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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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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Confessions of a film restorer

Confessions of a film restorer

(p.101) 6 Confessions of a film restorer
The Translation of Films, 1900-1950

Thomas C. Christensen

British Academy

When restoring a film, the aim is naturally always to provide the definitive version. However, many factors make this an impossible mission. This chapter draws on actual film archival practice and theory, exposing a minefield of obstacles facing any academic study trying to examine film history based on restored works. The focus is on silent cinema restoration, intertitles, and translation issues. Using Mark-Paul Meyer and Paul Read’s categories—from a one-to-one duplication to the creation of an altogether new work—the aim is to give an insight into the complexity of silent film restoration and the practical, and sometimes very unacademic, nature of the actual restoration work. The fact that most film restorations typically concentrate on image quality rather than titles, which are often merely supposed to support the visual action, adds to the complexity of transparency about the provenance of the filmic titles as an object of study.

Keywords:   film heritage, film history, film preservation, film restoration, intertitles, silent cinema, silent film

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