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Language preservation is something that film has been doing since just about the beginning. In fact, one of the National Film Registry's most interesting entries is a film recording sign language from George W. Veditz. As a medium for preservation in an anthropolical sense, film is ideal, but how do you propagate a language that is increasingly encroached upon by the many-headed monster that is English?
Easy, you make pop culture!
Fluent Dysphasia features one of my favorite actors, Stephen Rea, as a guy who hits his head, and loses his English. He speaks only Irish. It's a great gimmick, and Rea and the girl playing his daughter, are both phenomenal. The key, though, aside from it being a well-done short, is it gives a place of prominence to the Irish language. I watch a lot of films from Ireland every year. About 90% are in English, though probably 20% of those have a tinge of Gaelic mixed in. The ten percent that are more-or-less Irish tend to be pretty good, though they sometimes fall into the trap of 'we're doing a film in ___, so it doesn't have to be as good as a film in English." Here, director Daniel O'Hara brilliantly avoids that by giving us a great story, bringing out wonderful performances, and a slightly twisty ending that made me laugh a whole lot!
Klaus at Gunpoint
A Film Journal dedicated to all film.A segment of Office Supply Publishing.