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07 June 2008 @ 08:55 am
Whose Conservatory Students in "False Witness"  
I recently rewatched "False Witness" with the closed captioning on, and was fascinated to note that the captioning has Lacroix say to Nick: "your students at the Conservatory" (rather than the "the students at the Conservatory" I had always heard aloud).  Now, the captioning is frequently wrong.  No question.  I'm grateful to have any captioning at all, but what we have misspells Janette's name all the time ("Jeanette" is traditional, but that's not the Raven's owner), forever mishears little things (for example, it writes "Miss Paris" instead of "Miss Priss" -- as in "prissy" -- as Anne Foley's stage name in "Dance by the Light of the Moon"), and those are just off the top of my head.  Pop in any episode and you'll find more.

But what about here?  What have you always heard Lacroix say?  Janette calls the musicians "common street players," but if they are Nick's students, she is being facetious in that remark, teasing him -- and it changes the complexion of her murder of the girl.  Perhaps the three of them came on purpose to hear the boy and girl perform, from Nick's perspective (though he didn't successfully communicate that to Janette).  Regardless, if indeed the word is "your," then we know Nick's occupation at that time!  And what a Nick-like occupation, combining teaching and music, both of which he loves.

(And how often we make him a music teacher in fanfiction!  Dorothy's "The Gift" leaps to mind, and even I did it once in flashbacks an age ago.)

 
 
 
Valerie - Postmodern Pollyanna: puzzleswiliqueen on June 7th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
Just to throw in another wrinkle, I've always heard it as "they're." My reading of the scene in general has always been that Nick doesn't know them, and that LaCroix is deliberately putting them in front of him to see what happens. But I don't think I can point to anything solid that requires that interpretation.
Amy R.: Lacroixbrightknightie on June 8th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
Interesting! If Lacroix says "they're," that indeed suggests he orchestrated the encounter, because he has knowledge Nick doesn't and is sharing it in that remark. If Lacroix says "your," that suggests Nick coordinated the encounter. If Lacroix says "the," motivation is neutral or at least undisclosed.

Because I had heard "the," I had always thought the trio came into this particular tavern by coincidence, with no foreknowledge of the musicians. If I had heard "they're," I would have made the same construction you do. Rot Lacroix and his evil machinations! ;-)

I wonder if the captioner heard "their" (same as your "they're" to the ear), knew that was wrong, but amended it in the mistaken direction, to the other possessive? I do not hear particularly well -- which is why I read captions in the first place -- so I'd be perfectly content to learn that the "the" is really "they're." Besides, it would reveal more about the backstory!

I love new-to-me FK thoughts. :-) Thank you so much for playing with me so often!
Valerie - Postmodern Pollyanna: puzzleswiliqueen on June 8th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
It's fun to play!

What do the captions have for the rest of the line? Because I've always understood it to be "They're students at the conservatory, and very talented." I think I parsed the quick-and-not-all-that-precisely-articulated first word as "they're" mostly because I can't make grammatical sense of the line otherwise. Unless the "and" were something else.

Rot Lacroix and his evil machinations! ;-)

Indeed!

You know the "street" in those flashbacks is actually indoors, right? I got a guided tour of that Trinity College building (a couple blocks from the ROM) from a FORKNI-L listmate on one of my visits to Toronto. I'm ashamed to say I can't clearly recall either which visit or which listmate! The tavern and the courtroom are both the same common room -- she called it the "JCS" but I can't remember what it stands for -- and the "street" is the hallway outside it, complete with the lamps on the wall.

Of all the clevernesses of location scouting ever brought to my attention, that one has to be my favorite.
Amy R.: Lacroixbrightknightie on June 9th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
FW Transcription
>"What do the captions have for the rest of the line?"

The captioning says:

JANETTE: Nicolas, what has you so enchanted?
NICK: The music.
LACROIX: Perhaps the music. Or perhaps our young companion has chosen his evening's prey?
JANETTE: Common street players? [Scoffs] Surely 600 years have refined your tastes beyond that. [Leaves]
LACROIX: [To Nick] Your students at the Conservatory are very talented, especially the girl. I should play again, but I'll never compare to them.


>"Unless the "and" were something else."

I've always heard it as "are," same as in the captioning. So here're our options:

Captioning says: Your students at the Conservatory are very talented...
brightknightie hears: The students at the Conservatory are very talented...
wiliqueen hears: They're students at the Conservatory and very talented...
Valerie - Postmodern Pollyanna: puzzleswiliqueen on June 9th, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
Re: FW Transcription
Hmmm. Very interesting indeed!

The "and" is quite clearly articulated in my mind's ear. I'll have to get it out and actually listen. I'm about to go to bed now, and have class tomorrow night, but I'll take a gander at it Tuesday.
Amy R.: Nickbrightknightie on June 9th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
Re: FW Transcription
I think you're right about the "and." I just listened to the scene five times with my eyes closed, and I'm now hearing "and" instead of "are."

The word preceding "students" is still escaping my ear, though. It's just not articulated clearly. But as you said, logically, if the "a" word is "and," logic supplies "they're" as the first word.

And if Lacroix is supplying information in a "they are" statement, that suggests he set up this encounter. The question then is what he expected to happen when he jumbled these toys together for his amusement -- just a concert, a concert and a meal, or a concert and a meal and all that follows when Nick tries to save the boy and doubtless feels guilty and betrayed both over Janette's draining of the girl?
Valerie - Postmodern Pollyanna: puzzleswiliqueen on June 9th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
Re: FW Transcription
Which means I still need to check it out, to see if my memory is giving me an accurate picture of a glance exchanged by LaCroix and Janette before she goes off. My interpretation of it for all these years has been that she's going after Sarah -- most likely on LaCroix's instructions -- while he deliberately distracts Nick with the philosophical verbal sparring about music and souls.

