Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (films)

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Foreign language and articles’ titles[edit]

There is an ambiguity in the section about foreign languages, which suggests a user to enforce lowercase in an article title. Because there are several examples of the opposite (such as Le Beau Mariage and other in the category: French films), I concluded that the guideline’s provisions are relevant only to referring to original titles in articles’ texts, that there is no sentence case enforcement in titles, and reverted LF’s changes. But I can mistake. In any case, please, clarify the guideline to give some certain answer: either the sentence case is enforced both in titles and in the body text, or there is no enforcement in titles (although it may be used accordingly to reliable sources indeed). Incnis Mrsi (talk) 14:19, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

I understand that the case structure for the original language should be used per WP:MOS#Titles of works. --Rob Sinden (talk) 14:26, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
In any case, the article in question is in the wrong place. Per WP:NCF, it should be at High Tension. --Rob Sinden (talk) 14:30, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I believe you are mistaken, Rob. There is editor discretion on this point because of the wide variety of cases and, based on discussions I've seen, disagreement with the idea of importing foreign language style into English. --Ring Cinema (talk) 14:48, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I can't remember where, but there is a more detailed guideline for this. In any case, I can't see how I am mistaken based on the guideline I can find. We're not "importing foreign language style into English", as we're not using these titles as loan words, just following the accepted style of the native language of the title of work. We can't impose English rules on foreign languages. --Rob Sinden (talk) 14:54, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Okay - look at WP:NCF#Foreign-language films, where it specifically uses two lower-case examples for French titles: Bande à part and Tirez sur le pianiste, and one for Spanish titles: Diarios de motocicleta. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:01, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Those cases also follow WP style, I believe. I think the logic about importing foreign styles has to do with our lack of expertise on the subject. 3. In the guidelines Naming conventions (capitalization), under "Capitalization of expressions borrowed from other languages", it says: "[I]f the article is about a work in a foreign language (such as a book or other written work, movie, album, or song), using the capitalization found in most English language reliable sources is recommended." So this again refers us to an outside source where available. --Ring Cinema (talk) 20:51, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
As well as the excerpt you mention above, the guideline Wikipedia:Naming conventions (capitalization) also advises following the capitalisation structure of the original language, except in the case of loan words and phrases. Not a very concrete guideline. Common sense would suggest to me, that unless the film title is a phrase you would find in an english dictionary (and therefore subject to english capitalisation rules), we should be using the original language capitalisation rules. --Rob Sinden (talk) 12:40, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Incidentally, I've started a move discussion at Talk:Haute Tension#Requested move to move to the English-language title per this guideline. --Rob Sinden (talk) 08:12, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't think we have the right guideline but that is another subject. I would bear in mind that importing a capitalization rule from another language would involve finding a reliable source to that usage. At that point, the style of that RS would be the one being used. In the case of English language titles, we simply follow our own rules, regardless of the original; why wouldn't we follow our own rules on a foreign language title? There may also be a useful distinction about if we are talking about the title of the article or a usage within the article. --Ring Cinema (talk) 13:30, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't think we need to distinguish between whether we're talking about titles, or within the text - the rules should be the same, as with any film title. We shouldn't follow our own rules for foreign-language titles, because, quite simply, English language rules do not apply to the foreign language in question, and to apply them would be original research. It also mis-represents the title. I would be concerned that any English-language source may have already mis-capitalised. As far as reliable sources go, the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (capitalization) mentions "the capitalization practice can be derived from the original publication", and there will be plenty of sources that show the film title in its original language. In cases of disputed capitalisation, we either refer to an language expert, or look for as many reliable sources as we can. If we clarify this guideline to state that "capitalization of foreign-language titles should follow the capitalization rules of the native language", and add a clause excepting phrases that are commonly found in English, then I don't think we'll see many disputes. --Rob Sinden (talk) 14:15, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
So you think we should use OR (an expert) when there is a dispute? No, that can't be right. As you know, OR is not allowed. We have to consult sources, right? But in the case of foreigh works, how do we assess the sources? Actually, the simple way to solve the problem is to follow our own style in all cases. That way, everyone can use the MOS to capitalize correctly. --Ring Cinema (talk) 06:44, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Okay, scrap the foreign-language expert thing. But I maintain that it is OR to follow our own style. We would be making a judgement on a language that we don't know about, applying incorrect rules. Yes, we should use sources, but those sources should show the correct capitalisation based on the local language for the film. Thankfully, most films have an English translation. As a test, imagine if Ingmar Bergman's All These Women did not have an English-language title. Its original Swedish title is För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor. How would you begin to apply our style to this title without OR? How can we know whether capitalisation of certain words changes the meaning of this title? However, if we go to the Swedish Film Institute website we can find the correct capitalisation. This is the way we should be doing this. --Rob Sinden (talk) 08:32, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I agree this is a deceptively complicated subject. I don't think it's fair to say that applying our style (WP style) is an example of OR. I don't see how that's exactly correct since we don't call it OR to use the correct style on English words. There is a distinction that seems to be at least implicitly accepted that applying style of any kind is not OR. Neither do I agree that original capitalization (which is an application of style) is obviously preferable or superior, for two reasons: we apply other styles (italics, bold, punctuation) to foreign words and phrases according to our own rules and we don't preserve old styles in the case of changing English styles. So, I don't think there is necessarily a solid reason to import capitalization styles. Still, it is not transparent in all cases how to apply our style to foreign titles (words, too?). One solution is to mimic another source's style, but that, too, has its pitfalls. --Ring Cinema (talk) 17:06, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
