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Letter No. 30 | June 15, 1998

Jon,

You've probably forgotten writing [your review of Brassed Off] by now but I was irritated by the US-centric bits of an otherwise fair review.

The notion that you need sub-titles so that Americans can understand a British English movie—so we need subtitles for movies set in the Southern States or in street-life cities in the USA!

Fortunately we don't in the UK suffer from the prudishness of middle America—so-called bad language and appropriate sexuality as part of a drama are regular features of everyday TV here. I guess I fear the same kind of attitude that persuades the USA they can invoke sanctions against European companies who deal with regimes you don't get on with (Cuba for example). Fortunately, for us, citizens of the USA are still a minority in the world. Not that I'm trying to accuse you of parochialism!

Peter Day

Webmaster's reply: Peter,

Thank you for writing. I do indeed remember writing my review of Brassed Off and was mentioning the movie just last weekend. I'm glad to know that someone in the U.K. has found and read the review; I don't believe a likelihood of that happening had crossed my mind.

I am sorry if I offended anyone by suggesting subtitles. I was thinking more of the script writers, much of whose material goes under-appreciated if people miss it because the sound is unfamiliar and the dialog goes too fast. I wouldn't mind seeing subtitles on American films in any other English-speaking country (in fact, I often wish they all had them, sort of like close-captioning on TV, so I wouldn't have to listen so hard to catch everything).

I'm posting your letter to the Nanty Glo (Pennsylvania) Home Page, to which my reviews are linked. It gets by far the highest traffic of any of my several sites.

Best wishes, Jon Kennedy

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