Wednesday, 17 March 2010
A Less Dubbing Life
Momentum and the UK Film Council teamed up for the release of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO to conduct a little experiment: release the film in a dubbed version in four theaters and see what the response was.
Dubbing in general is not done in this country, bar animated releases like the recent PONYO, which has plenty of reasons to be: animation is dubbed anyway even in its original version, and the Miyazaki productions always have a top-notch cast of acclaimed actors doing the voices. But live action feature films have always been left alone, thankfully. Until now. If the experiment goes well, and audiences respond positively to the dubbed version, we might see other distributors trying their hand at it, and end up like Germany, Italy or Spain and even France (bar Paris), where everything is dubbed, except very few art house titles.
Dubbing is a disgrace to films everywhere and given the common language with America, we're lucky in the UK that we can watch all the Hollywood product untouched, and there is really no reason to dub the foreign language films. The audiences for these types of films (at least in this country) are well adjusted to reading subtitles and have no problems coming out for films in any language.
My guess is that distributors would be looking at crossover titles like DRAGON TATTOO, COCO AVANT CHANEL, TELL NO ONE and other foreign language features that appeal beyond the usual art house circuit - but aren't these the movies that are making good money anyway? Why mess with the system? This is one idea I hope fails miserably.