Thursday, June 26, 2014

On social media…

The lovely Rekhs dropped me a link to share this morning regarding an inane Buzzfeed style "listicle" from IBN of "subtitle fails" from South Indian films. I'll share her link with you little further below but since I'd been planning on writing a little something about social media today anyways, if only to clear some celebrity "official account" pics I'd saved off my desktop, I'll combine my thoughts into one rambling post. Hopefully it will hold together.

As Hrithik says, "Happiness is simply a stimulated mind."

And do you know what? I love that Hrithik thinks that and I love that he told somebody to put the quote on a picture of him riding a horse down the beach and post it to his official Facebook account. There is nothing not just amazing and lovely about it. He had to have a photo of him casually riding a horse down a beach. And a guy to MS Word a caption on to it. And he cared enough about us fans to take the time to put it up there because he thought maybe we'd like it? Or we'd like him? Or maybe just that he wanted to share his words of wisdom. Hrithik is wonderfully, unselfconsciously over-the-top in his sincerity and I love his social media feeds for it.

Or like Sasha casually chilling with a lion for no reason.

Or Akshay and a dog in matching hoodies.

And the most Bollywood of American celebrities: VIN DIESEL!!! ♥

I wish we could all live life like that.

Here's the thing, it is so easy to make fun of everything, especially for those of us drowning in the American cultural idiom, where "making fun" is the default position. Don't take anything seriously (except superhero franchise films and the work of Christopher Nolan, for some reason) and certainly don't let anybody get away with being earnest. Don't do anything yourself but do mock others for caring, trying, and/or putting themselves out there. And by all means, please nitpick things that don't matter and ignore the things that do.

Which brings me to Rekhs link.

Apparently IBN put up a "listicle" of "hilarious" subtitle fails from South Indian films and this was the response on twitter. My favorite response:

Because you know what, it's easy to sit and laugh at subtitle "bloopers" while conveniently ignoring a) the content of the film itself b) the fact that somebody had to have put hours of effort into even the crappiest of subtitles. Having done some translation work myself, I know it's tedious and time consuming and not easy. We take so many things for granted… the subtitlist all but invisible until he or she makes a mistake and then hours of effort, not to mention the work of the filmmaker and the actors, are suddenly invalidated by a single typo? Or a unfortunate turn of phrase?

I depend on subtitles to watch so much of world cinema and good subtitles can enhance a viewing experience a good deal. But it really, really annoys me to see people picking on bad subtitles as if any subtitles were something we English-speakers are entitled to rather than something we should be grateful for, even the half-assed ones, even the ones by people with imperfect English.

Well, I'm grateful.

And knowing the amount of work that it takes to go into half-assed subtitles, it just makes me EVEN MORE GRATEFUL for a lady like Rekhs who makes beautiful subtitles.

And, so, voila! A response to IBN and tribute to the lady from @kamaljii

Subtitling - South Indian Films

Dear IBNLive Buzz

We shall overcome some day!

When we look at South Indian subtitling journey. it might have existed long ago bu it got evolved with rekhs a 1 woman army & she has no competitors, but only imitators and she's far ahead of any other Indian, if I might say so in her rhythm, rhyming and still keeping the meaning intact.

She set a new trend, Watch Mr.Mani ratnam's Movie "Alaipayuthe" subtitled for "Pachai Niramey", as an example, you will find it amazed. [Link :]

She's probably the only subtitlist to have a fan base and she does us proud. So lets celebrate her 225 films ( 125 solo) journey in less than 4 yrs in all South Indian Languages [Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu & Kannada] with pride as a subtitlist and as an Indian!

From the 225 Films, The best challenging songs that are subtitled are listed below as 38 videos and accessible through the youtube Subsciption LINK below


You can check her interview [Link : ]

Further to add you have to be away from your motherland to realize the value of subs even more!

Now, I hope you shall appreciate and honour this works through your RT.

Thanking you.. Kamal (@kamaljii)


Moimeme said...

On the subtitling article -- you missed what to me is the biggest news in it -- namely, why single out "South Indian" films for their subtitle bloopers? I've found plenty on Hindi films, too. We can be charitable and say it's because the writers at IBN are not likely to have watched Hindi films with subtitles. But I think it's part of the overall superiority complex that Hindi films maintain (completely without basis) toward the other film industries, South Indian ones in particular. What's ironic is that actually South India has both a larger number and a higher quality of English speakers than in the "Hindi belt", a fact of which I am sure the IBN editors are aware.

On your general point of the snarkiness of social media, here's a good example that just came up yesterday, Salman's tweet about offering jobs to fans through his Being Human foundation. While snickering (and worse) comments were made in different places, I am giving the Pinkvilla link because a couple of the comments give background facts that refute most of the snarkiness.

rekhs said...

words fail me, dear...having fractured my bk, i've been reluctantly in this 180 flat position, trying to finish films i had already committed myself to. so saivam vadacurry athithi boologam are all subd amidst excruciating waves of pain:(
i agree with u abt the typos and human oversights but i do have a point to make. pls take it in the spirit intended. when i started with VTV (wl always b grateful to GVM and manoj the dop) and then shankar's faith in me and enthiran...till today, I've given up so much of my family time, to walk this dream of mine. So when I see mediocrity set in i feel extremely sad, disappointed, cos as far as subtitling goes u cn b forgiven for lack of creativity even, but not for making wren and martin turn in their graves. i dont think an upcoming subtitlist can learn AT THE EXPENSE OF PRODUCER'S MONEY, sorry abt the caps, but he or she cn sub short films hone his/her english and then move to feature films. Cos mediocrity is like the plague! thats why i sometimes sheath my claws...then we can never take pride in what we do. thanks again, dear for walking my dream with me, rekhs

Filmi Girl said...

@Moimeme You are 100% correct re: picking on South Indian films. I didn't mention it because… I feel like I've beaten that horse to death already. (Forgive the turn of phrase.) :PP But you are 100% correct.

I didn't see the Salman link but I'll check it out!! The snark gets to be unbearable. And it's all just people on their smartphones, bored and tweeting instead of doing something worthwhile with their time. I hate it.

@Rekhs I appreciate the comment! And I do empathize with your frustration. For me, as a non-Tamil speaker, I am just so happy to see any subtitles at all. But I understand--if one is getting paid to do a job, one should do it to the best of one's ability.

That is why I like your subtitles the best! Thank you for your hard work in bringing Tamil cinema to non-Tamil speakers such as myself!!

odadune said...

Yeah, the downside to social media is the way it taps into humanity's mob mentality, and both the subtitle mockery thing and the Being Human thing are examples of that. As for the latter, um, there are things one might reasonably criticize Salman for, but trying to get his fans to do something socially useful hardly seems like it should be one of them.

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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