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Hah, BoingBoing blogged about Belladonna yesterday. Belladonna hits the (fringe of the) mainstream. I only wish the fansub floating around out there had a translation that remotely did justice to the script of this film. I did a translation of the film myself a few years back that I think is pretty decent in conveying the coolness of the script, if I do say so myself, but I was paid for that, so I'm hesitant about releasing it.
Wow, you got paid to do a translation? Who could possibly have thought they could make money in English markets for this? Can’t even get Robot Carnival in Region 1…
How about releasing your translation to select folks…*wink *wink.
Is it okay to ask who paid you for the translation? Or at least whether it was some company, a film festival, or just a fan with money?
It was for the Museum of Sex in New York City. They were doing a screening. I just asked for a token amount. I SHOULD have done it for nothing, just for the privilege of translating this great film and getting it seen.
So no, it wasn’t for a DVD release, unfortunately.
Have you ever tried getting into DVD subtitles, or is that a dirty business? (or do they only employ Texans?)
I watched Kanashimi no Belladonna (Sadness of Belladonna) a year ago at a friend’s place, and I had to admit it is one of the most beautiful anime films that I’ve seen. I loved the flow of movement and the storytelling. I didn’t realize you did the subs until now you mentioned it! I enjoyed the subs very much, and thought they were beautifully translated – I can understand how challenging it must be for you to translate the poems/songs in the film. That’s very impressive.
It strikes me initially as an erotic film, as sex is the essential part of it. But then as I watched how Belladonna experienced pain, desire and sadness, I realized this isn’t about erotisim, it is the desire underneath it - the desire of freedom and liberty. It made me ponder even after a year since I’ve seen it.
Thank you for such beautiful translation you did Ben!
I also wanted to add that, it surprised me that Kanashimi no Belladonna was directed by a Japanese artist, Eiichi Yamamoto. He breaks the boundaries between stereotyped anime and animation - Belladonna is, in my humble opinion, not a typical anime, or what non-anime watchers would perceive as an anime.
Leedar - I’ve wanted to do movie subs, but apparently it’s an exclusive club and hard to get your foot in the door unless you know people.
Ms. Mooshboo - That wasn’t my translation you saw, unless something happened I don’t know about. Sorry the sloppy wording of my post confused you!
Anyway, I felt it particularly important for the dialogue to be properly translated with Belladonna because so many scenes could induce unintentional laughter if not properly translated. Reportedly the audience was watching pretty intently at the Museum of Sex screening and not cracking up throughout the whole thing (I’ve seen anime screenings ruined by the sheer ineptitude of a translation), so I like to think my sub was successful in that sense.