Friday, May 09, 2008

Missing Movies

ONE: living in Italy is great. TWO: I don't like moralists that travel abroad just to complain about the country they chose for holidays or place to live, specially when the "problem" they point out is actually very real in their own country of origin.

BUT there is something I immensely miss living in Firenze: CINEMA.

Yes, I know, there are cinemas in Firenze, not that many though. But they don't provide the original sound. The voices are doubled. And if it is not the original sound, then it is not the original movie. It is not the movie you want to see. It is not... cinema.

Yes, that is what we think: if you don't get the original voices and, by the way, there are 2 minutes that got cut because some kind of consumer protection censorship authority cares about protecting you against violence, rapes, swearing and drugs ON THE SCREEN, then it is not cinema.

It is some kind of visual entertainment. It is not cinema.

If you have seen Casablanca without listening to the voice of Humphrey Bogart, then, I am sorry, you have never seen Casablanca. If your Indiana Jones has spoken to you from the screen in French then, very sorry again, you might have seen him, but you haven't known him. If when you met Amélie Poulain she spoke to you in English, then you have met a fake Amélie.

This is specially true in the case of movies where characters and, thus, actors are the most important element. It might be not that relevant that your Arnold Schwarzenegger experience was in Italian. It might even have been beneficial (and comical) that your Rambo or Rocky spoke Spanish.

But consider such a movie where dialogue is everything. Can you imagine American actor/American character Ethan Hawk-Jesse and French actress/French character Julie Delpy-Celine speaking to each other in German in dialogue driven movies Before Sunrise/Before Sunset? In a such movie where deep emotional fast dialogue is everything and the original language (English) is so much adequate? Using an agglutinative long word language?? Only if that was the original language! (But then the dialogue would have been different, adequate to that specific language).

And it is not of course only a matter of final product and entertainment. This matter is clearly extremely important. But there is another matter: the aesthetical one. Acting is one of the artistic elements of a movie, besides writing the story (if there is one), directing, photography, scenario creation and so on. The Polish guy that doubles the voice of Robert de Niro is not the great Robert de Niro. Producers that pay some millions to have de Niro or Al Pacino or Hopkins or... acting in their movies didn't want from them only their faces moving and their bodies going around: they wanted their voices too and, most importantly, they wanted their acting through their voices.

Why pay a movie ticket to get only the face and body movements of Brando, not his voice, not his fully acting work?

Dubbed movies are aesthetically mutilated pieces of art. And there is even the problem of the dubbing voice interfering with the rest. Actors and actresses choose voices, intonations, accents, ways of speaking to that particular movie. And all of this actor's work of character creation is deeply related with all the other components of the movie. Dubbing not only amputates the movie from all of these creative components but introduces a voice that has nothing to do with the other components of the movie.

You only see cinema if it has the original sound and all the original scenes and seconds.

And Odeon, the one cinema in Firenze that shows movies with the original sound, this is, the one cinema in Firenze that really shows real cinema, doesn't have an original sound session at Friday night...

Che pecatto!!!


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