Friday, November 16, 2007

Scenes of City Life, Redux

Half a year ago, I wrote on this blog about "Scenes of City Life", a 1935 Shanghai movie. As a huge film enthusiast, I thought it was a very enjoyable movie, with an interesting look at a pre-war, pre-Communist Shanghai, and a bizarre madhouse take on some of the conventions of older movies, to show the tragicomic lives of its main characters.

Since then I've subtitled the movie, and I've made the movie and subtitles freely available online - Chinese movies become public domain after 50 years. I'm using to host both the movie, and the subtitles - the subtitles are separate, and stored as a normal text file, with time sync codes included.

The movie is in xvid format, it can be opened with lots of players, including bsplayer 1.37 at filehippo (newer versions of the player aren't freeware and I don't recommend). While playing the movie, right clicking takes you to the menu, where you can choose a subtitle file to display.

I thought it was kind of fun - I've never translated anything similar before! The principle translation just took a couple days, but refining and checking the subtitles was a huge process, and there's inevitable compromises between natural speech and sticking to the Chinese text as much as possible.

Anyone with enough interest in Shanghai to browse this blog should enjoy the movie, and I'd really appreciate comments, either as responses on the blog or as an e-mail.

Click Here to Download ScenesofCityLife.avi (734 MB)

Click Here to Download ScenesOfCityLife-EnglishSubtitles.txt (44K)

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