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Dubbing, Film and Performance

Uncanny Encounters


Charlotte Bosseaux

Research on dubbing in audiovisual productions has been prolific in the past few decades, which has helped to expand our understanding of the history and impact of dubbing worldwide. Much of this work, however, has been concerned with the linguistic aspects of audiovisual productions, whereas studies emphasizing the importance of visual and acoustic dimensions are few and far between.
Against this background, Dubbing, Film and Performance attempts to fill a gap in Audiovisual Translation (AVT) research by investigating dubbing from the point of view of film and sound studies. The author argues that dubbing ought to be viewed and analysed holistically in terms of its visual, acoustic and linguistic composition. The ultimate goal is to raise further awareness of the changes dubbing brings about by showing its impact on characterization. To this end, a tripartite model has been devised to investigate how visual, aural and linguistic elements combine to construct characters and their performance in the original productions and how these are deconstructed and reconstructed in translation through dubbing. To test the model, the author analyses extracts of the US television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its French dubbed version.
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Chapter 5 Buffy the Vampire Slayer


← 134 | 135 →CHAPTER 5

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

5.1 Introduction

The popular American television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003, 20th Century Fox) tells the story of a young American woman called Buffy Anne Summers. Buffy lives in Sunnydale, an imaginary town in Southern California, which has been built over a Hellmouth, a centre of demonic energy. In the mythology of the show, Buffy is the Chosen One, the ‘Slayer’. She has a specific mission: to kill vampires and rid the world of evil forces. With the continuing help of her friends, Willow and Xander, and her Watcher, Rupert Giles, Buffy battles the forces of darkness and her own inner demons. In effect, the show deals with Buffy’s transition from being a teenager to becoming a young woman. There are one hundred and forty-four episodes spanning seven seasons, each corresponding to one year in Buffy’s life from the age of sixteen. We see Buffy going to high school for the first three seasons, then from season four she goes to college. Buffy dies at the end of season five and therefore ‘drops out’. In season six, Buffy comes back from the dead and tries to make a living. In the final season (season seven), she works as a counsellor in her old high school. Each season is centred around one major ‘Big Bad’, which is ‘Buffyspeak’ for the evil forces which must be defeated.

In an interview with the American online...

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