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By Carol O’Sullivan (auth.)

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Attempts at dubbing the translated dialogue in the mouths of the original actors have been little more successful. ) Pudovkin is dismissive here both of the acoustic qualities of the foreign language, which he compares to static noise, and of the spectator, who by virtue of not understanding the spoken language of the film becomes not a listener, but merely a viewer of the film. For Pudovkin the cognitive burden imposed on the viewer by translation makes ‘direct perception’ of the work of art impossible.

We heard that they were having similar problems on the set of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin ... so we felt it was better to unify the accents so that the characters all seem to come from the same place. The French actors were afraid of sounding like clichés or caricatures of Frenchmen. (Urban 2002) Armstrong declares that her first choice would have been to match languages (the fabula generating the ‘language requirement’) but that this would have resulted in a predominantly French-language film. She confirms that the film’s primary or domestic audience is Englishspeaking.

331). ). It is this notion of universal understanding that interests me here. Pudovkin cannot turn the clock back and remove dialogue from the cinema, but he suggests that there are words so immediately linked with mimed actions that their meaning is already read on the speaker’s face before the word has been fully articulated. Their intonations take on almost purely musical functions. Such a word can be almost completely comprehended by any person, regardless of the language in which it is spoken.

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