November 23, 2014

Do they do "American"?

One of The Princess' favorite movies is The Book Thief.  She loved the book first, but is now equally enamored of the movie (despite its omission and artistic license with what she believed to be several key elements of the book).  HBO has the movie in rotation, and I have sat with her on at least three recent occasions, watching.

For those who are unfamiliar, The Book Thief is a fictional work set in Nazi Germany during WWII.  As such, the movie features English speaking actors affecting heavy German accents.

As I sat watching the movie, again, this week, I wondered about foreign-made films set in America.  Are there German films about the USA that feature Germans speaking their native language with an American accent?

I don't have a proclivity for foreign languages.  I have known, and envied, folks who were able to speak multiple languages, and could learn new ones in days, it seemed.  I can order food, find a bathroom and train station, and swear effectively in Spanish, French, and German.  And that is simply born of rote memorization from heavy use when living and traveling in areas where I heard little else (Texas included).

As such, I am not a foreign film fan.  I don't think I would even easily recognize if a foreign speaker was using an American accent.

I think it would be an interesting experiment to compare two films side-by-side, one with accents, one without, and see if it really affects the emotions evoked by the story.

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