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The top 10 made-up movie languages

The top 10 made-up movie languages (photo)

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The “The Jazz Singer” launched the age of the “talkie” for film in 1927, and ever since then spoken language has been a part of watching movies, no matter how goofy or totally made up it may be. Today, we salute the filmmakers and actors out there who have gone to the next level and brought entirely new rules for speech and grammar to the big screen.

William Shatner gets an honorable shout-out for his work learning Esperanto for “Incubus” in 1966, but our ten favorite fictional film languages of all time get even crazier. They are funny, occasionally creepy and almost always put more pressure on their subtitles, but all of these foreign tongues defined their movies and breathed life into their elaborately imagined cultures.

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10. Martian, “Mars Attacks!” (1996)
The aliens in this Tim Burton cameo-orgy spoke with a vocabulary just slightly bigger than that of the teacher in the “Peanuts” cartoons, but their dialect of Martian was about as memorable as big-screen Earth invader speech gets. If crazy and evil have their own language, truly it is the sound of these swollen-brained beings barking at humans.


9. Cityspeak, “Blade Runner” (1982)
Edward James Olmos imagined the hyper-multiculturalization of a future Los Angeles in his role as Gaff, and blended Hungarian together with German, French and other languages. The result was a vaguely Esperanto-sounding style of speech that made his words simultaneously sound a little familiar and utterly incomprehensible.


8. The language of Timoka, “The Silence” (1963)
Ingmar Bergman used Estonian as the basis for the language spoken in his invented town of Timoka from “The Silence.” His premise was ambitious, and he created one of the creepiest scenes of his career when a little boy named Johan gets treated to a meat-puppet show performed by an old Timokan man.


7. Butchered Swedish, “De Düva: The Dove” (1968)
Both lovers and haters of foreign films can find something to laugh at in this short parody film directed by George Coe and Anthony Lover. In an effort to skewer the works of Bergman, their project (featuring Madeline Kahn, incidentally) beat the Swedish Chef to theaters by more than a decade with its gibberishy depiction of Swedish.


6. Na’vi language, “Avatar” (2009)
Director James Cameron’s Oscar-winning “Halo”/amusement-park ride hybrid featured an original language constructed for the film by real-life professor Paul Frommer. Na’vi-ish started out just large enough to encompass all of the aliens’ lines for the film, but went on to grow and include songs, syntax and plenty of material for fans to use in their own jungle LARP-ing adventures.



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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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