21 April 2014

The New Time Religion of Advertising

One of North America's foremost media theorists, Sut Jhally is professor of communications at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and founder and director of the Media Education Foundation. He has written numerous books and articles on advertising, social communications and cultural politics. In the following interview with Kalle Lasn and Nicholas Racz, conducted in the Vancouver offices of 'Adbusters' magazine in 1993, professor Jhally suggests that modern advertising has become a cultural force resembling a religion. He implicates this 'new time religion' in the culture of consumerism threatening to bring about environmental collapse on a planetary scale. The way out of this mess, he suggests, is to mount a 'reformation' in attitudes toward ourselves.

08 April 2014

The Linguistic Mediation of Film Subtitles

The challenge of film translation took on special complexity with the advent of sound. Major film industries experimented with diverse approaches; initially, dubbing, subtitles and native language translators were tried. In 1929, MGM embarked on an expensive programme to replicate all its feature films in three different linguistic versions and in 1930, Paramount established a studio near Paris to create foreign films in five languages. The British, French, and German industries, meanwhile, followed Hollywood's lead in multiple versions, albeit on a smaller scale, as noted by Douglas Gomery ('Economic Struggle and Hollywood Imperialism; Europe Converts to Sound,' Yale French Studies, Cinema/Sound, no. 60, 1980). In Czechoslovakia, Josef Slechta invented a 'sound camera' which sharply reduced dependence on German and American sound equipment. Eastern European audiences flocked to the movie theatres to hear local stars speak and sing in their native language. In Latin America, similarly, local industries were encouraged by the arrival of sound.