Do MoC's English-language titles have English subtitles

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Michael
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Do MoC's English-language titles have English subtitles

#1 Post by Michael » Sat Feb 19, 2005 1:25 pm

I'm wondering if the MoC English-language titles carry English subtitles or captions.

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Lino
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#2 Post by Lino » Sat Feb 19, 2005 1:51 pm

Michael wrote:I'm wondering if the MoC English-language titles carry English subtitles or captions.
Well, so far there's not a single English title in the MoC series of DVDs. Tartuffe, Asphalt, Metropolis, Michael, Spione and The Holy Mountain are German; Pitfall, The Face of Another, Humanity and Paper Balloons are all Japanese, and lastly Francisco (...) is Italian.

They all come of course with English subs included. Come and think of it, which English or American title would you like to have in the MoC line, peerpee?

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#3 Post by peerpee » Sat Feb 19, 2005 6:32 pm

Lino wrote: Come and think of it, which English or American title would you like to have in the MoC line, peerpee?
I'd be a fool to say, really. There's a lot of competition, and I wouldn't want another UK company to snaffle it!

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#4 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:29 am

peerpee wrote:I'd be a fool to say, really. There's a lot of competition, and I wouldn't want another UK company to snaffle it!
Well let me be the fool and say it. Any chance of some early Powell or Powell/Pressburger??? I think there was a Region 1 of Contraband but I've never seen anything on Spy in Black or The Love Test although prints exist.

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#5 Post by peerpee » Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:11 pm

We're having trouble licensing films from some established companies around the world because they are insisting that we ingrain English subtitles into the image -- and we refuse to bow.

We're not naming names (yet) - but we want to lift the lid on this dastardly practice, and we need public support if things are to change.

An MoC article on the matter is forthcoming.

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#6 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:52 pm

peerpee wrote:We're having trouble licensing films from some established companies around the world because they are insisting that we ingrain English subtitles into the image -- and we refuse to bow.
Physically ingrained -- or just forced subs that can't be turned off on run-of-the-mill stand-alone DVD players?

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#7 Post by peerpee » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:04 pm

Forced. But it doesn't make much difference as far as we're concerned.

I feel this is an important issue for ex-pats in the UK/Ireland who have the right to view the film as the director originally intended, in the mother-tongue, whatever that may be.

The companies insisting on forced subs are afraid of product entering back into the country of origin (wherever they may be), and most of the time, it's because these films are not even released on DVD there.

It's made me totally rethink situations where I've thought badly of a company in the past for releasing a DVD with forced subs. Many of those were forced subs because the licensor forced the licensee to do that, and I think if punters knew this, they could cause a stink for these licensors...

Can I just add that none of the companies that we are currently licensing from have been a problem at all in this regard. Our beef is with other companies.

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#8 Post by Steven H » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:25 pm

Are they demanding more money for the rights in these cases, or just flatout refusing? This is a very interesting predicament and certainly shines a light on how DVD production is viewed by the "establishment". It also makes me wonder how a company like Criterion can get around such things (with clout?). Thanks for the info though, and fill us in on what more we can do.

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#9 Post by Pinback » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:40 pm

Steven H wrote:It also makes me wonder how a company like Criterion can get around such things (with clout?)
Or, perhaps, that Criterion have, like MoC, tried and failed with certain titles.

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#10 Post by Jun-Dai » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:42 pm

Criterion's in a much better situation with regard to this issue, because they can region-encode their releases to a separate region. MoC's titles are mostly (conjecture) licensed from other companies/entities that exist in region 2 (Europe/Japan), and so the only mechanism that the rights-holders believe they have to avoid reimportation is fixed subtitles.

In the early days of Criterion Toho forced Criterion to stop selling Seven Samurai because the subs were removable and Toho had thought (assumed) that they would not be. They renegotiated the contract, Criterion flagged the disc as region 1 (it had been region 0 before), and the issue was closed. MoC doesn't have that option when negotiating with, e.g., Japanese companies.

