This news gave me bare jokes. If you didn't understand that phrase then it is an appropriate introduction to Joe Cornish's directorial debut Attack the Block. The South London estate set sci-fi thriller received it's world premiere at SXSW Festival last week to glowing reviews, but reports in The L.A. Times suggest it may trouble potential US distributors over whether Stateside audiences will be needing subtitles to maneuver the complicated minefield that is South London slang. So, while eager to pick the film up for what would be a limited release anyway, they have not quite bitten just yet, but they will. By the way, 'bare' essentially means 'very' or 'lots'. So what does Joe Cornish think of the subtitling conversation? Not overly worried about the thought, he gave his take to i09;
"Yeah, well whatever it takes. I would just love people to see the film. You know, deep down, I think that you guys can deal with it. I think distributors should be adventurous, and I think it's easy to underestimate the public. As long as the subtitles were switch able to switch off so the more adventurous people could just watch it as it is."
It's said that in a post screening Q&A at SXSW Joe Cornish himself asked the audience if they understood the slang in the movie, to which the audience responded with a resounding yes. As a guy who has lived in South London all his life, I hear this language used all the time, so it doesn't bother me in the slightest and I've never had a problem understanding Stateside slang in movies, so I'd like to hear from some of our readers from across the pond. Do you disagree with seeing an English film, subtitled in English for an English speaking audience simply to fill in a couple of small blanks around unfamiliar slang which in most cases can be deciphered when the context in which it is used is examined? Is it really that hard to understand us sometimes? I guess some Brits were calling for subtitles for Jeff Bridges' performance in True Grit! Two English speaking countries divided by a common language. Have at it.