I was so struck by Deb's movement choice -- the way she tilts her head and then sort of sets off sideways as if spring-loaded -- that I backed the bit up quite a few times even over and above my countless viewings of any season 1 ep. At some point, the little silent exhange with LaCroix became very prominent in my head as the impetus for it, but as long as we're challenging long-held assumptions about the scene, it behooves me to look at it with fresh eyes!

Edited at 2008-06-09 05:16 pm (UTC)
Amy R.: Nick Againbrightknightie on June 10th, 2008 06:32 am (UTC)
Re: FW Transcription
>"while he deliberately distracts Nick with the philosophical verbal sparring about music and souls."

While I expect Lacroix to reference souls in that scene, he does not -- at least, not in the version enshrined on the DVD. I brushed it off, thinking my memory was playing a trick on me, conflating one of Susan's stories with the episode. But as you seem to be expecting that reference as well ... gracious! Is this a scene missing from the DVD version?

I should check my VHS. The question would be, which version of the VHS to check?

>"a glance exchanged by LaCroix and Janette before she goes off."

Hmmm. I did not notice Janette looking at Lacroix in that scene at all. I will have to watch for it.
Valerie - Postmodern Pollyanna: puzzleswiliqueen on June 10th, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC)
Re: FW Transcription
While I expect Lacroix to reference souls in that scene, he does not -- at least, not in the version enshrined on the DVD.

You're kidding! O_O I must never have watched this one properly on DVD, then, because I'm sure I would have noticed such an omission:

LC: I should play again, but I'll never compare to them. Why do you suppose that is, Nicholas? Is it because they have a soul?

N: And you do not.

LC: We do not.

It's one of those bits that are absolutely crystalline in my head, down to the way Nigel shapes and stresses the word "soul." I can't remember exactly what he says after that, at least in part because Nick isn't paying attention, because he's busy noticing that the girl is missing. But he's referring back a few lines, to the banter as they entered the tavern, when Nick says something to the effect of "music feeds the soul."

I did not notice Janette looking at Lacroix in that scene at all. I will have to watch for it.

Reviewing my memory, I have a hunch that it's a glance offscreen, and that I read the direction as being toward LaCroix just out of frame. It could actually be at Sarah. I've never questioned the perception.

It wouldn't be the first time I filled in past the edges of the frame without realizing it. In this same scene, in fact -- when I went to recreate Janette's costume for amilyn (I had forgotten, that's the reason I watched the particular scene so many times), I was amazed to discover we never saw all of it. I had a complete image in my head, apparently constructed from a cocktail of my knowledge of the period silhouette and the foley sound of her skirts rustling, that doesn't exist on screen. Not a single clear shot that extends below her knee level.

Edited at 2008-06-10 01:52 pm (UTC)
Amy R.: Castbrightknightie on June 11th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
Re: FW Transcription
Yes, those are the lines I also remember, and which I let myself attribute to Susan when they weren't on the DVD. Rats! Double rats! When I established that "Last Act" had both the US and Canadian bits -- that was the episode on which I was most clear that a scene had aired in the US that had not aired in Canada, Erica's ghost in the caddy; I flipped out when I saw that scene in a vid and it wasn't on my VHS dubs -- I assumed that all the DVD episodes had all the North American bits. Ack.

All this time, I've been thinking that the only VHS I have to preserve are the German cuts.
Amy R.: Janettebrightknightie on June 9th, 2008 03:39 am (UTC)
FW Flashback Setting
>"You know the "street" in those flashbacks is actually indoors, right?"

I always guessed it was, because it has that "indoors" look to me, but I never knew where it was filmed before. Thank you so much for sharing the information and the anecdote! Yes, that is an outstanding location use.

>"The tavern and the courtroom are both the same common room"

This, I could tell, and I always assumed it was in fact part of the story -- that they were holding the court in the tavern, which was so common in the nineteenth-century US (in the west, etc.) that it didn't occur to me it would not also have happened in Ireland, England, Scotland or Wales (wherever that flashback happens, precisely -- Irish names on the characters are the only clue) though I now realize that any place that has a Conservatory should also have a courthouse!

On the other hand, what if it is not a court at all, but instead an inquest -- that is, the preliminary determination that there was a murder, before there can be a trial for murder? That wouldn't necessarily have to be held in a courthouse!

Hmmmm. We should see whether chelseagirl might be interested in sharing her expertise on the British nineteenth-century legal system / literature in this context! It's a Janette scene -- she might play! ;-)
Valerie - Postmodern Pollyanna: puzzleswiliqueen on June 9th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC)
Re: FW Flashback Setting
They have the judge/magistrate/whatever behind a pretty hefty piece of furniture that doesn't seem to me to fit in a tavern. But again, I haven't looked at it properly in a long while. I ran through all three seasons in the background on work-from-home days last fall, but obviously didn't look at much at all, let alone in detail. I do recall my tour guide saying that they used the room from different angles, and I think the desk/podium/whatever was also an existing feature of the location, but I wouldn't swear to that part.
chelseagirlchelseagirl on June 9th, 2008 11:35 am (UTC)
Re: FW Flashback Setting
What was common in the 19th century US was also common in Victorian England -- I'm thinking specifically of the Coroner's Inquest for Krook (the owner of the junk shop and double for the Lord Chancellor, who spontaneously combusts) in Bleak House, which took place in the local tavern, the Sol's Arms.

Fwiw.
Amy R.: IBbrightknightie on June 9th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
Re: FW Flashback Setting
Thanks! The more I think about it, the more I suppose that scene is an inquest.

And now I am amused by linking spontaneous combustion fiction to vampire fiction. :-)