Dubbing, Film and Performance: Uncanny Encounters by Charlotte Bosseaux


0959ee9c3c81be2-261x361.jpg Author Charlotte Bosseaux
Isbn 9783034302357
File size 2.09MB
Year 2015
Pages 242
Language English
File format PDF
Category cinema


 

New Tr e n d s in Tr a n s l ati on Stud i e s New Trends in Tra ns lat io n St udies Vol. 16 Against this background, Dubbing, Film and Performance attempts to fill a gap in Audiovisual Translation (AVT) research by investigating dubbing from the point of view of film and sound studies. The author argues that dubbing ought to be viewed and analysed holistically in terms of its visual, acoustic and linguistic composition. The ultimate goal is to raise further awareness of the changes dubbing brings about by showing its impact on characterization. To this end, a tripartite model has been devised to investigate how visual, aural and linguistic elements combine to construct characters and their performance in the original productions and how these are deconstructed and reconstructed in translation through dubbing. To test the model, the author analyses extracts of the US television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its French dubbed version. Charlotte Bosseaux is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of How Does it Feel: Point of View in Translation (2007). Her current research focus is performance and characterization in audiovisual productions and her publications include work on Marilyn Monroe, and Spike and Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Bosseaux • Dubbing, Film and Performance Research on dubbing in audiovisual productions has been prolific in the past few decades, which has helped to expand our understanding of the history and impact of dubbing worldwide. Much of this work, however, has been concerned with the linguistic aspects of audiovisual productions, whereas studies emphasizing the importance of visual and acoustic dimensions are few and far between. Dubbing, Film and Performance Uncanny Encounters Charlotte Bosseaux Peter Lang www.peterlang.com Dubbing, Film and Performance New Trends in Translation Studies V ol ume 16 Series Editor:  Professor Jorge Díaz Cintas Advis or y Bo ard: Profes s or S u san B assn et t Dr Lynne Bowker Profes s or Frede r ic C hau me Profes s or A lin e Re mael PETER LANG Oxford • Bern • Berlin • Bruxelles • Frankfurt am Main • New York • Wien Dubbing, Film and Performance Uncanny Encounters Charlotte Bosseaux PETER LANG Oxford • Bern • Berlin • Bruxelles • Frankfurt am Main • New York • Wien Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Control Number: 2015939713 ISSN 1664-249X ISBN 978-3-0343-0235-7 (print) ISBN 978-3-0353-0737-5 (eBook) © Peter Lang AG, International Academic Publishers, Bern 2015 Hochfeldstrasse 32, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland [email protected], www.peterlang.com, www.peterlang.net All rights reserved. All parts of this publication are protected by copyright. Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution. This applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming, and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems. This publication has been peer reviewed. Contents Acknowledgementsvii Introduction1 Chapter 1 Understanding audiovisual material: A multi-layered meaning process 7 Chapter 2 Performance and characterization 25 Chapter 3 Dubbing55 Chapter 4 The model 85 Chapter 5 Buffy the Vampire Slayer135 Chapter 6 Uncanny encounters: A multimodal analysis 155 Conclusion Where do we go from here? 211 Bibliography221 Index237 Acknowledgements This book is the fruit of many years of research and I would not have been able to write it without the input of a great many people. I would like to thank my Translation Studies colleagues and friends, particularly my ‘AVT chums’, Jorge Díaz-Cintas, Frederic Chaume and Pablo Romero-Fresco, who have provided feedback, guidance, ideas and support along the way. I would also like to thank my Edinburgh colleagues Sebnem Susam-Saraeva and Hephzibah Israel for their continuing support. I am also thankful to my Film Studies and Music Studies colleagues and friends, especially Martine Beugnet, Mark Cousins, Helen Julia Minors and Sarah Artt, for giving me advice when I did not know where to start when embarking on this journey and for providing feedback at various points of my research. I also would like to thank everyone who had something to say about my topic when it was developing in mysterious ways: friends, students, Translation Studies and Film Studies conference-goers, editors, reviewers and random people I met on the train, bus, boat or plane who did not know what they were letting themselves in for when they asked me what my job was! Thanks also to the staff at Peter Lang and the anonymous reader for her or his positive response and constructive feedback. Many thanks also to Conor O’Loughlin for his careful proofreading and indexing of the book. Thanks also to the Carnegie for funding part of the publication cost of this book and to the University of Edinburgh for a grant towards the proofreading and editing cost. Many thanks to Daniel Chandler for granting me permission to reproduce images published on his website (reproduced here as Figures 1, 2 and 3). My special thanks also go to my sangha and amazing friends, particularly Steve Earl, Sharon Deane-Cox, Zhu Zhu and Geoffrey Baines; your viii Acknowledgements friendship, time, positive energy and enthusiasm really made a difference at times when I was wondering why I was doing all of this, so thank you once again. I also would like to thank Coll Hutchinson for his valuable reading recommendations and Véronique Desnain and Sarah Artt for watching Buffy with me and discussing her awesomeness for many hours. And finally, I would like to thank my family for their ongoing