Érik Bullot (Soissons, 1963) is a filmmaker, theoretician and film teacher. He studied photography at the National School of Photography and later at the Institute for Advanced Cinematographic Studies (Paris). His filmography includes more than 20 titles, among which are Le Singe de la lumière (2002), Glossolalie (2005), Trois faces (2007), L'Alliance (2010), Tongue Twisters (2011) and Faux amis (2012). His work has been shown in Jeu de Paume, Georges Pompidou Center, the Biennial of Moving Images and the CCCB. Érik is currently a professor at the École nationale supérieure d'art de Bourges.
I recall a non-subtitled screening of Heinrich, a film by German director Helma Sanders-Brahms, with the translator right there in the theatre translating the dialogues out loud for the audience. Is it all right to have someone speaking out loud in a movie theatre? Can the translator play an active role in the film session just like the projectionist or an explainer does? The translator’s voice is normally wiped out by the dubbing which erases the original language. While subtitles allow us to compare what is being said and how it is translated, we do not hear the translator’s voice. In other cases, we hear one voice over the other, but the mix always favours the translator's voice and veils that of the person being filmed.
Where is the translator’s voice? This conference encourages some amusing, philosophical reflection on the role of the translator in film, his or her voice and physical or virtual presence, playing with the projected images, the use of different languages (English, French, Spanish) and simultaneous translation.