Au revoir

Au revoir: (Fr. exclam.) good-bye until we meet again.

Even though I purposely avoid many of the stumps that come my way from which I could prophesy, today I shall indulge myself by sharing one of my few, but fervent pet peeves.

dictionary with letter A

I hate subtitles.

There are two reasons.

First of all, I think it’s pretentious to have American actors memorize some foreign words, contending that they are pronouncing them correctly.

Secondly, I’ve reached an age when I find myself squinting a bit to try to read the translation placed on the screen, which is often done in an obtuse font, blurry color and flashed so briefly that you’re trying to figure out the predicate from the acquired subject.

I don’t like pretense.

I don’t think you lose anything in a story if your German soldiers speak English.

After all, it’s about the story, right? Not how they pronounce the dialect from the Rhineland.

But I realize I’m in the minority and that the purists out there shake their heads, bemused by my objection.

Still, as far as I’m’ concerned, I would like to say to all those young filmmakers who feel they achieve great authenticity by offering intrusive foreign language into an American film … “Au revoir.”


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