Tell-Tale Subtitles #3
Welcome to the third and (so far) final installment of Tell-Tale Subtitles, where I share screenshots of my first short film musical Edgar Allan Poe adaptation “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” with subtitles added. The first two posts featured Portuguese and Spanish subtitles. Now it’s time for Russian! Not just a whole new language but a whole new alphabet!
My experience with the Russian International Horror Film Festival was both one of the most fraught and most gratifying festival experiences I had. Fraught because how, after going through the trouble and expense of acquiring visas to travel to Moscow to attend the festival, Covid 19 shut the world down just a little over a week before we were to fly from New York via Berlin (our Berlin/Moscow airline tickets were never reimbursed by the Russian airline that we purchased them from…), and when the postponed festival did take place in Moscow seven months later, travel restrictions and uncertainties at the time (they might let me fly to Moscow, but would I be allowed to return?) kept me in New York again. Gratifying because of all the festivals that required subtitles in the local language, the Russian International Horror Film Festival didn’t insist I take on the responsibility and expense of creating these subtitles myself, but generously arranged for the subtitling themselves. And then awarded “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” a special jury prize, which arrived stateside not only as a digital certificate (from some awards bodies that’s all you get) but a tangible, handsome statuette (and, I might add, not one I would have to purchase to receive, such as is “offered” by some other awards bodies).
So in honor of the Russian International Horror Film Festival, this edition of Tell-Tale Subtitles will feature the very special section of “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” where murder most foul is committed. And because the Cyrillic alphabet may make it so much more difficult for the predominantly English speaking readership of my blog to guess at words (compared to Spanish and Portuguese), I will include the Poe text which encompasses this section (every line is heard in the film, but not every subtitle from this section is included in these screenshots).
Here you also will finally see, if not “hear” like the narrator, the special way the cellos represent the “hellish tattoo” of the victim’s heartbeat. I’ve withheld that secret from my blog long enough.
Meanwhile the hellish tattoo of the heart increased
It grew quicker and quicker and louder and louder every instant
The old man’s terror must have been extreme!
It grew louder, I say
Louder every moment
Do you mark me well?
I have told you I am nervous, nervous
Very very dreadfully nervous
So I am
And now at the dead hour of the night
Amid the dreadful silence of the old house
So strange a noise as this
Excited me to uncontrollable terror
Yet for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still
But the beating grew louder louder
I thought his heart must burst
And then a new anxiety seized me
The sound would be heard by a neighbor
The old man’s hour had come
With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room
He shrieked once – once only
In an instant I dragged him to the floor and pulled the heavy bed over him
Then I smiled gaily
To find the deed so far done
But for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound
This however did not vex me
It would not be heard through the wall
At length it ceased
The old man was dead