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Old 09-16-04, 04:19 AM   #1
Chill Pill
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Why Kubrick's 'Paths Of Glory' sucks

Let me begin by saying Kubrick is one of my favorite film makers. Anybody who is more than just a casual movie fan probably likes Kubrick as much as I. 'Paths Of Glory' was indeed a good film, as far as the writing, acting, story, camera work, etc. is concerned. Kubrick could make a movie, no doubt. My gripe with this movie has nothing really to do with Kubrick, or the actual film itself. My gripe is actually quite common in a lot of old movies. My gripe is thus:

FRENCH SOLDIERS DID NOT SPEAK ENGLISH!! AND IF THEY DID, THERE WOULD BE SOME TRACE OF A FRENCH ACCENT, WOULD THERE NOT?!

How am I supposed to take a movie seriously when the language used isn't even correct?

And the ending, when the girl sings in french, all the soldiers appear to understand the words.

WHY WEREN'T THEY SPEAKING THAT WAY THE WHOLE MOVIE?

Or..

WHY DIDN'T SHE SING IN ENGLISH?

Yes, I understand finding an all french cast would have been impossible, and I understand that isn't really the point of the movie. So why should I take it seriously in 2004? Am I alone here? If not, please tell me why I am wrong in thinking this.
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Old 09-16-04, 06:14 AM   #2
Nick Danger
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Star Wars too! If it takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far away, they couldn't possibly be speaking English.
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Old 09-16-04, 06:23 AM   #3
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If a story is translated into English, shouldn't the actors speak proper English, instead of a bad French accent like Inspector Clouseau? When you read the book, the book is written either in the original French, or completely translated English. The movie shouldn't be any different.

Music and poetry are often left in the original language because they're much harder to translate than dialogue.
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Old 09-16-04, 06:32 AM   #4
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Try suspension of disbelief and then you will find this is one of the most powerful films of that era.
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Old 09-16-04, 07:16 AM   #5
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Seems like this belongs more in movie talk.
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Old 09-16-04, 07:45 AM   #6
Yakuza Bengoshi
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Chill Pill = Troll



Quote:
Originally posted by Nick Danger
Star Wars too! If it takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far away, they couldn't possibly be speaking English.
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Old 09-16-04, 07:46 AM   #7
marty888
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A wrong idea, and in the wrong forum. I guess there are several thousand movies out there that will get you griping.
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Old 09-16-04, 08:03 AM   #8
Patrick Mirza
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So based on this, the movie sucks? Are you for real???

If this is the case, then why do Nazis often speak with British accents in many films? Why doesn't Brando speak Kryptonian at the beginning of Superman? Hell, why does everyone in Star Wars speak English (or is subtitled in English) when they all are clearly aliens - even Luke and Han!

You are being completely and utterly superficial in your arguement.

The young captured girl sang in German at the end of the film. The whole point of the scene was that the soldiers felt the humanity of that girl and her vulnerable voice... that despite the politics of war, on each warring side is a human being that would rather live a peaceful ordinary life.

The film is also one of the finest indictments of the military class system - why is it that the common man is put in front of the firing line when often it is those at the highest levels of political power that have beefs with each other.
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Old 09-16-04, 08:11 AM   #9
Butch Coolidge
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There are plenty of movie with a similar issue. For instance in Hunt For Red October they spek Russian at the beginning of the movie and then stealthy switched to English. This is no problem at all.

On the other hand there are credibility issues with movies like Planet Of The Ape where everybody speak English. I guess for simplification.
Or The French Connection where the Corsican character speaks French with a strong Spanish accent. Here I guess the audience won't care much but it really sucks.
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Old 09-16-04, 08:38 AM   #10
Grubert
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Quote:
Originally posted by Butch Coolidge
Or The French Connection where the Corsican character speaks French with a strong Spanish accent. Here I guess the audience won't care much but it really sucks.
FWIW it's said that Friedkin actually wanted Michel Piccoli, becaused he liked his performance on Bu˝uel's Diary of a Chambermaid. He asked for 'that actor that worked with Bu˝uel recently' and he got Fernando Rey (who'd just done Tristana)

Otherwise, I agree: wrong forum, very confused original posting.
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Old 09-16-04, 09:25 AM   #11
sundog
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Re: Why Kubrick's 'Paths Of Glory' sucks

I saw this thread and just knew it would be a gripe about American actors portraying French soldiers.

Quote:
Originally posted by Chill Pill
And the ending, when the girl sings in French, all the soldiers appear to understand the words.
She's singing in German, not French.

Using Americans to portray French is a conceit made by the filmmakers because: financing would have been impossible; the themes of the film overshadow historical accuracy; the film is still consistent within itself, the only German we see is the girl at the end.

Are you going to gripe that All Quiet on the Western Front sucks because American actors portray German soldiers and the dialogue is in English?

You're looking too closely at a minor detail.
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Old 09-16-04, 09:41 AM   #12
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Re: Re: Why Kubrick's 'Paths Of Glory' sucks

Since Pill said:
"And the ending, when the girl sings in french, all the soldiers appear to understand the words."

when in actuallity:


Quote:
Originally posted by sundog



She's singing in German, not French.

