881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Mungo
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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#26 Post by Mungo » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:18 pm

teddyleevin wrote:I'm in love. I am inspired to make and create a trilogy with him. Call me, Ishmael.
To paraphrase Domino, some posts on this forum deserve a like button

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#27 Post by Werewolf by Night » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:00 am

I pity the poor subtitler who, faced with rushing torrents of Pagnol's poetic and amusing dialogue, translated everything into the most basic and po-faced English just to be able to get the basic gist of the words onto the screen. How sad to lose wonderful lines like Panisse saying to César (in my translation): "You had a great need to come here right now with your cane and your pretty hat?" to "What are you doing here?"

I'm not quite ready to formulate any other thoughts on the trilogy just yet, but my, what a steep drop in the quality of the cinematography from the first to the second and third films. They're all actually quite well-shot for 1930s French films, but one could almost think FANNY was the most recent film for all its mobile camera and sprightly cutting.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#28 Post by cdnchris » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:40 am

I thought the third film did more with the camera and in staging and felt more cinematic than the others to be honest, (though I also had no issue with Korda's) but I agree the second was so static and stale, despite the tracking shot that was pumped up in the supplements (even though I know such a shot was unheard of at the time). It was the stagiest I felt.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#29 Post by John Shade » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:59 am

Would you all still recommend these as movies? I like the late '80s movies made based on Pagnol's stories or memoirs, and I tend to love the obvious greats of '30s French cinema, but it's an expensive box and I'm not one to "blind buy" typically...

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#30 Post by Banasa » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:28 am

I'm seeing the trilogy at my local theater which is showing each one shown week after week. So far I am enjoying them and the audience with me laughed at the appropriate parts and seem to leave in good spirits.

If you have enjoyed 1930s French cinema or other comedies or dramas from that era I would not hesitate to recommend as these are really easy films to slip into.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#31 Post by Werewolf by Night » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:42 am

I think this is a must-have release for any fan of 1930s French cinema. Though I was familiar with the trilogy's reputation, it was a blind buy for me as well. It's one of the best such gambles I've made, right behind the Duvivier Eclipse set.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#32 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:10 pm

Glad to hear others are discovering what lovely films these are. My biggest defense would be that the trilogy fills the same sweet spot as a great TV series in presenting a collection of characters I just find enjoyable to hang out and spend time with and cheer their successes and share their disappointment when things don't work out. Pagnol beautifully gives us a sense of place and mostly gets out of the way of his creations as they take on their own life. Logan's compressed remake isn't a bad movie, but it loses this ability to let an audience lose itself in this world by reducing the running time

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#33 Post by tenia » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:15 pm

I've read (I belive on DVD Classik) that the third movie shows that Pagnol was way less experienced than Korda and Allégret. Is this a feeling shared here too ? (it doesn't seem so, reading chris above).

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#34 Post by Werewolf by Night » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:22 pm

I felt like Allégret's entry (Fanny) was the most clumsily directed, but none of them are bad. Pagnol as a director just seems more content to have long scenes set in a single location with not a lot of movement among the actors. His entry (César) might be the most "stagy," but it's still a far cry from the inertness and proscenium style of many other French and American films of the period.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#35 Post by artfilmfan » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:00 pm

IMHO this trilogy is as wonderful as the Apu trilogy.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#36 Post by lzx » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:20 am

I read somewhere that Pagnol had a hand in directing the first and second entries as well -- is there any truth to this claim? Online English resources on these films are remarkably scarce (pre-Criterion) given how popular they seem to be in their native France.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#37 Post by rohmerin » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:30 am

The trilogy is very good, but La femme du boulanger (The baker's wife) is highly superior.

I haven't seen the James Whale version, made by MGM in early 37 or 38, but the 61 Logan's film is very enjoyable spite Chevalier.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#38 Post by tenia » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:50 am

Pagnol's La femme du boulanger has been funded by the CNC in Feb 2016 for the same company that restored the Marseille Trilogy. Angèle et Regain were also awarded some funds. All three will be restored by Digimages.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#39 Post by rohmerin » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:56 pm

It's a pity that Criterion doesn't include - never - subtitles according with the original soundtrack (foreign langueges, I mean) because the French, southern French, they speak is very easy although different to the standard Paris accent. Pagnol's world and Rohmer are good for improving French. Demy's umbrellas too.

