Random Musings

How many times have you seen in the movies, an empowered, emancipated person giving an emotional speech, impromptu perhaps, to a number of comrades, associates, or even complete strangers?

There’s a crowd gathered around this person, listening in rapt attention, maybe even re-evaluating their whole lives, agreeing with this wonder who has managed to sum up everything they’ve wanted to say, who’s breaking the shackles, creating a new World Order, or perhaps, retiring.

As they go over a particularly delicate piece, emotion begins to take over, and the cellos behind either snap a finger and disappear, or go crazy to the point where the emotion is lost on you because you actually can’t hear what they’re saying.
That’s also just another one of the million infuriating times you will glance at the glaring white subtitles and miss a moment’s worth of reel and then curse the subtitles for being so distracting.
Honestly, I’m not ranting. I’m just asking for the subtitles to be turned transparent instead of white. Back to the emotional speech.

The camera zooms into the speaker’s face and then slowly pans over to the audience, whose faces match the mood of the cramping, sore orchestra in the recording studio, and then back to the Orator, who suddenly cracks, first a cough, a choke then a sob, and then has a complete breakdown. If you couldn’t follow the speech before, even the subtitles can’t save you this time.

To be honest, the subtitles themselves are confused by this point.
I can only imagine the guilty party would want nothing more than to simply display five whole minutes of “*******” until the madness dies, but since they can’t do that or they aren’t getting called back (and an audio transcription of their phone call with their employers too would match their fine work), so they do the next best thing.

” (inaudible murmurings)”

Yep, that is precisely why you chose to look to the subtitles in the first place.

The look on your face is disruntled at best, but the look on the Orator and the audience’s face is disfigured, the ability to conjure up such a look being what the actors have been paid for.

Basically, the speaker is shook, the audience is moved, everyone’s on the verge of tears and the speaker’s in shambles. Glycerine does its job well. There are red eyes and screwed up eyebrows and glycerine pouring across faces. And you buy it. If you’re watching the movie alone and happen to have your door locked, you crack a sob. If you’re watching with a friend (or any other person), you curse in your head and angle your head away and suddenly want the violins to get louder and the subs to get more outrageously distracting.

But on doing some thinking, I realised I really haven’t seen these earth-shattering speeches work their magic in real life.

Glycerine does its job well. In real life, if you did manage to cook up such emotion (in which situation, the violins would actually seem out of place), there’d be bleary eyes, guilty people looking out of it as they realise something’s amiss and jerk up from their phones, and snot.

Seriously, it’s an image killer if you really think about it. In real life, crying like that would almost always be accompanied by snot. By the time you’ve shed two tears, there would be a new born stream coming out of your nose.

It’s all very nice if you’re myopic and sitting five metres away, but for someone in front, and for you, the speaker, to notice that clear line of dribble trickling down your nose, for its salty taste to fill the top of your mouth as you open it to speak in a situation where you’re already struggling to get the words out— it’s a mood killer!

I wonder how it would work if some hyperrealist filmmaker became obsessed with glycerine pouring down actors noses.

The subtitlers would have a field day:

“(Snot pours)
(Sniffles)
(Audibly chokes on glycerine snot)”