Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Warning: words

Australians have instituted a simple little innovation that it would seem very easy for Americans to adopt -- Americans, who may actually need it more.

It's a product warning on foreign language films:


I wish we didn't live in a world where viewers shy away from movies just because they were filmed in other countries, but alas, we do. Considering the reality that some people don't consider it a good form of decompression to have to read their movies, it seems a sticker like the one you see on the DVD case of Therese Desqueyroux is a good solution to the problem.

Of course, I'd argue that it shouldn't be necessary for a different reason: You should be able to tell whether a movie has subtitles or not just by looking at it.

If you don't recognize "Desqueyroux" as a French name, shouldn't you at least detect that it's foreign? And if you aren't getting any help from the last name, how about the accents on the E's in "Therese"? You know, those funny accents that they never use in English?

Furthermore, if you can't turn over a movie and review some simple information (a plot description, the Englishness or lack thereof in the names of the people who made the movie), then you don't deserve to be protected from yourself in the first place.

Again, though, a sticker about subtitles isn't designed for someone who has good skills of deduction. It's designed to give a customer, any customer, the information he or she needs not to be indirectly disappointed in the video store that rented them that movie where you have to read words.

And therefore, I reluctantly admit that it makes plenty of sense.

Your thoughts?

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