I haven't seen Angele or Regain; neither all those Daniel Auteil new versions he's making with no success in the French box office.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#40 Post by Werewolf by Night » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:13 pm

rohmerin wrote:It's a pity that Criterion doesn't include - never - subtitles according with the original soundtrack (foreign langueges, I mean) because the French, southern French, they speak is very easy although different to the standard Paris accent.
I realize the complete unfeasibility of this, but it's nice to imagine a subtitling option that offers a complete, literal translation of all the dialogue of a film (more like literary translation) in addition to the simplified translation that is standard. This would be especially valuable for films where the dialogue is a key attraction such as those with scripts by Pagnol or Prévert.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#41 Post by Randall Maysin » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:00 pm

Werewolf by Night wrote:I realize the complete unfeasibility of this, but it's nice to imagine a subtitling option that offers a complete, literal translation of all the dialogue of a film (more like literary translation) in addition to the simplified translation that is standard. This would be especially valuable for films where the dialogue is a key attraction such as those with scripts by Pagnol or Prévert.
But who's to say which is more truthful or 'right'? Subtitling isn't a science! It's an art, maaaaaaaan.

Just kidding I completely agree with you. This is why I have less and less enthusiasm for watching foreign films.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#42 Post by TMDaines » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:56 am

Werewolf by Night wrote:
rohmerin wrote:It's a pity that Criterion doesn't include - never - subtitles according with the original soundtrack (foreign langueges, I mean) because the French, southern French, they speak is very easy although different to the standard Paris accent.
I realize the complete unfeasibility of this, but it's nice to imagine a subtitling option that offers a complete, literal translation of all the dialogue of a film (more like literary translation) in addition to the simplified translation that is standard. This would be especially valuable for films where the dialogue is a key attraction such as those with scripts by Pagnol or Prévert.
A good translator would do this. I've not seen this release, but from that one isolated example that someone provided, these subs sound terrible.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#43 Post by knives » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:02 am

The problem with that, and I think MichaelB has talked about this, but people speak much more quickly then they can read. So because of that disparity it is almost impossible to provide the most complete translation in most cases. This is also ignoring how a literal translation would often be gibberish considering differences in idiom, grammar, and other aspects of language in different languages. Any translation has a certain amount of interpretation to it. Perhaps this is not the best translation possible, but given the density, speed, and regional aspects of the dialogue this is probably a tough set of films to subtitle.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#44 Post by Werewolf by Night » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:39 am

knives wrote:Perhaps this is not the best translation possible, but given the density, speed, and regional aspects of the dialogue this is probably a tough set of films to subtitle.
That's exactly it. If there had been a complete and literal translation of all the dialogue in these films, the subtitles would either fill the screen or flash by at an unreadable speed. That's why I was careful to say "I realize the complete unfeasibility of this...." The current subtitles might not capture the beauty and humor of Pagnol's dialogue, but they get the main point across.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#45 Post by swo17 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:47 am

Even thoroughly literal subtitles will never be a substitute for learning the other language.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#46 Post by knives » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:52 am

Werewolf by Night wrote:
knives wrote:Perhaps this is not the best translation possible, but given the density, speed, and regional aspects of the dialogue this is probably a tough set of films to subtitle.
That's exactly it. If there had been a complete and literal translation of all the dialogue in these films, the subtitles would either fill the screen or flash by at an unreadable speed. That's why I was careful to say "I realize the complete unfeasibility of this...." The current subtitles might not capture the beauty and humor of Pagnol's dialogue, but they get the main point across.
I'm entirely with you on this. My comment was more in reaction to Daines' a good subtitler comment.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#47 Post by John Shade » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:06 pm

For some reason I misread the unfeasability thing in regard to Criterion simply providing original language subtitles, which is something I've never been sure why they don't do. Surely there must be some people in America who would like to read or perhaps need to read the original in their native language--not sure how expensive it would be. I was watching some Spielberg blu ray a few weeks ago and it was crazy how many languages were offered in the subtitles options. Still excited to see these films and appreciative of Criterion for bringing them out in this way.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#48 Post by knives » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:42 pm

The reason why it is easier for the Spielberg films or say Disney is that it is the same company releasing it in all of the territories. For a company like Criterion they would either have to licence a French subtitle track or make one of their own which can be costly.

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#49 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:07 pm

As knives says, Universal, who released most Spielberg films, produces identical region-free discs for worldwide distribution, so that's why they have so many language options available

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Re: 881-884 The Marseille Trilogy

#50 Post by TMDaines » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:17 am

knives wrote:
Werewolf by Night wrote:
knives wrote:Perhaps this is not the best translation possible, but given the density, speed, and regional aspects of the dialogue this is probably a tough set of films to subtitle.
That's exactly it. If there had been a complete and literal translation of all the dialogue in these films, the subtitles would either fill the screen or flash by at an unreadable speed. That's why I was careful to say "I realize the complete unfeasibility of this...." The current subtitles might not capture the beauty and humor of Pagnol's dialogue, but they get the main point across.
I'm entirely with you on this. My comment was more in reaction to Daines' a good subtitler comment.
As a former professional translator and fansubber, I am well aware of these issues. I've not seen these films with these subtitles, and don't speak French either, but that one example does not sound good. A lot of translation is quite crap frankly and gets away with it on the fact that the target audience cannot really judge it, as they otherwise would not want the translation in the first place.

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