Tuesday 23rd of July 2024


Dubbing Camp: Le ragazze del Pandora’s Box vs Stage Mother (2020)

Mara Logaldo – Università IULMpdf_icon_30x30


Abstract: Transgender characters have been widely represented in films, both through the visual mode, by exploiting the flamboyant theatricality of drag queens, and verbally, by reproducing a provocatively excessive and humorous gayspeak “bordering on what is popularly known as camp” (Ranzato 2012). Released in 2020, Stage Mother (directed by Thom Fitzgerald) received some negative reviews on the ground that it was “dated and formulaic” (Taylor 2020), reminding us of issues about gender that were at the core of many films produced in the 1980s-90s, such as Victor Victoria (Blake Edwards, 1982) and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Stephan Elliott, 1994). The reference is significant, as in those same years also in Film Studies camp and transgender started to be “alternatively used for identity construction and for critical deconstruction” (Vallorani 2015: 59). Focusing on orality, phonetic and pragmatic features of so-called gayspeak were both questioned and confirmed (cf. Henton 1989; Cameron 1995; Barrett 1997; Hall and Livia 1997; Zwicky 1997 among others), acknowledging the role played by language in gender performance. The idea of camp as “acting within acting” (Hayes 1976; cit. in Ranzato 2012: 372) triggers a metadiscourse on orality which finds in film dialogue and audiovisual translation interesting fields of investigation. This paper compares the rendering of camp talk in Stage Mother (Thom Fitzgerald, 2020) and in the Italian dubbed edition Le ragazze del Pandora’s Box, highlighting pragmatic and cultural processes that are at work in both versions.


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