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[ecrea] CFP Languages in European Cinema

Fri Dec 16 18:03:27 GMT 2011

Languages in European Cinema

Martin Barnier

Isabelle Le Corff

The European geopolitical space has been variable, more frequently defined by economic than by cultural considerations. In this early Twenty-First Century, European Cinema, reflecting this mutability, invites us to pay particular attention to the concepts which make it possible to identify and define this area. Academic publications focus for the most part on national cinemas and individual European filmmakers. /Les Cahiers de l’ Afeccav /proposes to study films that constitute the « European film heritage ». Once we accept that such a heritage does in fact exist, we must ask how it was created, and what exchanges have taken place. In every case, the construction of European film production involves linguistic choices at all levels (production, filming, distribution, reception). What is the impact of national and regional languages and of language specificities on this heritage?//

Its multiplicity of languages is one of the features of the European area that defines it, in opposition to the other great Western film production centre, North America. Does their abundance put a brake on, or does it , rather, bring dynamism to European production? How do the exchanges of programmes and films occur in Europe , given the constraint of language barriers? Are there dominant languages? Do regional languages play a part in European production? Language appears to be not only a national marker but also a social marker through accents (e.g., regional accents, rural accents, accents of first generation immigrants, suburban accents) or linguistic forms posed as assertions of transnational identity, of hybrid cultures. What roles do languages and accents play in the construction of stereotypes? How do these markers function in European film? What is the aesthetic impact of such markers?

As for production and distribution, how does European legislation interact with national legislations, and how does it influence the production of films, TV films and series? Are there language obligations in the production systems? Do co-productions inevitably lead to "europuddings" necessarily acted in English, then dubbed in different languages? What do programs such as MEDIA, or EUROPA really bring in to the global political will to preserve languages? How do these co-productions affect the choice of languages in films? How does the distribution of co-productions filmed in regional languages function on the European market?

Links established in the 1920s between the different European producers have grown with the generalization of sound movies. The historical aspect of this intra-European interaction also deserves to be revisited in linguistic terms. In the 1930s, prior to the development of dubbing, the shooting of a film simultaneously in several languages gave surprising results. /Les Chemins du Paradis/ was a huge success, just like /Die Drei von der Tankstelle/. The actors differ but the script remains the same. There are different nuances in the actors’ ways of performing and pronouncing their lines. These comparisons between French, Italian, German, English, Hungarian, Swedish films, etc. shot in multiple language versions during this period are rich in teaching about the contexts of production as well as the contexts of reception. For example, the German-Czech films made just before the "Sudeten Crisis" acquired a particular meaning according to the language in which they were played. In the 1950s, international films were made with actors from different countries to promote co-productions. There is an "international version" of /The Leopard /with each actor speaking in his mother tongue. The films are dubbed in the language of each country. What are the transformations involved by accents, linguistic idiosyncrasies of the same film seen in different countries?

Questions of reception within Europe are also important. How are transfers and exchanges organized? Do national audiences more readily accept certain languages than others in original language versions? With regard to original language versions, dubbing and subtitling, how does the meaning of dialogue evolve from one country to another? Are remakes essential to have films with strong local cultural colorations circulate within Europe? ( e.g., /Welcome to the Chtis/). Finally, can developments in the reception of European films be perceived both within Europe and outside Europe?

Proposals for contributions shall be submitted, in French or English to Isabelle Le Corff ((cils /at/ <mailto:(cils /at/>) and Martin Barnier ((Martin.Barnier /at/ <mailto:(Martin.Barnier /at/>) : the mandatory deadline is February 15^th , 2012. After review by the Editorial Board of /Les Cahiers de l’AFECCAV/, authors whose proposals have been selected will submit their contribution by June 1^st , 2012.

_Selective Bibliography_

CHION MICHEL, /Le Complexe de Cyrano, La langue française au cinéma/. Editions Cahiers du Cinéma, Essais. Paris, 2008. DUROVICOVA NATASA, NEWMAN KATHLEEN (Edt), /World Cinemas, Transnational Perspective/, Afi Film Readers, 2009. ELSAESSER THOMAS, /European Cinema : Face to Face with Hollywood/, Amsterdam University Press, 2005.
EVERETT WENDY (Edt), /European Identity in Cinema/, Intellect Books, 2005.
EVERETT WENDY, GOODBODY AXEL, /Revisiting Space : Space and Place in European Cinema/, Peter Lang, 2005.
FOWLER CATHERINE, /The European Cinema Reader/, Routledge, 2002.
GALT ROSALIND, /The New European Cinema : Redrawing the Map/, 2006.
KONSTANTARAKOS MYRTO(Edt), /Spaces in European Cinema/, Intellect Ltd, 2000
NACIFY HAMID, /An Accented Cinema : Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking/, Princeton, N. J. 2001.

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