Writing, Directing and Translating Poetic Film
In this paper I examine the possibility of a holistic approach to audiovisual translation which puts the emphasis on people, context(s) and interpretation(s). I consider the relation between image, sound, and the spoken and/or written word in the audiovisual medium, and then explore some of the issues involved in creating poetic films, in particular the choice of language or silence. Th e translator’s mediating voice is not always easy to observe in subtitles. For they are governed by a complex set of constraints and conventions, to such an extent that it may appear there are no significant choices to be made, choices which, if noticed, might reflect competing interpretations. I endeavour to trace the translators’ voice in a small collection
of poetic films translated into English and French, and explain that it manifests through more or less felicitous subtitling choices, and sometimes through failure.