On the NYTimes web site I find this: "Originally titled For Att Inte Talla om alla dessa Kvindor, All These Women is better known in English-speaking countries as Now About All These Women." So that's not such an impossible problem. We are an English language publication so it is logical to refer to RS in English. --Ring Cinema (talk) 19:29, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
You're right - there certainly are pitfalls in using English-language sources for foreign titles. With my limited knowledge of Swedish, quite simply that looks a mess, and clearly illustrates how unreliable an English language source can potentially be! Capitalisation issues aside, there are three spelling mistakes! And it doesn't follow our rules either. With "alla" being "all" and "dessa" being "these", if we were to apply English style, these would be capitalised too. Using English-language styling is inherently wrong. The only way to be sure of being correct is to find a source and use the style for the original language, which is how the majority of film articles with non-English translations are styled at the moment anyway. --Rob Sinden (talk) 08:08, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Wow, when you are wrong, you are really big time wrong. "För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor" is the title on Svenska Wikipedia. NYTimes has it "For Att Inte Talla om alla dessa Kvindor". Hey, no capitalization mistakes! As this makes clear, we should rely on sources that we understand, because we have no alternative. "Inherently wrong"? No, that's just another mistake on your part. For a serious exchange, try to be accurate in the future. No method is "inherently" good or bad. "The only way to be sure of being correct"? Another misstatement, since there is not such a method available. What is inherently wrong is an editor who wants to ignore good sources. I know who is the expert on that. So, now that you see how mistaken you were, I assume you will change your mind. --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:26, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Ummm. Really? No mistakes? Read it again. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:27, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Ah, so you've edited "no mistakes" to "no capitalization mistakes". But there are. "All" would be capitalised in English, as would "These". --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:34, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
So, to be consistent, you must be in favor of importing original capitalization of English language titles. Is that also your view? --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:33, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean. Example? --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:34, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Too hard? I doubt it. Do you think it would be better to use original capitalization of foreign titles or current cap style of the work's original language? --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:37, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
That's a different question. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:39, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────But, what I'm saying is that if we want good sources, we have to rely on the original language sources, as the capitalisation of foreign titles in English language sources is, as we have seen, inconsistent, and sometimes arbitrary. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:38, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Inconsistent and arbitrary are not reasons to ignore a source, though. Those accusations could be made against sources on all subjects, so that can't be a reason to discount them in this case. We don't deal with inconsistency by ignoring the sources. --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:45, 1 August 2012 (UTC)--Ring Cinema (talk) 15:45, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
No, but if the sources are inconsistent with each other, then we have a problem. If one publication has arbitrarily capitalised differently to another publication, whose do we use? And if we arbitrarily capitalise based on our own understanding, that's OR. So by referring to native language sources, we find the correct answer. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:50, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
We would have exactly the same problem we always have when sources don't agree. This is completely beside the point, Rob, since all these things can be said about foreign sources or English sources. "Inconsistent." "Arbitrary." There is nothing better about foreign sources. So, if your position depends on that (and it seems to), your position will not hold water. --Ring Cinema (talk) 16:19, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I think we're losing objectivity here. Obviously I have my point of view on this, and you yours. I've asked for further input from the film project, to get a fresh outlook. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:42, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The guidelines are actually very confusing about this. The MOS advises us to use title case for English language titles, but Wikipedia:MOS#Titles_of_works basically advises us to not apply title casing to foreign languages. WP:CAPS advises us to use the most common capitalisation in English language sources for foreign language titles, while our own WP:NCF doesn't seem to differentiate between English and foreign titles, thus implying title case should be applied to foreign titles. I can see why it would be confusing. In truth there is nothing concrete in the MOS about how to handle foreign titles, except maybe we shouldn't apply English language title casing to foreign titles. I don't see this as an OR/Verifiability issue though, since we are allowed to set our own typography for English titles, and foreign language capitalisation is essentially left to editorial discretion.
