Together with posters, trailers and other transmedia paratextual elements such as social media promotional campaigns, film titles contribute to a film’s success or to its less-than-positive box office outcome. Despite the importance of titles for the circulation of audiovisual products, the study of titles has not attracted much academic attention, even on the closely related field of paratextual studies. The cross-cultural adaptation of titles is a crucial tool in offering target-language consumers titles that ideally retain not only the ability to reference the plot and storylines of the film but also to convey genre elements through the exploitation of target-language conventions and associations, particularly when it comes to a notoriously culture-specific genre such as comedy. This chapter contributes to bridging this gap in the study of titles as paratexts in translation studies both through the analysis of a database including comedy titles from 2009 to 2018, and through interviews with Italian distributors and marketing experts. The study presented in this chapter shows that the majority of titles in the sample were adapted with an Italian title – as opposed to a title in English – and that the most common strategies were the re-creation of a title in Italian and the use of an identical or almost identical title in English. Furthermore, the analysis of strategies adopted for the re-creation of titles in Italian confirmed that distributors consciously use tools such as specific lexical items, genre disambiguation and intertextuality to create Italian titles that elicit associations with previously successful comedy films and guide audiences in their viewing choices.

Between marketing and cultural adaptation. The case of comedy film titles in Italy

Bucaria, Chiara
2021

Abstract

Together with posters, trailers and other transmedia paratextual elements such as social media promotional campaigns, film titles contribute to a film’s success or to its less-than-positive box office outcome. Despite the importance of titles for the circulation of audiovisual products, the study of titles has not attracted much academic attention, even on the closely related field of paratextual studies. The cross-cultural adaptation of titles is a crucial tool in offering target-language consumers titles that ideally retain not only the ability to reference the plot and storylines of the film but also to convey genre elements through the exploitation of target-language conventions and associations, particularly when it comes to a notoriously culture-specific genre such as comedy. This chapter contributes to bridging this gap in the study of titles as paratexts in translation studies both through the analysis of a database including comedy titles from 2009 to 2018, and through interviews with Italian distributors and marketing experts. The study presented in this chapter shows that the majority of titles in the sample were adapted with an Italian title – as opposed to a title in English – and that the most common strategies were the re-creation of a title in Italian and the use of an identical or almost identical title in English. Furthermore, the analysis of strategies adopted for the re-creation of titles in Italian confirmed that distributors consciously use tools such as specific lexical items, genre disambiguation and intertextuality to create Italian titles that elicit associations with previously successful comedy films and guide audiences in their viewing choices.
2021
Humour Translation in the Age of Multimedia
94
115
Bucaria, Chiara
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/781562
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