VOSE EN IDFA DOCLAB
V.O.S.E. (Original Version Subtitled in Spanish)
How subtitles and dubbing can change the meaning of a film and even give a whole new interpretation to the images.
In countries where films aren’t dubbed, audiences are so used to subtitles that they hardly even notice them, even when the translation differs markedly from what’s actually being said. Text and image become one, and the text demands almost as much attention from our eyes as the action on the rest of the screen, even though we are less conscious of this experience. In V.O.S.E., director Rosario González focuses on the relationship between text and image in film. She deliberately provides film footage with subtitles that don’t fit: texts spoken by the people behind the camera rather than in front of it, film dialogue for a bullfight, snippets of poetry accompanying home movies. This changes the meaning of the image, offering interesting, creative opportunities, and opening the door to manipulation – as shown by González’s exposé of the use of subtitles as a form of censorship by the Franco regime. Each section of the documentary ends with a game. A subtitling specialist explains the rules of thumb of her job, and a piece of dialogue is placed under a speech by Barack Obama, a nature film and a black-and-white drama. In the interaction between showing and telling, V.O.S.E. makes it clear how the relationship that arises between language and image is never a natural one.
This competition project was part of the DocLab Expo: Immersive Reality presented by IDFA and De Brakke Grond.