Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Subtitle Screw Up

So apparently, someone royally screwed up the subtitle translations for the DVD/Blu-Ray release of Let the Right One In.

I bought a copy a couple of weeks ago, but haven't watched it yet. So my only memory of it comes from my early viewings of the film during its theatrical run.

CHUD first broke the story, and it was then picked up and expanded on by Cinematical. Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere suggests that it may have to do with rights to the original subtitles being more expensive than getting someone else to do them cheaper. So we ended up with dumbed-down gems like this:

and this:

The top screencaps were taken from the original screener that was sent out last year. The ones on the bottom are from the current DVD release. It gets worse, whole conversations are whittled down to single sentences, and tension breakers like this have been totally neutered:

They even had the gall to totally ruin one of the film's sweetest moments, which no longer makes sense:

They didn't even bother translating that one!

I know it's already been all over the internet all day, but this is just ridiculous. Not to mention cheap and sloppy. Whoever let this happen should be ashamed. It's sad to know that people who are just now discovering the film won't be getting the full and true experience. The basic story is still there, but the subtleties have been lost in translation.

What a shame.

Click here to see more screenshot comparisons.

7 comments:

Sam Juliano said...

Yet another fantastic post! It seems incredulous that this could happen. And I know we are both on the same page with this masterful film. I guess they haven't yet completely eliminated the gliches. Great screen caps there.

Karen said...

Are we still able to obtain copies with the original version?

Matthew Lucas said...

It doesn't seem like it, at least right now.

Leo said...

That's exactly it: it's cheaper to have someone re-translate it than buy the original subs (and of course, considering how little the money must have been, it's not surprising they come up with bad ones.)
It's great that people actually manifested themselves, forcing the editor to make a move. I am a professional subtitler and I'm appaled by the wages translators are paid - it's a good thing that editors might begin to realize they can't get away with it and keep on not caring about a work they couldn't even sell foreign movies without.
Translators and movie fans unite!

Tony said...

I heard it had to do with the copyrights? Not sure, but I do like the version that I got on DVD. Nothing bothers me. I've seen the film in theaters and own it on DVD and it's all good!!!

Robg said...

Hey! Thanks for posting to the original ICONS piece. For the record, CHUD didn't break it, but Devin was kind enough to link straight to us when we posted the original story. Also, Jeffry Wells may have suggested the translation rights as a reason, but he was quoting from the original ICONS article.

No word on WHEN Magnolia/MAGNET will be issuing the updated DVD/Blu-Ray yet.

Matthew Lucas said...

No problem!

I'm sorry, I assumed CHUD broke it since that was what was reported at Cinematical.

Thanks for bringing this story to light!

Now if only I had bought "Synecdoche, New York" instead of "Let the Right One In" in their first week of release...