support and love, particularly my grandmother and my parents; without you, I would never have been able to write any of this. This book is dedicated to you. Introduction Popular culture TV series and films reach millions of people and are usually remembered through their main characters. However, as they travel the world in translation, audiences may perceive these very same characters differently even though the images remain the same. The premise of this monograph is my deep conviction that translation is a complex multi-­layered process that has an impact on the way fictional characters are presented to their new audiences. Specifically, my point of entry is characterization: the way characters are created and presented in original and translated texts in an audiovisual context. I am particularly fascinated by audiovisual texts, which prove complex to deal with in translation owing to the fact that elements from various channels need to be taken into consideration; translators have to navigate both images and sounds, including words. Characterization in the framework of Film Studies refers to the way characters are created on-screen through features such as actors’ performance, voice quality, facial expressions, gestures, camera angles and soundtrack (Dyer 1979/1998). This book will investigate how characterization and performance (including voice quality, facial expressions and gestures) are intrinsically linked and show how dubbing affects performance. My main interest is in voice, since in dubbing the original actors’ voices are replaced by new ones from the target culture. Film Studies and Audiovisual Translation Studies have seen little discussion of actors’ voices as an integral part of their identity and of the way actors use language, i.e. their idiolect. Therefore, the primary goal of this monograph is to raise further awareness of the multimodality of the translation process and demonstrate how important it is to consider the above-mentioned aspects in original texts and in translation. Audiovisual Translation is arguably the most widespread mode of translation: foreign movies and television series or programmes reach us through translation every day. However, less research has been done in this field in comparison to other genres (such as literary translation). Research 2 Introduction started in the late 1980s with an emphasis on the media constraints inherent in dubbing and subtitling and the relative merits of these two modes of translation; it also focused on the search for norms or conventions that operate when translating into the target culture. Various studies have addressed issues such as the translation of ideological and cultural elements and the translation of humour. However, only a limited number of studies have looked into the presentation of characters, i.e. characterization and the potential impact of translation on characterization. This monograph therefore intends to fill this gap by investigating performance in the context of Audiovisual Translation and suggesting a new line of development in Audiovisual Translation research that has the potential to galvanize further studies and inspire other scholars and academics. In this monograph specifically, I elaborate a methodological tool for studying characterization through performance in audiovisual texts by means of acoustic (or oral) and visual analysis. My two principal objectives are to delve into an area that, so far, has been overlooked in Translation Studies – characterization and performance shifts in Audiovisual Translation – and to foster a new line of research that will be instrumental in the analysis of audiovisual material, using a multimodal approach focusing on elements from both acoustic and visual channels. The material chosen for investigation is the popular culture series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003) and its dubbed French version. Through close analysis of shifts in performance between the original and dubbed versions, I will seek to establish which visual and oral (including linguistic) elements of a narrative audiovisual product need to be taken into account when investigating possible translation-induced characterization shifts. This meticulous analysis shall show the extent to which dubbing affects the portrayal of characters by identifying shifts in the presentation of these characters and any possible patterns in the translation strategies applied. When looking at characterization and performance, I am ultimately interested in the ‘feel’ of the text, i.e. the fictional universe presented in the text and how this is conveyed in translation. In Bosseaux (2007), I developed a model that uses linguistic elements derived from Systemic Functional Grammar (markers of deixis, transitivity and modality) to identify how point of view is manifested in the original and shifted in translation. This Introduction 3 work has been crucial to my understanding of the complexity of the translation process. However, as I had been dealing with novels, my main consideration was the linguistic aspect of translation. In this present monograph on audiovisual material, I will be focusing primarily on elements from the acoustic and visual channels. This is not to say that the linguistic component is not important; given that we are also dealing with words, there will have to be a linguistic consideration. However, many AVT studies have overplayed the role of linguistics in AV translation, and my work shall be seen as an attempt to counterbalance the current situation. Linguistic elements will therefore be incorporated, where appropriate, with the acoustic/ oral and visual analysis. My emphasis is on non-linguistic codes of film, or what Chaume calls the ‘signifying codes of cinematographic language’ (2004b: 16), i.e. elements of non-verbal communication