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The Translation of Films, 1900-1950$
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Carol O'Sullivan and Jean-François Cornu

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266434

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266434.001.0001

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Intertitles, translation, and subtitling: Major issues for the restoration of silent films

Intertitles, translation, and subtitling: Major issues for the restoration of silent films

Chapter:
(p.65) 4 Intertitles, translation, and subtitling: Major issues for the restoration of silent films
Source:
The Translation of Films, 1900-1950
Author(s):

Dominique Moustacchi

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266434.003.0004

Restoring films is a major preoccupation of all film archives. Film heritage must not only be preserved, but also given a new life so that it can be shown to the widest possible audience. The aim of restoration consists as much as possible in reinstating a film in its original form. This is even more difficult to achieve when dealing with the silent films that have survived to this day, often in an incomplete state. Main title cards and intertitles are frequently missing, which makes films difficult to follow and understand. How do we go about restoring title cards and reviving the meaning and comprehension of the film? How can we remain loyal to what filmmakers had in mind and what they wanted to achieve? A few examples from recent or older restorations done at the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée show what difficulties we have to overcome.

Keywords:   film archive, intertitles, film translation, restoration, reconstruction, silent cinema

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