Monday, May 5, 2008

Translating Hollywood by Sam Sarowitz



Amazon says:

Translating Hollywood delivers a fresh perspective on movie posters by comparing memorable American versions of them against versions of the same films created for foreign markets. Such an exercise demonstrates how the differences are about much more than language. Take the poster for the movie Tootsie as an example. The American version has an American flag backdrop, in front of which Dustin Hoffman, smiling away, is dressed in drag. The image is light-hearted and comedic. Compare this to the Polish poster for the movie: it is illustrated so that the face from the nose up is blurred; below the nose, a clear five o’clock shadow and lips painted red. This image conjures a more subversive feeling, but it was clearly designed with the Polish market in mind. Such differences speak volumes for how cultural tendencies are reflected in graphic design. Translating Hollywood provides numerous, colorful examples of famous movie posters converted for distribution in countries such as Poland, Japan, China and France.

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