I was reading the topic about Union Film. Translating the credits is for sure something that helps, an effort that I appreciate and welcome with joy.
Just to be clear, this is not the same Union Film that I was referring to.
But I was wondering: does somebody know if there is a little possibility that all those old cantonese classics, from the fifities til the early seventies, can get a chance to be issued with english subtitles?!
There are a very small handful, notably the Bruce Lee box set. Obviously they are pushing that aspect, but it so happens there are terrific films in their own right. So take advantage of it. Two of the three were produced by Union Film, and the third film, made in 1950, precedes Union but is as good. There are a few others but I will have to look them up to list here.
On one side, infact, these movies seem to be something out of the world that really does not interest the majority of people (or anyway they sell less than -say- a Johnnie To offer). On the other side, I have the feeling that there´s a big number of people sincerely happy that these old movies started to come again to the light. Is it so really science-fictional to hope that somebody will take care of adding english subtitles to these films? Does somebody know what are the difficulties with this kind of job, especially financially speaking, and if there is a little chance to have a market and a public for these movies or not... (just to know if starting to translate these movies would mean just a frustrating experience or something with a bit of real sense, beside a personal love for cantonese movies).
I don’t know about the financial aspects but let me relate something somewhat related. I happen to enjoy Chinese opera (oooh scarrry, huh?), Cantonese, Kunqu, Beijing, etc. I try to catch performances whenever they are available locally. Now, when I go to Kunqu performances, they are usually presented by the Smithsonian Institute (a national museum). They normally precede the performance with a lecture and technique demo so the audience can understand and appreciate the performance more fully. So, they are marketing specifically towards Westerners. No problem. If I go to a Beijing opera performance, normally, they are presented by a local opera troupe with guest stars from China, ex-pats living in NYC, etc. Geared toward Mandarin speakers, they almost always provide BOTH Chinese and English translations. The auditorium is full, maybe 400-500 people. But when I go to a Cantonese opera performance, again, locally presented with Guangdong guest stars in the lead, the translation is Chinese only. WTF! I look around at the audience, everyone but me is over 60 years old, closer to 70, maybe only 100 or so people. The younger Chinese have no interest but they don’t even try to market and expand their audience. Why is that? These people won’t live forever, where is the next generation of audience going to come from? Already, interest is low.
I’m not sure what it all means if anything but I thought I’d share it.
Last edited by dleedlee
on Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.