Woody Allen row

Spanish language row over Allen film


Woody Allen's latest film, starring Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem, will not be shown in Spanish in the strongly nationalist region of Catalonia.

Audiences can see Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which is due out* in Spain in September, in the original English-language version with Catalan subtitles or dubbed into Catalan.

Jaume Roures, co-producer and head of the powerful media company Mediapro, told Spanish radio station RAC-1 the film will not be shown in Spanish, despite the fact that Spanish is the mother tongue of two of its stars, Penélope Cruz and Bardem.

Elsewhere in Spain, it will be shown in English with Spanish subtitles.

The move is sure to anger some who will see it as politically motivated in a region which sees itself as apart from Spain.

A linguistic law fines companies who do not show signs in Catalan.

The regional government recently announced a €7.4m (£5.9m) film fund to promote Catalan cinema. It also gave a grant of €15,000 to a soft porn producer for three "erotic films" as they would promote the Catalan language.

But despite generous public funding, the 12 Catalan language features produced last year were watched by just 0.8% of the region's 24 million cinemagoers.

Vicky tells the story of a tourist who goes to Spain.

Roures, who is a Catalan nationalist, said: "Barcelona is filmed as it has never been seen before. People who know Barcelona a little will be keen to see it."

Allen's film has already provoked controversy. After filming in Barcelona last year, Roures attacked what he said was the "small-minded attitude" of local politicians and press, who complained that Allen received special treatment.

The row began when it was revealed that 10% of the budget for the film would come from Barcelona city hall and Catalan regional taxpayers.

Barcelona provided €1m (£700,000) of funding for the film, which the city expects to recoup from the film's profits. Regional authorities added another €500,000 to the budget.



Source: Guardian

Spotlight on Vocabulary
* we use the adjective due to tell when something is expected to happen
  • Their second child is due in November. (She gives birth in November)
  • The latest Indiana Jones film is due out soon. (It's in cinemas soon.)
  • The train is due to leave in half an hour so we need to rush.
  • When are you due to have your next appointment?

What do you think of the controversy?
Have you seen any of Woody Allens' films? What is your opinion of him as a director? Will you be going to see this latest one?

Comments

Maty said…
We are used to see that anything related to Woody Allen provokes controversy. It forms part of his own essence. I expect to watch the film, since in my opinion he is one of the best cinema directors nowadays. In the other hand, I am against such a Catalan nationalist fanaticism that leads to nowhere.
Jose Luis said…
I think it is a stupid measure. The Goverment of Catalonia spend a lot of money for translate films. They can use their money in most important things like transport, energy or water infrastructure. Translate films is a good measure when there are a lot of people in a country or they don´t understand a language. In Catalonia, the people understand spanish. For example, Sweden don´t translate the films and they watch the films in english.
Graham said…
We ARE USED TO SEEING (1) that anything related to Woody Allen provokes controversy. It forms part of his own essence. I expect I'LL watch the film, since in my opinion he is one of the best cinema directors nowadays.

ON the other hand, I am against SUCH (2)Catalan nationalist fanaticism that leads NOWHERE.

(1) to be/get used to + verbING = to be/become "familiar" with something
eg I am not used to getting up so early.
Have you got used to driving on the left yet?

(2)SUCH + UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS, SUCH A + SINGULAR COUNTABLE NOUNS
eg such fanaticism, such a fanatic
You can find "so/such" exercises in the grammar section.

I don't doubt that Woody Allen has made a few good films. But I don't share the opinion, widely held in Spain, that he is some sort of genius.

I thought that "Matchpoint", the film he directed a couple of years ago now, was a complete flop.
Graham said…
I think it is a stupid measure. The Goverment of Catalonia SPENDS a lot of money TO TRANSLATE films. They can use their money in MORE important things like transport, energy or water infrastructure. TRANSALTING films is a good measure when there are a lot of people in a country or they don´t understand a language. PEOPLE UNDERSTAND Spanish IN CATALONIA. For example, Sweden DOESN'T TRANSLATE FILMS and they watch THEM in English."


I think you are a little bit careless. You shouldn't be making mistakes such as "3rd person + s", "capital letter for languages" etc


Perhaps fining businesses who display signs in Spanish is going too far but I understand why the Catalan government feels the need to be protective of their language.

I reckon that Madrileños are often unfair with their opinions of Catalonia.