Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Let's (All) Go to the Movies

Fellow Parisian blogger Tacoma Girl has a great post on going to the movies in Paris.

I love all aspects of cinema here, too. Except for one. I wish at least one movie house would offer French movies with English subtitles. So many of my anglophone expat friends, even those whose French is pretty strong, just skip French movies because it's too much of a strain to follow the French dialogue, and pay 9 euros to suffer. Thus thousands of Americans, English, Canadians, etc., who have chosen to live in Paris in part because of the wonderful culture, are shut out from one of the country's greatest art forms.

Here's the typical scenario: four friends get together for a movie and dinner. One of them is not so keen on a French movie because of the language barrier, so all four (even if two are French) will go to an American movie instead. This happens over and over.

And how about tourists? Millions of visitors from all nations who come to Paris have English as a first or second language. If one big cinema house -- oh, perhaps on the Champs Elysees -- showed French movies with English subtitles, everyone could then experience newly released French films as part of their cultural visit, instead of waiting to see them months later at home, if ever. Instead, they watch v.o. American movies in Paris. Or none at all. A sad state of affairs.

So if France wants to really promote its culture, why not make films accessible for all (or at least many many more)? Many museums now have signage in three languages. Most French movies are already produced with English subtitles -- but for international export only. They just aren't shown here.

My point is: what is more representative of French culture: American movies with French subtitles or French movies with English subtitles? The verdict is a no-brainer to me.

How about it, moviemakers? UGC? Gaumont? Why not give it a try?

Just think: you could do it for the sake of art, for pride in a great national culture. Or you could do it for the sake of increased sales.

1 comment:

Dazed81 said...

My all time favourite actress is the great Beatrice Dalle. I have a good few of her films on DVD (Clubbed To Death (Lola), La Fille De L'Air for example which have no English subtitles at all. I knew this before I bought the DVD's. However I still enjoyed watching the films though my French is very very poor. A film can still be a good visual experience even without understanding the language much. But I would only do this for Beatrice Dalle as she is the best, a wonderful woman and a fine actress. Years ago I owned a Vespa PX200E Scooter, I had the film poster of "37.2o Le Matin" painted on the side-panels. I went on tour around France on this bike with my girlfriend in 1988. My scooter artwork got many friendly comments from the French locals, they called her "La Bouche" back then. Beatrice & "37.2o le Matin" got me interested in French film & culture and the language. I'd love to improve my French but with 4 kids now I don't have any free time. I can't wait to watch her latest film in which she plays a cannibal!! and it's got English subtitles. She almost got the part alongside Bruce Willis in "6th Sense" but the damn Yanks wouldn't allow her into the country due to some silly rap from her past. That's their loss as she would have “stolen the show” and maybe gone mainstream Hollywood. Beatrice is one year younger than me and she still looks fantastic. She is the only "Celeb" I'd love to meet in person and say "Merci pour vous films de wonderfull au cours des 22 dernières années" But I somehow doubt if she will ever be doing a film premier or book signing in Ireland! :-)

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