and how these elements interact to create characterization. Although these features have been explored in studies of characterization in the area of Film and Television Studies (e.g. Branigan 1984, Dyer 1979/1998, and Klevan 2005), it is fair to say that this is a topic which remains under-researched. This monograph thus presents a comparative study which aims to pinpoint significant differences between the original and translated texts by comparing the original with its dubbed version(s). I will conduct two case studies focusing on the way the protagonists come across in the original and dubbed versions, first by looking at scenes from the original deemed representative of the characters’ personas and then comparing these to the dubbed French version. My ultimate goal is to add to the existing research in Audiovisual Translation by highlighting further the complexity of the translation process for AV texts, with a specific focus on dubbing. Outline In the first three chapters, I shall present and define what is meant by performance and characterization in audiovisual material. I will review works from various fields, including Film Studies, Performance Studies 4 Introduction and Audiovisual Translation Studies, in order to contextualize my model for analysing audiovisual material in translation. In Chapter 1, the notion of mise-en-scène and its various elements will be examined. In Chapter 2, characterization will be defined further and linked to performance. In Chapter 3, my emphasis will be on voice and identity specifically, since in dubbing the actors’ original voices are replaced by new ones. This chapter ends with a discussion of the effect dubbing can be said to have on viewers. It is in this section that I introduce Sigmund Freud’s concept of the uncanny (1919) and apply it to dubbing, thereby contextualising further my method for analysing original and dubbed products. In Chapter 4, I will introduce my multimodal model. When looking at characterization and performance, I primarily consider the universe presented in the audiovisual text and how this is conveyed in translation. The model is composed of non-linguistic codes of film and focuses on how these elements interact to create characterization and performance. These elements manifest themselves in aspects of performance such as speech delivery, voice characteristics, kinesics (facial expressions and gestures), proxemics and paralinguistics, as well as camera angles, lighting and soundtrack, all of which have a direct effect on how characters are portrayed. As words have been over-emphasized in previous AVT studies, it is the audio and visual elements that will be given prominence; however, linguistic elements will still be integrated into the acoustic presentation. Since visual elements such as facial expressions and gestures remain intact in translation, it is all the more important to consider how these dimensions interact with verbal dialogues given that we are dealing with an audio and visual product; a polysemiotic whole in which the image cannot be dissociated from the dialogue. Specific constraints attached to dubbing will be incorporated into the analysis, along with institutional constraints, cultural traditions and policies regarding audiovisual translation. Chapter 5 introduces the material chosen for the case studies. My innovative multimodal approach will be used to analyse a corpus composed of selected scenes from the popular culture series Buffy the Vampire Slayer ( Joss Whedon 1997–2003) and its dubbed French version. As we shall see, Buffy has been praised for, among other things, its construction of believable characters and its creative language, ‘Buffyspeak’, characterized Introduction 5 by neologisms, humour and slang. Another aspect of ‘Buffyspeak’ worthy of investigation in translation is the recurrent use of British English as opposed to American English, as the show features two British characters whose characterization is primarily based on accent, vocabulary and cultural differences. The dubbing of Buffy into French provides interesting material for researching characterization, given that accents, voice and vocabulary tend to undergo changes in translation. Three characters from the series have been chosen for investigation: Buffy, Spike and Giles. The corpus will be analysed to highlight ‘the factors contributing to the many-faceted meaning-making whole, as the various semiotic modalities are seen to operate in unison’ (Taylor 2003: 195). Specific features of performance will be identified, including voice characteristics and vocabulary choices related to (for instance) Britishness, as well as non-verbal behaviour such as facial expressions. My qualitative analytical method will aim to uncover how these elements have been treated in translation, e.g. whether they are removed, reflected or reinforced, thereby leading to a change in characterization. The final chapter, Chapter 6, presents the model in practice. The comparative study sets out to discover differences in characterization through performance between the original and dubbed versions. When analysing the corpus, the focus will be on the way the protagonists come across in the original and dubbed versions by comparing scenes from the original with those from the French version. These examples will be analysed with an emphasis on the interaction between the visual and oral channels. In my analysis of the scenes, I will comment on the visual image, kinesic action and soundtrack, emphasizing the interplay of paralinguistic features, kinesics, voice and linguistic elements used to create and portray characters. Voice quality, paralinguistic features, facial expressions, gestures and vocabulary will be analysed to show how these dimensions interact and create meaning. The first case study considers an excerpt from Buffy’s musical episode, with the emphasis on the function of songs as an important part of the series’ narrative. The second case study shall investigate performance in normal or ‘pure’ film dialogues, with a particular focus on Britishness and accents as well as paralinguistic features (e.g. tone of voice) and visual elements (e.g. gestures and facial expressions). 