recognizing Arthur C. Clarke’s third law

Subtitles as art

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Some of the people who grew up reading graphic novels and videogames are now filmmakers, so it’s only natural that these art forms cross-fertilize each other. A piece in the Washington Post by Rachel Beckman picks up on the unusual subtitles in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, which instead of politely running along the bottom have the nerve to bounce around in speech bubbles or other – more evocative – graphic interpretations.

night-watchBoyle cites Timur Bekmambetov’s Night Watch, the 2004 Russian horror/sci-fi hit, as his inspiration for the subtitling in Slumdog Millionaire. Those subtitles go even further into graphic novel territory, as this IHT article describes: “One explodes in a puff of smoke after an explosion. Another, uttered when a character heard voices in his head while swimming, dissolves like blood in the water of the pool. Anthony Lane, film critic of The New Yorker, described those subtitles as ‘the best I have encountered.’”


Written by chris

November 16, 2008 at 7:04 pm

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