lundi 19 novembre 2007

A few thoughts about dubbing

This weekend I went to see the new Woody Allen movie, Le rêve de Cassandra.

Dubbing is so strange. Julien was telling me that French voice actors make an entire career dubbing the same person, so that audiences don't get confused by hearing a new voice on the same actor in every new movie. Therefore, the careers of the voice actors are totally dependent on the success of their English speaking counterparts. Wouldn't it be a shame if you were the voice of say, Tori Spelling? You'd be in real trouble if your English-speaking counterpart decided to re-embrace doing Broadway shows, or OD'd or something!

Here in France, dubbing is slightly less laughable to watch as those old Japanese dubbed movies that we have in the US. Those in charge of dubbing movies have attempted to make the process appear more natural by modifying dialogue to make it look like the sounds might actually be coming out of the actor's mouths. Nonetheless I find it very difficult to watch dubbed films, probably in part because the dialogue has been so strenuously tweaked, but also because I do apparently read lips slightly when listening to French speakers, so it completely throws me off and I find it very difficult to understand.

It is just as well Lyon has a decent selection of VO, including le rêve de Cassandra. Woody Allen's movies are too talky for me to yet comprehend in French.

Speaking of that, two different French people complemented me on my French accent this week, which was nice to hear. But I can still notice that my French skills have plateaued. I'm going to go back to take more classes in December.

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