Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Are Subtitled Movies Mainstream?

The Times Of London points out that subtitled movies have gone mainstream, but they don't really nail down why. Certainly, the growing sophistication of foreign films vis a vis adventure and action films is a big reason. "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" was as great a spectacle as anything Hollywood delivered and horror flicks like "The Eye" traveled well too. But surely the biggest reason movies have gone mainstream is the multiplex. Art films -- and movies with subtitles -- aren't relegted to art houses that most people literally never attend. Art films, whether talky flicks like "Cache" or action films like 'Curse of the Golden Flower" are at your local multiplex, right along "Borat" and "The 300." And the biggest tipping point of all may have been TV: shows like "Lost" and "Heroes" use subtitles all the time and no one blinks an eye. Unquestionably, that makes people far more amenable to going to see subtitled films in the theater. They're not ghettoized into art houses and people don't freak out at the idea of having to do a little reading along with their watching.

1 comment:

Fernando (Nerd Gaucho) said...

I always found the "debate" with regards to subtitles kinda laugable. Let me explain, I grew up and live down in Argentina (South America, Earth, Solar System ;-).

Down here, most of the movies Cable TV channels are subtitles. So we see Seinfeld in its original English, Friends in its original language, all popular series in English, subtitled to Spanish. What's the big deal?. People has learned long ago and can manage with subtitles.

I once read a news story saying something to the effect that "Americans dislike subtitles, they say they cannot manage to read subtitles and watch a movie at the same time".

No offense, but that reminded me of those "blonde jokes" where the bimbo was "unable to chew gum and breathe at the same time".