Thursday, April 13, 2006


Version originale

There seems to be something of a vogue in Hollywood these days for movie dialogue in the authentic language of the characters: Aramaic and Latin in 'The Passion of the Christ', Maya in a forthcoming film by the same director, Algonquian in 'The New World' and Punic, no less, in a planned epic about the exploits of Hannibal.

So whatever happened to the great American aversion to subtitles?

In Syriana, which I saw recently, the same laudable quest for authenticity results in much of the dialogue being conducted in Arabic, Persian and what I am reliably informed is Urdu. The film's makers apparently went to great lengths 'to achieve the greatest degree of realism and cultural and regional accuracy possible'.

They do get it hilariously wrong in one scene, though, where staff at an upmarket French hotel can be distinctly heard addressing foreign guests in ... French!

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