La Classe américaine: Film collage and dubbing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

On 31 December 1993, French pay TV channel Canal+ broadcast a 70-minute film called La Classe américaine, directed by Michel Hazanavicius and Dominique Mézerette. They took excerpts from about fifty Warner Bros. productions, edited them to build a story and had the characters (played by A-list actors such as John Wayne and James Stewart) dubbed over by well-known French voice actors, resulting in what is known technically as a ‘détournement’, combining the techniques of film collage and dubbing. This paper sketches the origins and the production context of this very unusual audiovisual object, relying on insights from film theory, with particular reference to adaptation techniques like remixes and collages. The analysis also shows how meaning and humour are created through the montage of originally completely disconnected scenes and the addition of funny or crude dialogues that one would not expect from cinema legends like John Wayne. A final part highlights the film’s cult status and its influence on the creation of more détournements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)21-36
Number of pages16
JournalEnglish Text Construction
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2017
Event8th Annual BAAHE Conference: Adaptation - Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 4 Dec 20154 Dec 2015

Fingerprint

humor
cinema
broadcast
ritual
dialogue
Dubbing
Cinema
Remix
Film Theory
James Stewart
Montage
Cult Status
Canals
Legend

Keywords

  • Dubbing
  • Collage
  • Translation
  • Adaptation
  • Film remix
  • DéTournement
  • Film collage

Cite this

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abstract = "On 31 December 1993, French pay TV channel Canal+ broadcast a 70-minute film called La Classe am{\'e}ricaine, directed by Michel Hazanavicius and Dominique M{\'e}zerette. They took excerpts from about fifty Warner Bros. productions, edited them to build a story and had the characters (played by A-list actors such as John Wayne and James Stewart) dubbed over by well-known French voice actors, resulting in what is known technically as a ‘d{\'e}tournement’, combining the techniques of film collage and dubbing. This paper sketches the origins and the production context of this very unusual audiovisual object, relying on insights from film theory, with particular reference to adaptation techniques like remixes and collages. The analysis also shows how meaning and humour are created through the montage of originally completely disconnected scenes and the addition of funny or crude dialogues that one would not expect from cinema legends like John Wayne. A final part highlights the film’s cult status and its influence on the creation of more d{\'e}tournements.",
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La Classe américaine : Film collage and dubbing. / Labate, Simon.

In: English Text Construction, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2, 19.06.2017, p. 21-36.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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