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Breathless Subtitles English REPACK

ADDITION: Criterion - October 07': This dual-layered Criterion DVD is pictureboxed transferred (see our full description of 'pictureboxing' in our Kind Hearts and Coronets review). It is coded for Region 1 in the NTSC standard. The transfer is progressive and in the original 1.33 aspect ratio. The audio is original French mono and there are optional English subtitles for the feature and all the extras. It comes in a custom - very artistic - 4-tiered digipak case with colored inserts with black and white photos of the film on the outside. It comes with the hefty booklet included (see image below).

Breathless subtitles English

Criterion's image eclipses its nearest rival - the Kinowelt - which now appears slightly contrast boosted. The Criterion has the appearance of being sharper with some minor black level boosting which brings up detail. The image is smooth, very clean and contrast is excellent although slightly subdued. It's hard not to rate the Criterion which boasts a 'high-definition digital transfer, approved by director of photography Raoul Coutard '. The original mono is clear and consistent and is supported by excellent optional English subtitles.

To help you with this, FluentU, a language learning program, has short clips from popular movies, TV shows and other native French content with interactive subtitles that have been reviewed by French language experts.

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard; screenplay by Godard, based on an original treatment by François Truffaut; cinematography by Raoul Coutard; edited by Cecile Decugis; music by Martial Solal; starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg and Daniel Boulanger. DVD, B&W, 90 mins., French dialog with optional English subtitles, 1960.

If Breathless set in motion a juggernaut based on a kind of misreading of what it was, it seems fitting that its original title was mistranslated for English consumption. A bout de souffle does not mean breathless, with all that this suggests of delight in the face of beauty or novelty. Rather, it means at the end of breath, at the last gasp. The mistranslation serves as a kind of metaphor: From a last gasp we got a new beginning.

Celebrating its 62nd anniversary, the film, which has been restored with new subtitles, will be theatrically released by Rialto, co-headed by the estimable Bruce Goldstein and Adrienne Halpern, in major cities such as N.Y. and L.A.

Everybody makes mistakes, but whoever was responsible for the error-ridden subtitles nearly ruined my viewing of Alice, Jan Švankmajer's otherwise delightful adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Shoddy subtitles are all too common, and they can completely alter a viewer's understanding of a film. For example, check out these three different translations of the final scene in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless. The first veers pretty wildly from the actual dialogue. As for the second, who would ever actually say, in English, "It's a real scumbag"? The last comes close to capturing the spirit of the French, but for me, every one of these versions is unnecessarily distracting.

When Masters of Cinema put together the DVD for another Godard film, Une femme mariée, Keller knew he had to scrap the film's existing subtitles. "They were probably either translated from scratch or taken from old bootleg video tapes," he says. The stilted translation didn't come close to capturing the wit and nuance of Godard's script. Keller doesn't pull any punches: "They were just appalling."

If you're willing to pay translators well and give them a reasonable deadline, you can certainly get good subtitles. And then, like Masters of Cinema, you can use updated subtitles as a way to lure discerning cinephiles. But Keller says it's an investment in quality that not everyone chooses to make. "We have a budgetary allotment for the fact that this has to be done right," he says. "A lot of companies don't have that."

Put simply, you get what you pay for, and that part makes sense. But a lot about the subtitling process seems to make no sense whatsoever. For reasons I still don't fully understand, home video companies often commission new subtitles for DVD releases, paying for rushed, cut-rate translations instead of using the perfectly decent ones that already exist from theatrical runs. Exhibit A: the laughably dumbed-down subtitles on the DVD release of Let The Right One In.

Even more incomprehensibly, subtitlers aren't necessarily working with the original dialogue. In worst-case scenarios, they might be creating subtitles from an already-dubbed film. There's been speculation that this might have been the problem with one widely mocked DVD box set of Akira Kurosawa films. Perhaps, the theory goes, the subtitles are based off Chinese dub tracks rather than the original Japanese lines. And perhaps that explains why, according to one online analysis, what the British Film Institute version subtitles as "I saw an old woman in the Forest," this version subtitles as "I met a monster in the spider bush." Or how, similarly, "Keep away from me, you stink" becomes "Get away, you are of cropse smell."

Perhaps the most baffling aspect of these subtitling jobs is the apparent lack of oversight. I mean, doesn't it seem likely that if just one person had double-checked those Alice subtitles, they'd have caught that rogue "flamenco"? In many cases, there's indeed little in the way of copyediting, but Keller inspects all subtitles before printing Masters of Cinema discs, soliciting input from colleagues familiar with various languages if he needs to. DVD labels that mangle the subtitling process "could always copyedit," he says. "They could always do one proof. And they don't."

To be clear, plenty of subtitlers do great work, and that great work can easily go unnoticed, simply because the best subtitles are the ones that make you forget you're reading subtitles in the first place. Ensuring that you get a quality product, Keller says, is all about the way you provide it. "It just comes down to a conscientious approach, which some companies do have," says Keller. "A lot don't."

Jean-Luc Godard shook the film world with this New Wave masterpiece from 1959. Jean-Paul Belmondo plays an existential hood involved in a carefree "along for the ride" relationship with sexy Jean Seberg. Forget about the Richard Gere remake and dig on the icy cool original. In French with English subtitles.

Jean-Luc Godard's gleeful 1961 experiment with the musical genre has a strip tease artist falling out with her yuppie boyfriend after he refuses to have a baby with her. The whole thing plays like a crazed sitcom and spends all its time poking fun at the Hollywood musical genre rather than actually singing and dancing. It's all a bit too self-conscious, but film fans should enjoy this brazen cinematic deconstruction. This newly restored print showcases the film's bold, Pop Art sensibility. In French with English subtitles.

This list is a response to repeated student requests for quality films to watch. Be forewarned: Unless you are multilingual, prepare for subtitles and not all these films are for everyone (just move on down the list!). I list films in the order that I imagine the non-film buff will find most accessible. 041b061a72


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