Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person (2023)
July 3, 2024 5:11 PM - Subscribe

A young woman vampire is unable to kill to meet her need for blood, but may have found a solution in a young man with suicidal tendencies.

This was utterly charming and Quebec AF. (If you speak Quebec French like Shepherd does, you will realize the English subtitles are doing the best they can but it's clear they are working off French French.)

I loved this. You can stream it free on Crave here in Canada, or if you can stream it on Apple TV in the US, if Just Watch is to be trusted.
posted by Kitteh (7 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
you will realize the English subtitles are doing the best they can but it's clear they are working off French French

I'll second that. I think they don't do the film any favours as it has a lot of subtle deadpan humour that's easy to miss if the viewer parle pas en Français. But I will agree... the film is charming - I've described it as the Harold and Maude of Quebec vampire movies. And my favourite French language Youtuber has a cameo. The lead, Sara Montpetit, is in Falcon Lake (currently on Criterion Channel I think) which is worth checking out as well.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:13 PM on July 3 [5 favorites]

Ashwaganda, ngl, as an American anglophone who took French lessons upon immigrating to Quebec, I have to admit I was super pleased with myself when I would point out what I was hearing in contrast in what I was reading onscreen. It definitely adds a very different level when you understand the original language and intent when watching.

The film made me miss some stuff about Quebec. I found JP absolutely hilarious in that Quebec dirtbag bros feel very different than in anglophone Canada.
posted by Kitteh at 4:02 AM on July 4 [1 favorite]

Watched this with Kitteh and also loved it!

I often wonder when I'm watching FR with EN subtitles (or, rarely, the inverse) what's going on with that. Do the translators just work from an original script, but the final takes in a film involve some improv or riffing from the actors? Are the translators working too hard to try to find (or create) idioms for expressions that don't require re-framing in the first place?

I tried for OTTIAQ (official recognized FR-EN) status in Quebec once, and didn't pass, because the review board deemed my translations not direct enough -- even if a French phrase didn't scan in English, or there was a much more common English phrase equivalent, they would mark any deviation from word-for-word verbatim as 'incorrect.' Not quite as bad as penalizing "entre chien et loup" for being translated as "twilight" as opposed to "between dog and wolf," but not far off.

So it's a real mystery to me. Original script translation? Not-great choices by a translator with very little oversight? It does give me a little thrill to feel like I'm seeing the "real movie," but I feel bad for people who are just reading the film and not getting some of the best line deliveries and jokes in the whole thing.
posted by Shepherd at 4:36 AM on July 4 [1 favorite]

I don't think the English subtitles on the disc I watched (presumably the same as the ones on streaming in Canada) were necessarily bad just unclear on the jokes, which to be fair here, are maybe more subtle then written words can entirely convey. They told the story fine, the language I thought was pretty clear, just that there were some funnier bits that maybe needed explanation or maybe more nuance in English - like the scene with the gym teacher making the students wear those knitted slippers (these are extremely ubiquitous with French Canadians) if they forgot their gym shoes. They used a brand name of the wool as part of the joke which if you didn't know what that was you would have had to look it up.

With contemporary film subtitles (at least what I have seen with French) in general, it often seems a combination machine learning brute force translation with a slight clean-up by a human rather than from a script. Though saying that I have seen films at film festivals where the subtitles are clearly based on an original script without the on camera improvisations or inflections. This is not the most unusual state of affairs with subtitles, I think it is rare to see the attention to detail that say anime fansubbers devote to their work. The best subtitles I've seen in English for a French film, especially to convey humour, were for Andrzej Zulawski's French films but those were by someone who is a native English speaker who worked closely with Zulawski.

FWIW I think I read somewhere that when Falcon Lake played in France (maybe at Cannes) it had (presumably) standard European French subtitles despite (at least to my Franco Ontarian ears) not too many Quebec colloquialisms.
posted by Ashwagandha at 1:54 PM on July 4

JP hit too close to home for me and I had to swallow some bile. I knew so many of those guys... Especially in BC where they'd go to work the ski hills in the winter and at poutine chain restaurants when it was hot.
posted by Ashwagandha at 2:06 PM on July 4

like the scene with the gym teacher making the students wear those knitted slippers (these are extremely ubiquitous with French Canadians) if they forgot their gym shoes.

YES. That made me laugh out loud. I remember the baskets of pantoufles at any Quebecois home I visited, and heck, we even had some in our own home when we lived there.
posted by Kitteh at 2:40 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]

All the old méméres in my community would make those pantoufles for the "missionaries" and "old priests" which I always thought was some kind of myth until I stayed overnight at the Oka monastery - there in the closet was a basket filled with them.
posted by Ashwagandha at 2:55 PM on July 4 [2 favorites]

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