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Charlie Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator' in ASL

The Simon Lee Gallery (London) is showing a short film by Jordan Wolfson, which shows Charlie Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator' speech in ASL.

The official press release [PDF] quotes:

Jordan Wolfson’s films installations and videos have been so described. In his film of Charlie Chaplin’s speech from ‘The Great Dictator’, transposed into sign language, Wolfson makes a subjective political statement using the assumption that the work is political and the history that the work references is an opportunity to propose questions about the world we live in.

If you are anywhere near London and wish to see this, screen is until the 29 September 2007.

Comments (8)

I'm baffled ! Why would deaf people need Chaplin SIGNED ?

MM,
to convey emotions to which subtitles can't quite cut it!

MM - read properly. There is a speech - hence it being signed.

Sorry to shatter your fancy illusion of life, but there are other deaf people out there. Yes and what's more...*gasp* they actually want signed access instead of subtitles. It happens, do try to deal with it.

a) the guy is an artist
b) its being shown in an art gallery

This can't be about access per se, but an art form. If you search Jordan Wolfson's name, you'll come across some stuff on optical sound. Exactly what that means, I can only guess ... something to do with demonstrating sound in a visual form?

Since Chaplin learnt off a Deaf person, very little / no? credit is given in the mainstream for our culture / language's contribution to his work. One could even argue that Chaplin's work was watered down (i.e. no sign language), to make it accessible to the mainstream. Showing this in full ASL, could be considered an art form (whatever art is?), and the point is its supposed to make you think. It could mean something else entirely of course ... I've not even seen it.

Chaplin was the ultimate visualist on screen, I thought he needed neither signing nor titles ? conveying emotion was chaplin's forte.... They will be signing Marcel Marceau next. Access for access sake ?

MM - Can you actually read? It's not a Chaplin film. It's a short film BY Jordan Wolfson. Not Chaplin. It's showing the *speech* that Chaplin himself used in ASL....(Yes Chaplin spoke - it's not a visual speech...Charlie Chaplin was speaking!)

It's all there in the links that Alison provided for the reader's benefit.

First link goes to http://www.simonleegallery.com/ - and if you looked just a tiny tiny bit you see the bit about Jordan Wolfson...showing the text of the damn speech - text is shown because he's signing it.

How about second link? To wikipedia about the film by Chaplin...which again shows the speech in text (via a link).

MM - just read ffs. Instead of blurting out and sounding like a idiot that doesn't read at all.

To answer your question Joe, NO, MM can't read. Well not English anyway. Try Swahili? You just might get through!

Hey MM,

kjfkjdflk jfjdm hjjk76547 n^&%^&93 JKHjkfdur, jhdfu &6874 KJJKS988e

Understand now?

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