chinese films without subtitles, I lose something, but on the other hand, I see the film. When you travel to China and you go to a restaurant and you look at the Chinese people sitting there, talking and eating, they don’t have subtitles. This is what life is. You lose something if you don’t understand the language, but you have a real message from another culture. I remember the first film I saw by Carl Theodore Dreyer was without subtitles, and I could not speak a word of Danish, so I decided I had to learn Danish in order to understand the film.”