6 Introduction Before exploring the theoretical material on which my understanding of translation, characterization and performance is based, I would like to emphasize the transdisciplinary aspect of my work. In order to conceptualise dubbing and performance and create a method to analyse characterization in originals and dubbed AV texts, I have relied on works from various fields, including Film Studies, Theatre Studies, Television Studies, Audiovisual Translation Studies, and Sound Studies. This has made the research process a rich and complex one, and I hope that researchers and readers in all of these areas will find my work intellectually stimulating. Chapter 1 Understanding audiovisual material: A multi-layered meaning process 1.1 Introduction Gavin Lambert explains that: ‘[U]ntil we know how a film is speaking to us, we cannot be sure what it is saying’ (Lambert 1952: 7 in Gibbs 2002: 100). What Lambert highlights in this short quote is the fact that audiovisual materials, such as films and television series,1 have a language of their own and that in order to understand them, we must learn to read and decode the various layers of meaning presented to us. Broadly speaking there are two levels of communications in films, known as the horizontal and vertical levels (Vanoye 1985). The vertical level corresponds to the interaction between directors and the audience, whereas the horizontal level corresponds to the interaction between characters. These two levels are interrelated since meaning comes from the interaction between audience and film (Phillips 2000: 88) and both the audience and directors interpret meaning based on the interaction between the characters. Interpretation is therefore an important process when it comes to understanding films – so much so that Stafford notes that ‘a film would not exist without an audience’ (2007: 73). Consequently, this process of making meaning is not a straightforward one, as the audience responds to films on various levels. Patrick Phillips explains that there are two main 1 For the sake of simplicity, the word ‘film’ will hereafter be used to talk about both films and television series. 8 Chapter 1 levels, the intellectual level and the emotional level (2000: 4–7), including previous experiences (Stafford 2007: 87), all of which will inform our appreciation of what is happening on-screen. Furthermore, this viewing experience is both shared and personal (Phillips 2000: 5); for instance, we can laugh at the same time as other people while also having our own personal interpretation. Therefore, films can be discussed both in terms of their own language and of our viewing experience, and the first step towards conveying this experience to readers is to describe films; to put into words how they convey meaning. However, decoding a film’s meaning is a complex task given that a film is generally understood as a ‘polysemiotic medium’; a whole that audiences have to reconstruct (Gottlieb 2005, Desilla 2009: 120). Indeed, various elements or aspects combine to create meaning in a film, such as the mise-en-scène, editing, sound, and cinematography. For instance, when discussing the choice of music in the opening credits of Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Seidelman 1985), Douglas Pye (2007: 33) explains that when we watch a film, ‘we experience simultaneously the interaction of elements – colour, framing, action, sound and so on – that analysis inevitably separates’. Consequently, we can only analyse films by breaking them down into these smaller units; a process of description or dissection necessary in order to understand how films elicit particular reactions from audiences. Even though this process may run the risk of ‘deconstructing’ the whole and the magic of the carefully created atmosphere that goes with it, it is only by the act of describing that we can take the first step towards trying to understand the mechanics at work in audiovisual materials, be they originals or translations. Films are therefore complex repositories of meaning conveyed through various elements which must be read both individually and as part of a whole. In this first chapter, I examine the concept of mise-en-scène in order to show how audiovisual materials ‘speak’ to us or how they can be ‘read’; that is, how films convey meaning and how this can be linked to characterization and performance, which will be examined in more detail in Chapter 2. Understanding audiovisual material: A multi-layered meaning process 9 1.2  Elements of films: The visual elements of mise-en-scène Mise-en-scène is a complex concept ‘concerned with visual style in the cinema’ (Gibbs 2002: 1), which translates literally as ‘to put to stage’ (ibid.: 5) or ‘putting into scene’ (Dix 2008: 11). Gibbs offers a very simple yet useful definition of mise-en-scène as ‘the contents of the frame and the way they are organised’ (2002: 5). Therefore, following Gibbs’ definition, my work considers audiovisual materials in terms of the contents of their frame and, more specifically, ‘lighting, costume, décor, properties and the actors themselves […], framing, camera movement, the particular lens employed and other photographic decisions’ (ibid.). From this definition, one can see that mise-en-scène is concerned with cinematographic features and ‘encompasses both what the audience can see, and the way in which we are invited to see it’ (ibid.). In the present book, the description of scenes in