MoC doesn't have the resources (again: conjecture) to buy up and sell to all of R2, and the rights-owners probably feel that their IP rights are worth less to other potential buyers in countries they haven't licensed to if there is already a stellar R2 UK release out there. By forcing MoC to fix the subtitles (or trying to, anyways, but MoC is valiantly refusing), I imagine they figure they're protecting their assets with regard to all the other R2 countries. The drawback, of course, is that they are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to work with a company that is eager to release the film in the best possible way (allowing it to reach a larger market than it otherwise would--especially as the company has a reputation that customers trust enough to blindly purchase films they haven't seen and wouldn't otherwise think to). The result is that even if someone does eventually accept their demands and release a disc, it will be someone with much less personal interest in the title, and they won't treat it well, it won't sell well, and nobody will be very happy (except the licensee, since their costs will probably be very low, as they'll just dump the VHS master onto a dvd with no liner notes).

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#11 Post by peerpee » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:57 pm

Are they demanding more money for the rights in these cases, or just flatout refusing?
Flatout refusing. It also appears that some of our favourite companies have not exactly been following their contracts to the letter either (and good for them).

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#12 Post by FilmFanSea » Fri Feb 25, 2005 9:21 pm

Keep fighting the good fight, Nick. We're all behind you!

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#13 Post by Anonymous » Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:05 pm

This issue of ingrained/forced subs has been pestering me the last few days. I think there are broader reasons as to why optional subs are instinctively required by the market now, other than for a love of our non-native English speaking neighbours.

As UK born and bred I'm a member of the minority who speaks other European languages and if I seriously appreciate a film I reserve the right to be able to see it without subtitles. Other European countries are immersed in English predominantly because the culture they're fed, be it film or music or whatever, often comes from America or England. That's why so many Europeans speak English. It's because they've learnt all the words to Another Brick in the Wall, etc. In its extreme the music industry doesn't impose foreign language narration over English lyrics.

When I watch a film I want to be able to see it without subs, so that I can see the full picture, so that I can get into the language. There's little other influx of European culture into Britain that supports the acquisition of foreign languages - and it's to the severe detriment of Britain which is isolated from its European neighbours.

Subtitles are always a poor second best to what is being said on screen. At their worst, and it regularly happens, they can be inaccurate and lazy, and at their best they're often limited by being snappy and refined. I know I'm generalising but there's no formula for capturing the nuances of other languages or the personality that seeps through a character's speech.

I don't want to see films that have been dubbed, I don't want to see new English intertitles (that also can remove the atmosphere of the original, à la Kino's Metropolis), and I don't want to see ingrained/forced subs. The maker of the film most often didn't make the subtitles so further it's a snub to the director that subs get forced on to the film. These companies should be restricted to licensing the film as it was made - and judging from the volume of foreign films I've seen I can't imagine that the subs will be checked as to how good or accurate they are. Subs are obviously being used as way to sully films for other markets - it's just about the love of money rather than love of the film.
Last edited by Anonymous on Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#14 Post by Steven H » Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:34 pm

Thanks for the info Nick, and I'm looking forward to the MoC piece (could DVD world political repercussions follow?).

This makes me curious about Panorama's abnormal subtitling functions on a few of their DVDs (having to go to the menu to change them, disabling the subtitle key on the remote). I wonder if this is some backwards way around the problem you've been facing.

One more thing, it's been great hearing about the dealings of DVD manufacturing through a smaller (?) company like Eureka... is there any possibility of seeing an MoC article about, say, a diary of a single DVD release? Just a thought (I'll probably think it silly tomorrow).

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#15 Post by peerpee » Mon Feb 28, 2005 12:37 am

I think the Panorama "abnormal subtitling function" is just bad UI. There's no reason for it, as the subs can be turned on or off by going to the menus, so I can't see how it would help us, or appease the licensor.

I'd like to write a diary of a release, but I don't have much time right now and would rather spend it on the discs. Maybe nearer Xmas?

