Book, lights, action! The theory behind accessible filmmaking as applied to the documentary "Where memory ends"
Conference name
Media for All 8
Since the beginning, the notion of accessible filmmaking (AFM), the integration of accessibility/translation into the filmmaking process through collaboration between filmmakers and translators (Romero-Fresco, 2013), has been regarded as eminently practical. This presentation explores how the theory behind it, especially that on film studies, can contribute to shaping the production of films made with this approach. The focus will be placed firstly on three of the reasons accounting for the invisibility of audiovisual translation within film studies. The first one is the commonly-held view of film as Esperanto, an ocularcentric approach to film that prioritises the visual over the aural and downplays the relevance of translation (Longo, 2017). The second one is the denial of difference. Film scholars and film critics have traditionally not acknowledged the difference brought about by translation and the impact it has on the viewers’ experience, as this would pose a threat to the perceived objectivity and universality of their claims (Eleftheriotis, 2010). A third reason to explain the invisibility of translation within film studies is precisely translation’s long-standing vocation for invisibility, that is, the notion that a good translation is that which is not noticed (Nornes, 2007).

AFM asks film scholars/filmmakers to acknowledge and embrace the difference involved in translation and accessibility and to consider the global version of a film, which encompasses the original and its translated and accessible versions (Romero-Fresco, 2019). In order to illustrate how this materialises in the production of a film, this presentation will draw on Where Memory Ends, an accessible feature-length documentary that I have recently made about Ian Gibson, the biographer of Lorca, Dalí and Buñuel. Based on recent reception research in audiovisual translation, a detailed analysis will be provided of the potential differences between the original and translated/accessible versions of the documentary (as far as viewers’ experience is concerned) and of the devices that have been used to keep these versions as close as possible to the vision with which the film was originally conceived.
Submitted by Irene Tor on Mon, 08/07/2019 - 03:41