originals and dubbed versions will therefore take into consideration a selection of communicative elements in film following Gibbs’ classification (2002: 6–26): lighting, colour, costume, props, décor, action and performance, space, the position of the camera and framing. The following paragraphs will examine each of these elements in turn. Lighting specifically concerns how light is used or organized to present characters, i.e. to emphasize or minimize their presence on-screen. Lighting creates mood and can be used to highlight elements or characters in a scene through ‘high key lighting’ and ‘low key lighting’, each of which has a different connotation (Dix 2008: 18–19). What we are interested in is, for instance, whether characters are in the foreground or in the background (e.g. in the light or in the dark), or whether one character in a scene is better lit than the other protagonists, as this could mean that he or she is also in a clearer position in their emotional life. Audience perception will therefore be dependent on the way characters are lit, what they are saying and their facial expressions and gestures, all of which are elements of performance, as we shall see in Chapter 2. In the context of translation, the connotative messages attached to lighting may lead to different perceptions given that 10 Chapter 1 cultures are not monolithic spaces of meaning. This is why it is important to be sensitive to the specific elements of mise-en-scène. Colours are also crucial to creating meaning, particularly the way they are used and their associations. Colours carry connotations; in the West, for instance, ‘red’ is usually culturally associated with passion and ‘white’ with purity. These associations may vary across cultures, although there are some colours which have cross-cultural associations. For instance, when analysing the opening credits of Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Seidelman 1985), Pye (2007: 32–3) comments on the use of pink and how this colour is widely used as a symbol of femininity. As noted previously, dissecting elements of mise-en-scène is necessary to our understanding of what these elements are and how they interact to make meaning. Colours and lighting are in fact linked, as colours may be considered as ‘feature[s] of the lighting, the set decoration, or props’ (Gibbs 2002: 8). Moreover, Baldry and Thibault (2006: 199) also note that a colour can act as a cohesive device: a ‘colour is not an isolate – it is not a question of pure chromatic quality – but has its significance in relation to other features of the visual field with which it is integrated’. Hence, colours are related to various coding orientations (Kress and Van Leeuwen 1996, Baldry and Thibault 2006: 200). There are three different codings: naturalistic, sensory/sensual and the hyperreal, all of which will convey different meanings and have an impact on the audience’s perception. Additionally, colours can also be used as linkages: ‘details which will make the audience, consciously or more often unconsciously, connect one scene or character or action with another’ (Ian Cameron 1963: 8). Throughout films, these linkages will act as motifs and through them the audience will associate particular images or scenes with one another. For instance, the use of the colour red in Lynne Ramsey’s We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011), present in food, clothes, paint and nature, permeates the whole film and can be seen as a constant reminder of or clues about Kevin’s looming atrocious act. Mentioning clothes leads us to costume, another important parameter that is concerned with the way clothes, hairstyles and make-up are used to convey meaning. All elements of costume prove highly significant in terms of characterization. Take Marilyn Monroe, for instance: her peroxide blonde hair and tight dress in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks 1953) contribute to expressing her oozing sexuality.

Author Charlotte Bosseaux Isbn 9783034302357 File size 2.09MB Year 2015 Pages 242 Language English File format PDF Category Cinema Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare Research on dubbing in audiovisual productions has been prolific in the past few decades, which has helped to expand our understanding of the history and impact of dubbing worldwide. Much of this work, however, has been concerned with the linguistic aspects of audiovisual productions, whereas studies emphasizing the importance of visual and acoustic dimensions are few and far between. Against this background, Dubbing, Film and Performance attempts to fill a gap in Audiovisual Translation (AVT) research by investigating dubbing from the point of view of film and sound studies. The author argues that dubbing ought to be viewed and analysed holistically in terms of its visual, acoustic and linguistic composition. The ultimate goal is to raise further awareness of the changes dubbing brings about by showing its impact on characterization. To this end, a tripartite model has been devised to investigate how visual, aural and linguistic elements combine to construct characters and their performance in the original productions and how these are deconstructed and reconstructed in translation through dubbing. To test the model, the author analyses extracts of the US television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its French dubbed version.     Download (2.09MB) Terror Television: American Series, 1970-1999 Joss Whedon: The Biography Dreams In American Television Narratives: From Dallas To Buffy Cult Telefantasy Series: A Critical Analysis of The Prisoner, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, Heroes.. The Languages Of Dubbing: Mainstream Audiovisual Translation In Italy Load more posts

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