This volume is the continuation of the British Academy-funded conference ‘Splendid Innovations: The Development, Reception and Preservation of Screen Translation’, organised by the co-editors at the British Academy, London on 21 and 22 May 2015. We would like to warmly thank everyone who attended our conference—speakers, chairs, and delegates—for their enthusiasm, questions, and comments. In particular, we acknowledge Frederic Chaume, Nataša Ďurovičová, Lucy Mazdon, Markus Nornes, Sarah Street, François Thomas, and Ginette Vincendeau who do not appear as chapter authors in this volume but whose intellectual contribution as conference speakers or session chairs was invaluable to us. We would also like to thank the contributors to this volume for their unfailing commitment to the project (and tremendous patience with the editors).
Our London conference included a public event which took the form of a ‘film explaining’ performance with Japanese benshi Ichiro Kataoka who, with the collaboration of Markus Nornes, performed alongside a series of Japanese and American silent films, accompanied on the piano by Cyrus Gabrysch. English subtitles for this performance were provided by Aoi Matsushima. The performance was followed by a public discussion chaired by Alexander Jacoby. The Faculty of Arts and the Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts (BIRTHA) of the University of Bristol and the Japan Foundation in London provided supplementary funding for this event. We thank them all for the great success of this event which was presented to a packed room at the British Academy.
Academic convention forbids us to name the international panel of peer reviewers who provided feedback on the individual chapters in this volume. As usual, their work is heroically unsung, but their incisive and generous feedback has greatly shaped the final volume. We warmly appreciate their rigour and collegiality.
We cannot thank the British Academy staff enough for their dedication and excellent organisation, in particular with respect to the ambitious benshi event: Penny Collins, Lectures and Conferences Producer, and Claire Pike, Assistant Events Producer.
Some of the work in this volume was funded by the Universities of Portsmouth and Bristol. We are also most grateful to the persons who provided their advice and assistance at various stages of the conference organisation and the making of this volume: Nick Bartram (Multimedia Centre, School of Modern Languages, University of Bristol), Samuel Bréan, Nasreen (p.xxii) Munni Kabir, Claire Shaw, and Charles Burdett. Fellow travellers in film history with whom aspects of this work have been discussed over the years include Robert Smith of Adelphi Books in Southsea and colleagues from South-West Silents film club in Bristol. We also thank Sonia Genaitay, Jonny Davies, Kathleen Dickson, and Steve Tollervey at the BFI National Film Archive. Thanks to Sophia Lorent at Eastman House, Rochester, New York for her assistance with a research visit to view film prints.
We are very grateful to Kiran V. Shantaram for kindly giving us permission to use English-subtitled frames from a print of his father V. Shantaram’s Dr Kotnis ki Amar Kahani (1946) as the cover illustration of this volume. We extend our thanks to the rights holders of the illustrations included in the chapters of this book: British Film Institute (London), Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC, French film centre, Paris, Bois d’Arcy), Det Danske Filminstitut (Danish Film Institute, Copenhagen), Fondation Jérôme Seydoux Pathé (Paris), Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia—Cineteca Nazionale (Italian national film archive, Rome), Gaumont (Paris), and Gosfilmofond (Moscow). We consider that our use of screen captures to illustrate this volume falls under the heading of fair use; we have nevertheless made every effort to identify the correct rights holders. Any enquiries on this front should be addressed to the editors.