Mainstream Audiovisual Translation in Italy
Edited By Maria Pavesi, Maicol Formentelli and Elisa Ghia
Period television drama: culture specific and time specific references in translation for dubbing: Irene Ranzato
Period television drama: culture specific and time specific references in translation for dubbing
1.Introduction: time travelling series
How sexist, how racist, how foolishly addicted to cigarettes and alcohol, how ecologically unaware these men and women were! How primitive their technology! And how queer their vocabulary! These instinctive reactions may sum up the pleasure that period television gives the viewer. Fiction stories set in different times than ours are appealing to our senses for their retro visual style. However, the more substantial programmes of this genre add to the aesthetic pleasure the profound insights they have to offer on the way we are today as opposed to the way we were before. The following extract from an essay on Mad Men (Matthew Weiner, 2007-present), a period drama set in the 1960s and probably the artistic peak of this particular kind of television, best conveys the substance and meaning of this and other series set in a time which is distant but still relatively close to us, although it certainly does look remote:
In a second-season episode of Mad Men Don Draper takes his wife Betty and children Sally and Billy on a picnic. After the frolic they leave their garbage on the green field. On that the camera lingers for several silent seconds. [This scene] reveals the drama’s essential strategy. From our twenty-first-century perspective the family’s litter despoils the landscape, but that was of no concern in the mid-twentieth-century setting. [...] In...
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