When seeing and hearing do not help: communication failures in Canadian films

Author: Arbeit, Marcel
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2014, vol. 39, iss. 2, pp. [137]-155
Extent
[137]-155
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
Language
English
License: Not specified license
Abstract(s)
In Canadian cinematography, with its Anglophone and Francophone branches and rich new currents from other cultures, the interest in communication gaps and failures is enormous, although the filmmakers mostly deal with them in global and universal communication contexts. This article examines various aspects of miscommunication through subtitles and focuses on the problems of monolingual people in a foreign-language environment, either in a foreign country (as in Peter Mettler's Tectonic Plates) or in a different part of their native country (the frustration of English-speaking people in Francophone Québec in Denis Villeneuve's "Le Technétium" and Patricia Rozema's Desperanto). In this context, the article explores the unreliability of human sight and hearing and investigates the roles and possibilities of various forms of nonlinguistic, especially visual communication, as presented in Atom Egoyan's En Passant (Passing Through) and Mettler's Tectonic Plates.
Note
  • This article was written within the project CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.068 "Representing of the Past: New Methods of History Interpretation in Arts and Media," co-financed by the European Social Fund and the state budget of the Czech Republic.
Document
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