......maybe he should stick to silent movies. But then people's mouths would be moving and no sound would be coming out, and we KNOW that's not the way it really is.
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Old 09-16-04, 09:44 AM   #13
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Now you're one of those geeks that can actually speak klingon fluently now aren't you?










......
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Old 09-16-04, 11:03 AM   #14
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I am going to be royally pissed if Colin Farrell does not have an ancient Macedonian accent in Alexander.
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Old 09-16-04, 11:10 AM   #15
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Re: Why Kubrick's 'Paths Of Glory' sucks

Quote:
Originally posted by Chill Pill
My gripe with this movie has nothing really to do with Kubrick, or the actual film itself.
If you don't think Kubrick approved what you're complaining about, you don't understand how Kubrick worked.

Quote:
FRENCH SOLDIERS DID NOT SPEAK ENGLISH!! AND IF THEY DID, THERE WOULD BE SOME TRACE OF A FRENCH ACCENT, WOULD THERE NOT?!

How am I supposed to take a movie seriously when the language used isn't even correct?
Because the country doesn't matter, Kubrick isn't speaking about one specific thing that happened once in France, he's making a movie which is about all people and speaks to all people. Thus, in America, it's in English. If you want it in French, import a region 2 DVD from France (or, actually, maybe even just a Canadian one). It could be *any* country and the message would be the same, though. First and foremost, you should understand that.

Quote:
And the ending, when the girl sings in french, all the soldiers appear to understand the words.
Don't they actually specify *within the movie* that she's singing in German? Also, since you clearly don't know what French sounds like, why would it bother you that the movie is in English?

Quote:
Yes, I understand finding an all french cast would have been impossible, and I understand that isn't really the point of the movie. So why should I take it seriously in 2004? Am I alone here? If not, please tell me why I am wrong in thinking this.
You're wrong to get hung up on it, yeah. The accents would be much more trouble than they were worth. Here's the thing; you're watching the movie in English, right? For all the characters, it's taking place in French, but that's for *all* of them, so when they're all speaking the same language, it doesn't matter which language it is, just that they're on the same page. But Kubrick doesn't want you to feel on the outside by having them speak a language you don't understand and have to read. That would run counter to what he's doing. So he sacrifices one detail of reality to the god of cinema -- he's not betraying the film for the purpose of popularity (if he were doing that, it would be in color), all he's doing is making the brilliance of the film more accessible to the audience that goes to see it.
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Old 09-16-04, 11:30 AM   #16
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And if that wasn't enough, what's up with all these shades of grey?! French people clearly had some pigment in their skin back then.
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Old 09-16-04, 11:36 AM   #17
eXcentris
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Find me one soldier in WWII that had teeth as white as Matt Damon's. SPR sucks.
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Old 09-16-04, 12:54 PM   #18
drjay
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Quote:
Originally posted by eXcentris
Find me one soldier in WWII that had teeth as white as Matt Damon's. SPR sucks.
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Old 09-16-04, 12:55 PM   #19
Chill Pill
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German singer, thats right. Regardless...

The black and white filming was probably intended, I don't think perfect english speaking french soldiers were.

Wrong forum, sorry about that.

Did somebody say Im a troll? HA! On a DVD forum? Thats silly. I can understand, say, a Red Sox fan trolling on a Yankees forum, but not here. As if Im some big VHS fan and I hate you DVD people...

I liked the feedback.

Last edited by Chill Pill; 09-16-04 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 09-16-04, 12:56 PM   #20
William Fuld
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Re: Re: Why Kubrick's 'Paths Of Glory' sucks

Quote:
Originally posted by sundog
I saw this thread and just knew it would be a gripe about American actors portraying French soldiers.
Really? I assumed it was going to be about the lack of Wookies.
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Old 09-16-04, 01:14 PM   #21
Hendrik
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"FRENCH SOLDIERS DID NOT SPEAK ENGLISH!! AND IF THEY DID, THERE WOULD BE SOME TRACE OF A FRENCH ACCENT, WOULD THERE NOT?!"

...and in "For Whom The Bell Tolls" the Spanish rebels (played, among others, by several Russian actors, one Polish actor, a Greek actress and a blond-haired blue-eyed Swedish actress) would not have spoken English...

...and in "Ben Hur" the Jews, Romans, and others would not have spoken English...

...and nor would the Egyptians and Jews, and others in "The Ten Commandments" have spoken English...

...and nor would the Egyptians in "Pharaoh" - an epic Polish movie - have spoken Polish...

...and nor would "Hamlet" - a Prince of Denmark, no less! - have spoken English...

...and...

...sigh...

. . . . . .

Last edited by Hendrik; 09-16-04 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 09-16-04, 01:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by movielib
I am going to be royally pissed if Colin Farrell does not have an ancient Macedonian accent in Alexander.
"I ain't one to fookin' brag, but I conquered the fookin' world, I did."
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Old 09-16-04, 01:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Find me one soldier in WWII that had teeth as white as Matt Damon's. SPR sucks.
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Old 09-16-04, 01:28 PM   #24
sundog
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Look at Hendrik. Way to cite precedent!
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Old 09-16-04, 01:32 PM   #25
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