Do you use Latin subtitles when watching movies?

tim05000

Member
A Latin subtitle option has never appeared in the language menu of any DVD I've used. But I'm sure Latinphiles somewhere have translated movies into Latin and uploaded the file onto the internet.

Do you actively search for Latin subtitles to movies you download, even if the movie's spoken in your own language?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
For my part, no. I've never seen Latin subtitles anywhere, and if I did I don't think I'd use them - except if I didn't know the language of the movie and that no other language I know was proposed...! If I want to read Latin, I'm more interested in reading real Latin - I mean Latin literature they wrote back then. I would find little interest in watching an English or French movie with Latin subtitles, personally. On the other hand, a film entirely spoken in Latin could be fun.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
The only movie I've seen where Latin was used on a larger scale than in The Name of the Rose, Tombstone, and Braveheart, for instance, is in The Passion. But I don't remember if the DVD included subtitles for that or Aramaic; I would be inclined to decline that assertion, lol.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
On the other hand, a film entirely spoken in Latin could be fun.
And there Latin subtitles would be welcome of course!

Oh, what would you say of a movie based on the Satyricon or the Metamorphoses of Apuleius, whith the dialogues spoken exactly as they are in the books?
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
That would definitely be beyond belief. Perhaps one day we could convince screenwriters and directors, even amateur film-makers, to embark on such a project. We would be the linguistic consultants!
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
There are movie shorts made in Latin written and acted by Latinists from Bohemia.

Here is a trailer for Rosaciola


First 2 Minutes of Rosaciola


Casula ex Crustulis :) Where Romans are searching for illegal drugs :)


You can order their movies here:

http://www.lvpanostra.net

I have Rosaciola and "Casula ex Crustulis" both are fun :)
 
What a coincidence that this topic should come up just at this time! A week ago, I would have said that I had not seen much in the way of movies in the Latin language. I recall a movie about Hannibal shown in high school Latin classes many, many years ago and, of course, the recent Mel Gibson movie about the Crucifixion -- and various phrases muttered in movies about magic spells and exorcisms. Just last week, however, I got a catalogue in the mail from Kino Lorber, a company specializing in DVDs of “art house” movies. There is one movie in it, described as being in Latin with English subtitles. The movie is “Sebastiane” by the British director Derek Jarman. The blurb about it reads: “Telling the story of the martyrdom of St. Sebastian in the same way that Italian Renaissance painters used the image of Sebastian to eroticise the male nude, Derek Jarman’s feature film debut lays bare the latent homoeroticism that has always lurked beneath the glossy surface of Hollywood biblical epics.” (Getting off the track for a minute, I think that the blurb writer has in mind the “sword and sandals” epics of the 1950s – Steve Reeves as Hercules, not Charlton Heston as Moses.) Anyway, has anyone seen this movie? Is it worth sending off $20.97 for?
 
I bought the DVD of Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane. ($20.97 from the Kino Lorber catalogue.) I should have read the information available about it on the internet first.

The film is weird. Clearly it was made for homosexual males. There are two locations in the movie. One was a room in the palace of Diocletian, with a long scene of naked men carrying huge multi-colored phaluses between their legs prancing around in what is supposed to be some sort of Roman rite celebrating the birth of the sun. The only role this long scene plays out in the plot is that Sebastianus is present and Diocletian sends him into exile on the accusation that he, as a Christian, had set fire to Diocletian’s bedchamber. The second location is some lonely area of rocks and sand on a seacoast, where about a half-dozen muscular young Roman soldiers live together in an isolated stone tower and spend their days exercising and playing on the sand. Man-on-man petting is one of the most frequent pastimes, and Sebastian is ordered to be executed by his squad leader for having refused his amorous advances. The fact that Sebastian is a Christian is mentioned scornfully several times by the men, but there is no clear connection drawn between his religion and his refusal to let his squad leader mount him.

The biographical information about Derek Jarman provided as a special feature on the DVD says that this film made him the “father of the New Queer Cinema Movement.” I suspect that the subject of the film was chosen because the producer looked upon ancient Rome as a sort of “Golden Age” for homosexuals.