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#16 Post by devlinnn » Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:58 pm

You do have to feel a tiny bit sorry for those who hold the license to release films, especially in the smaller markets of foreign films. Today's world has passed them by. Do you blame distribution companies for trying their hardest to hold onto the value of their assets? They've paid money for the films, only to see the value of this dwindle over the last few years. If only they, (and governments when it comes to censorship classifications) would admit the fact the financial avenues for the home video market has changed with the advent of a global market and adapt to it for the benefit of all.

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#17 Post by Ted Todorov » Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:08 pm

peerpee wrote:Forced. But it doesn't make much difference as far as we're concerned.
Hi Nick, I'm glad that you are sticking to your guns, but isn't there some "wink, wink" way around this? To explain, I certainly don't approve of region coding, but it doesn't stop me from buying region coded (as opposed to Region 0 or ALL) DVDs. My DVD player ignores region coding, so I don't care.

Unfortunately DVD players that ignore forced subs are rare, but all forced subs aren't created equal. Some are very easily hackable. The easiest being those that don't give you a "no sub" option through the menus, but simply using the subtitle key on the remote does the job. Could MoC do something very pro-forma to pacify the rights holders and yet make it easy for any any sentient being to turn off the subs?

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#18 Post by peerpee » Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:15 am

Hiya Ted. You make it sound so simple :) - but pressing the SUBTITLE button and removing the subtitles clearly isn't adhering to the "non-removable subtitles" part of the contract.

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#19 Post by Lino » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:49 am

So... is MoC going to include English subtitles for any future British or American titles in the series? Or any that is spoken in the language of Willy the Shake? ;)

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#20 Post by peerpee » Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:02 pm

Lino wrote:So... is MoC going to include English subtitles for any future British or American titles in the series?
Obviously, we should include English subtitles on English speaking films for the deaf and hard of hearing, and we have one such film planned for later this year. However, to be honest, I can't say either way yet what we're doing with regard to subs on it. The bottom line is that if subs aren't available beforehand, the project costs soar and the whole thing gets delayed a month or two for transcribing, spotting, and subs creation.

Looking around at what the bfi, AE, and Tartan do -- they're all really spotty in this area, so we should follow Criterion's splendid example.

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#21 Post by Jun-Dai » Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:42 pm

peerpee wrote:
Lino wrote:So... is MoC going to include English subtitles for any future British or American titles in the series?
Obviously, we should include English subtitles on English speaking films for the deaf and hard of hearing, and we have one such film planned for later this year.
Incidentally, is there any chance of including multiple versions of subtitles where available? Additionally, is including original-language subtitles (close-captioning) an option, for those who have some understanding of the language to be better able to follow the film without resorting to translation? Just some thoughts.

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#22 Post by ellipsis7 » Sun May 15, 2005 2:59 pm

peerpee wrote:We're having trouble licensing films from some established companies around the world because they are insisting that we ingrain English subtitles into the image -- and we refuse to bow.
I was aware of this for a while... It's really pretty pointless, as I presume seepage is two way, and relatively small, save the for likes of us who want to be aware of and access relevant releases from all regions...

Major studios get round it by putting 17 different language subtitle options as removable on their discs, but they are looking at a global pictures, rather than licensing territory by territory...

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Re: Do MoC's English-language titles have English subtitles

#23 Post by cana7cl » Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:35 pm

From my own personal experience:

19. Nightmare Alley: Optional English subtitles.
21. Punishment Park: Optional English subtitles.
26. The Savage Innocents: Optional English subtitles.
31. F For Fake: No subtitles.
43. Grey Gardens: Optional English subtitles.

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peerpee
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Re: Do MoC's English-language titles have English subtitles

#24 Post by peerpee » Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:27 pm

also:

SALESMAN
A TIME TO LOVE AND A TIME TO DIE
THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER

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Re: Do MoC's English-language titles have English subtitles

#25 Post by manicsounds » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:42 am

Was there some special reason F For Fake didn't get subtitles at all?

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