Mario Tirino

Panel 3D Post-Cinema
Session 3 – July 2, 11:00 – 13:00

  The Same Film or Another One? Fansubbing as Resistant Transcodification Practice in the Post-Cinema Age

The term postcinema is used to describe the digital processes through which cinema, as a medium, dissolves and fragments into a constellation of objects, events, formats, transmedia and cross-media narratives (Hagener, Hediger, Strohmaier 2016). In the postcinema age audiences are confronted with other spaces, environments, phenomena in which the relocation of cinema takes place (Casetti 2009). The notion of spectator itself enters into crisis. Audiences become more and more protagonists of the processes of production, distribution and dissemination of global filmic cultures, in a new dimension that we can define postspectatorship (Tirino 2020). This paper aims to investigate fansubbing, as one of the most significant practices of post-cinematic mediascape (Dwyer & Lobato 2016). Fansubbing includes the production and dissemination of downloadable files containing subtitles, through specific platforms, by fan communities. It is an example of the crucial role played by audiences in the informal distribution of films and TV series (Crisp 2015). We intend to answer some research questions: 1) Can fansubbing be conceived as a resistant practice compared to mainstream distribution policies? Can it overcome the constraints imposed by geoblocking (Lobato & Meese 2016), blockages, censorship and various restrictions on the international circulation of films? 2) What kind of media object are the files associated with fanmade subtitles? How can the transcodification of audio dialogues in a different language into written subtitles, created by a collaborative translation process (Massidda 2015, Addeo & Esposito 2015), generate a new kind of filmic experience – different and separate from the one related to watching the film in the original language? 3) How does fansubbing foster transcultural and transnational processes based on multilingualism and the dissemination of daring content? Is fansubbing one of the most intense cultural exchange sites in contemporary mediascape? 4) How does formal distribution (producers, media conglomerates, etc.) interact with the work of the fansubbers communities? Is conflict the only category with which to frame this relationship? Or can we hypothesize the existence of a distribution ecology, in which formal and informal apparatuses coexist?


Mario Tirino is a Post-Doc researcher at University of Salerno. His main research interests include sociology of digital cultures, mediology of literature and comics, Media Theory. He’s the author of Postspettatorialità. L’esperienza del cinema nell’era digitale