Friday, 26 June 2009

bulletproof abugidas

Today I look at the use of Indic scripts in 2 movies, one where they get it somewhat right and one where they get it wrong.

The trailer for Bulletproof Monk has 4 Tibetan words which change into English words.

The first is གོང་གྲོ་ khong khro "anger", and it changes to the English word anger.
The second is ཞི་བདེ་ zhi bde "peace", which changes to peace.

So far so good. Then it gets a bit more open to interpretation.
ས་ sa "earth" changes to power.
ཆུ་ chu "water" changes to grace.
མེ་ me "fire" changes to enemy.
Finally རླུང་ rlung "wind" changes to yourself.

These words could be random, or they could have been chosen for their associations or relevance to the story. I can't remember; it's been a long time since I've seen the movie. But there's something I do remember - when the Nazi opens the scroll to read it, yes it's Tibetan, but he is shown reading it upside down.

But least they tried. In contrast, the trailer for Dead Like Me: Life After Death has the following image showing the jar that God trapped Death in:



"Contents: Death"? Not quite. More like "Sanskrit dictionary" (संस्कृत शब्दकोष). Now a movie where God traps Death in a Sanskrit dictionary sounds like my kind of movie.

1 comment :

Cailliomachas said...

Excellent. Well done.