Ortabasi, Melek. "Indexing the Past: Visual language and translatability in kon satoshi’s millennium actress." Perspectives. Studies in Translatology 14.(2007): 278–91.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 10.1080/09076760708669044
BibTeX citation key: Ortabasi2007
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Keywords: Animation, Japan, Kon. Satoshi, Language, Randformen des Comics, Translation
Collection: Perspectives. Studies in Translatology
This paper will re-examine current AV translation practices from a film studies perspective through director Kon Satoshi’s full-length animated feature Sennen joyû (Millennium Actress, 2001), a film that employs, and expects, a fairly deep and broad knowledge of Japanese history and culture. In this film, where the protagonist recounts her life in movies in a realistic historical setting, cinematic imagery becomes the primary medium of communication. Narrative action and dialogue, considered the main components of cinema by many viewers, take a back seat. The real “story” is the history of one of Japan’s proudest cultural products: live action cinema, particularly that of the “golden age” of the 1950s and 60s.
The aim of this paper is not simply to “translate” for the uninitiated viewer the many components of Millennium Actress that cannot be efficiently communicated through standard subtitles. Instead, this film is an ideal vehicle for demonstrating the shortcomings of current AV translation, which is primarily text-based. As recent studies show, technology-savvy “fansubbers” are using methods that challenge not only how we think about subtitling, but the process of AV translation itself, a practice usually defined by its tendency to truncate and delete. By examining the English subtitled version of Millennium Actress in the context of emerging translation strategies and technologies, this paper will propose a concept of AV translation that rejects this discourse, and more fully incorporates non-verbal methods of exchange and communication.
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