Reading up about St. Sebastian on the internet after having seen the film, I found that there was little historical basis for the story Jarman tells. Of course, I rather guessed that when I watched the long scene of the near-naked Roman soldiers playing frisbee on the sand. St. Sebastian was indeed ordered executed by a firing squad of archers, but it was in the immediate presence of Diocletian, apparently in Rome, and some versions of the story go on to say that he did not die at that time, but was nursed back to health by St. Irene, only to be clubbed to death later for insulting Diocletian. The connection with homosexuality came up with depictions of St. Sebastian in the Renaissance, who is most often depicted naked but for a loin cloth, writhing in pain from the arrows piercing him, and with his eyes cast up to heaven. Some art critics cite this as “homoeroticism,” but I think that is going too far. The artists of the Renaissance were fascinated by the statues from ancient Greece and Rome and came to have a greater appreciation for the beauty of the human body, but I have never heard of anyone say that the Davids of Michelangelo or Donatello were “homoerotic.”

But this group would be interested in the use of the Latin language in the film. The translation was done by someone named Jack Welch, apparently the John W. “Jack” Welch who teaches at Brigham Young University. Mr. Welch is said to be responsible for the name of the film, Sebastiane, which I assumed to be Italian. Jarman originally wanted to call the film “Sebastianus,” but Mr. Welch suggested that it be in the vocative case, to mean “O Sebastian.”

I must confess that my knowledge of Latin is not good enough to follow the spoken language, so much of the dialogue was beyond me. Every now and then there was something I could get, as when one of the Roman soldiers playing catch with a ball in a tidal pool called out “Mihi!” Although some of the actors spoke the Latin liines fluidly and with apparent feeling, most were clearly reciting words they did not understand, speaking their lines in a choppy manner. Unfortunately, the narrator fell into the latter category. The pronunciation was to the Oxford standard rather than the ecclesiatical standard: “c” being pronounced like the English “k,” and “j” like English “y.” An exception was the “v,” which was pronounced like the English “v.” I also noticed some misplaced accents, as for example “FacieBAM” and a lot of missing vocatives and plural imperatives directed towards a single person, as when the squad leader yells out, “Sebastian, pugnate!” For me, the movie did not seem to be worthwhile, but others may feel that anything in Latin is good.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I suspect that the subject of the film was chosen because the producer looked upon ancient Rome as a sort of “Golden Age” for homosexuals.
It's usually the Greeks that are looked upon like that...
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
The Romans revelled in this nonetheless...
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
What society doesn't? But yes it's true they mention it in literature somewhat more freely than would be done at some later epochs. Still they not so rarely talk about it rather pejoratively.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
What society doesn't? But yes it's true they mention it in literature somewhat more freely than would be done at some later epochs. Still they not so rarely talk about it rather pejoratively.
Ah, the good ol' pre-Christian times ... so much licence was allowed back then. I'd jump into H.G. Wells' time machine right away and land in the ancient epoch.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Wasn't it the french? I don't mean from Belgium. :p
Never heard that...
Btw, in French when we say "va te faire voir chez les Grecs!" (Lit. "Go and get yourself seen among the Greeks") it's a somewhat softer manner of saying "Go and get f***** in the a**", "F*** off".
Ah, the good ol' pre-Christian times ... so much licence was allowed back then. I'd jump into H.G. Wells' time machine right away and land in the ancient epoch.
Wake up, Matthaee. There's much more liberty today than there was back then.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
haha I know I verse myself in times of yore, so to speak :D
 

Laurentius

Man of Culture
Never heard that...
Btw, in French when we say "va te faire voir chez les Grecs!" (Lit. "Go and get yourself seen among the Greeks") it's a somewhat softer manner of saying "Go and get f***** in the a**", "F*** off".
Wake up, Matthaee. There's much more liberty today than there was back then.
Indeed, what about greek island of Mykonos? By the way maybe that thing about french is said only here. I wouldn't be surprised lol, we like them a lot.
 
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