The Sunday Intertitle: Men at Work

A Shadowplay first — Behind the Scenes of an Intertitle.

The chaps at Pathe Freres are seen hard at work here, churning out the intertitles we know and love at Shadowplay. The image is from Pathe: First Empire of the Cinema, known as The Big Book because it’s a primary source at the Screenworks office where we’re assembling NATAN: The Documentary.

I decided I had to read the intertitle, becoming perhaps the first to do so in a hundred years. This involved blowing it up to David Hemmings proportions — my humble cottage is now a magnificent piece of origami, a single print-out folded so as to cover every wall of every room. Wandering through the resulting gallery I perceive the phrase ADMIRACAO DE SEU VENINO, which is Portuguese for ADMIRATION OF HIS VENINO, which doesn’t help at all. But it’s interesting to see that Pathe was producing intertitles in every European language (because if they’re doing Portuguese, they must be doing everything else, right?) — truly, before the First World War, they were an empire.


3 Responses to “The Sunday Intertitle: Men at Work”

  1. Daniel Reifferscheid Says:

    Hi! Long-time reader, first-time commenter. I just wanted to point out, in case you didn’t already know, that while “seu” means “his” in both Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, in the Brazilian variant of the language it is also sometimes used as a title, roughly translateable to “Mister”. So the intertitle may actually be saying “Admiration of Mr.Venino”, a plausible idea since Venino is a Brazilian surname.

  2. Daniel Reifferscheid Says:

    (or indeed “Mr.Venino’s admiration”, if we want to go a bit less literal)

  3. Thanks! That suggests the intertitle was bound for Brazil, making Pathe even more of a global operation.

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