Archive for the ‘Movies’
If you saw the trailer or even just the poster for the new Liam Neeson action flick Non-Stop and you said to yourself, “Aha! Taken On A Plane!” you would not be that clever. Everyone thought the same thing, and everyone is correct. Once again, Liam Neeson must kill or maim large numbers of people in order to save his daughter. In this case, replace “daughter” with “150 passengers and crew on a flight from New York to London”, but the daughter connection remains in the form of a departed child and a little girl traveling alone. Of course it’s silly, but as in the Taken flicks, Non-Stop works because we can believe that Liam Neeson will save us all. In fact we want Liam Neeson to save us all: the plane hasn’t even taken off and his seatmate Julianne Moore is already pawing him. Lady, wait till you’re in the air at least.
You read that right: Julianne Moore. Apparently the plane that Federal Air Marshal Liam Neeson boards is en route to the Oscars (well, the Baftas) because brisk escapist fare like this doesn’t usually have such a stellar cast. Apart from Moore, who doesn’t have an Oscar yet what an injustice, that’s Lady Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey serving drinks and complimentary peanuts and making everyone feel proletarian. Corey Stoll the hot unfortunate congressman from House of Cards is a New York City cop, the lovely Linus Roache is the captain, and Scoot McNairy from Argo is a passenger. They even have some guy who looks like Alfonso Cuaron. And Lupita Nyong’o wins the inflight cabin carpet as she inevitably does, even if she has only three lines in the entire movie.
Anyway someone is threatening to kill a passenger every 20 minutes unless the airline transfers 150 million dollars to an account that turns out to be in Liam Neeson’s name. The villain is framing Liam for the hijacking, which means that he thinks Liam is an idiot because why would the account be in his name, but which shows that Liam’s bosses are the idiots because they actually believe it, which proves the villain’s point. The movie is very entertaining, though unlike the Taken movies we can’t cheer when Liam kills a bad guy because we don’t know who the bad guy is exactly. The big surprise is that Non-Stop was not produced by Luc Besson, but it’s still a French co-production, directed by Jaume Collet Serra (Unknown, Orphan).
Liam can do flawed-yet-fundamentally-decent-man in his sleep, and he can’t help but look noble (Ever see Rob Roy?) so we never believe the frame-up. It’s great that the 61-year-old man who played Oskar Schindler is the biggest action star on earth right now, but when is someone going to do a Fidel Castro biopic so Liam can star in it?
A documentary for the French National Library by Alain Resnais, who died yesterday.
Infographic from Jezebel. Click to enlarge.
We haven’t agreed with the Oscar voters in ages, but we must admit that the field of nominees this year is very strong, and just about everyone in contention for a statuette deserves the nod. Of course there are glaring omissions—where’s the costume nomination for the high-waisted pants in Her?—but the day we predict every nomination correctly is the day the Academy Awards cease to mean anything. So there’s good reason to watch the awards ceremony tomorrow apart from the clothes. It would be a hoot if everyone showed up in character: Cate Blanchett in tattered Chanel, talking to herself; Amy Adams in decolletage past her navel; Jared Leto in the trashiest Gucci gown; Leonardo DiCaprio with a fine dusting of white powder crawling into the theatre on his face; Jennifer Lawrence sniffing nail polish; Matthew McConaughey looking grim and toting a big notebook (No, wait, that’s True Detective)….
1. During the translation process for the subtitling, was there a specific principle that you followed?
We use the same principles for all the movies we have worked on (Otso, Badil, Instant Mommy, Here Comes the Bride, Foster Child, Maximo Oliveros, etc): Keep the subtitles as short and concise as possible, render the ideas accurately but do not do a literal word-for-word translation. The English-speaking audience is there to watch the movie, not read it. Also, do not assume that the foreign viewer, the primary audience for subtitles, knows anything about Filipino culture. They would not know “Kuya” or “Ate”, for example.
2. How do you view translation? Is it an academic or a vocational skill?
That would depend on the material that is being translated. For movies, our main concern is to convey the meaning of the lines in as few words as possible. Academic translations would require greater detail.
3. “Belinda, mas mahal ko” when translated turned to “Belinda, my love multiplied”. Pwede mo po bang ipaliwanag kung bakit kayo nagcome up sa ganitong translation?
You have to consider the context in which the words were spoken. Belinda had just said, “Brando, mahal ko”, to which Brando replied, “Belinda, mas mahal ko.”
- Brando, my love.
- Belinda, whom I love more.
Jeffrey changed it to “Belinda, my love multiplied”—Brando is telling Belinda that he loves her more, like “love times ten”. This is less accurate, but funnier. The movie makes fun of telenovelas, the unreality of the dramatic situations they portray, and the ludicrously overstated dialogue, so “my love multiplied” works.
4. Ano ang common factors na inico-consider mo kapag nagtatranslate? Particularly during the time na ginawa mo ang subtitles ng Ekstra.
Although the characters are Filipino, the English subtitles should sound like lines uttered by Americans or Brits. They should be brief and not overly literal, and they should account for cultural differences. For instance, in Ekstra, which is set in the world of TV production, “service” means “the vehicle that takes you to work”. Elsewhere, “service” is “assistance given to customers”. So “Andiyan na ang service” cannot be rendered as “Here comes the service”—that would be confusing to an English person. In the context of Ekstra it becomes “Here comes the van.”
For Badil, Chito Roño’s election thriller, we thought it necessary to provide a brief background for foreign viewers unfamiliar with Philippine electoral practices. So we suggested a prologue, sort of like the voice-over at the start of Law and Order: SVU episodes. “In the Philippines, to prevent electoral fraud, voters get indelible ink marks on their right index fingers after they cast their votes. This keeps them from voting more than once. To prevent the known supporters of a candidate from casting their votes, the opponent pays them to get their fingers inked before election day. This practice is known as dynamite or badil.”
We had a discussion with Jeffrey about the scene in Ekstra in which the oppressed assistant director is tired of being chastised by the director so he says, “Papatulan ko na yan.” Jeffrey suggested “I’ll give him a dose of his own medicine”, which is too long, and does not convey the power structure in the director-AD relationship. We suggested “I’ll forget he’s my boss”—the AD declaring that he’s about to start a mutiny. We don’t remember which translation made it to the final cut. It’s always good to be able to discuss the material with the filmmakers—it’s their project, after all, and we’re just making it accessible to the foreigners.
Thank you for your questions, hope this helps.
For Ghostbusters, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, and your masterpiece, Groundhog Day. Dammit, no more Ghostbusters 3.