The guidelines don't really give us anything concrete to interpret, so the way I see it we're free to hack out a solution we are all comfortable with, and I do have a practical suggestion in that regard: while we use title case for English titles and we shouldn't apply it to foreign language titles, the French probably have their own version of title case, and the Germans for German and so on, so if we are using English title case for English titles, the most consistent practice would be to use the French title case for French titles, German title case for German titles and so on. I don't know what these are, but we can assume French and German literate editors do. In that sense, if we are going to use the French title, why not just capitalise it in the same way it is capitalised on the French Wikipedia? If we can trust each other to use the correct formalism on our own English Wikipedia, then it is reasonable to trust the French editors to use the correct capitalisation on their French language Wikipedia. I mean it's not 100% foolproof, but French editors are going to get this right more than we are, and it takes the work and heat out of deciding it ourselves. Betty Logan (talk) 17:57, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure that is really so practical. We know our own style, so that would seem to be the style we can use competently. Is there a source for correct foreign title case? Absent that, I would say there is no reason to import title cases when we have our own style. We don't preserve capitalization rules from Shakespeare and no harm seems to come from that. --Ring Cinema (talk) 18:11, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
The implication from our MOS as I read it, is that we don't apply the house style to foreign language titles. I'm happy to be corrected if that is not the case. If we are supposed to apply the house style then the MOS should just tell us to use the title case for all titles regardless of the language, rather than issuing the airy-fairy instruction to "retain the style of the original" for foreign language titles. The MOS as I interpret it seems to imply we should write a foreign title in the styling of that language, and my suggestion is practical in the sense that the French Wikipedia presumably writes its titles in a suitable French styling for titles. Betty Logan (talk) 18:27, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
1. Briefly stated, virtually every newspaper and magazine throughout the English-speaking world uses English-language orthography for foreign film titles which retain their original form. As for guidebooks, among the twelve, past and present, that I consulted, the best known of which is the American Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide and the British TimeOut Film Guide, all are unanimous in using initial caps for non-English-language nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives, with some exceptions made for conjunctions, prepositions and interjections. A fairly detailed discussion on this topic, from two years ago, is at Talk:La Strada#Upper or Lower Case. There are occasional Wikipedia setbacks --- recently, the film that Leonard Maltin lists as Au Revoir Les Enfants and TimeOut lists as Au Revoir les Enfants has been moved to Au revoir les enfants; likewise, both Maltin and TimeOut use La Terra Trema, but it has been moved to La terra trema on the basis of its appended Italian poster which, of course, uses lower case. The separate arguments of WikiProject Opera which insists on the lower-case La traviata form for this, and all other operas, although the print media is almost unanimous in using La Traviata, is also mentioned in passing.
2. There have also been discussions about translated titles. For the most part, British sources use original titles (primarily French, Italian and Spanish titles), while American sources tend to use English-language translations (both agree on the same original-language titles from India, Japan and China). Occasionally, the trend is reversed --- American Maltin has Michael Haneke's film as Caché, while the British TimeOut lists it under "H" as Hidden (Caché). A discussion as which title belongs in the main title header, as well as wider implications of titling changes, can be found at Talk:Caché (film)#Cache not Hidden.
3. There are also classic/iconic films which have very-well-established English-language titles, but are just as frequently referenced by their original appellations. The definitive Criterion DVD edition uses Band of Outsiders as its official English-language cover title, but, in the aftermath of a lengthy discussion, with multiple participants, the votes were in favor of Bande à part (film), not Band of Outsiders. That discussion, at Talk:Bande à part (film)#Requested move, although applicable solely to that particular title, provides an example as to the direction such discussions may take. Also of interest may be the comments at Talk:Cousin Bette#Page title - English or French? and just below, Talk:Cousin Bette#Translations within the text, which focuses on simple practical considerations.—Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 19:09, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Roman, that is quite illuminating. If there is a precedent for using English title case for foreign language titles then I'm happy to abide by that since it would make things a lot simpler to have the same convention for all film titles, but we should make NCF explicit in this regard to avoid the confusion. Is there a reason why Bande à part wasn't moved to Bande à Part then? How is that styled in Maltin and Time Out? Betty Logan (talk) 19:20, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
There continues to be an occasional edit struggle at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters ‎between those users who insist on inserting guidelines which propagate original-language orthography, and those who continue to remove those guidelines, while arguing that there is no consensus for their implementation. As a result, various other guidelines, which tangentially impact on this topic, are quoted by both sides. As for Band of Outsiders, as the discussion at Talk:Bande à part (film)#Requested move indicates, all the American guidebooks (Maltin, Scheuer, Martin & Porter, Videohound, Motion Picture Guide, Magill, New York Times, Variety, Village Voice, etc) use Band of Outsiders which, if that matters, would need no parenthetical qualifier if it were the main title header, while all the British sources (TimeOut, Halliwell, David Thomson, etc) use Bande à Part (upper-case "P") and, in this case, Bande à Part, if used as main header, should really be the primary topic without the qualifier "(film)" and the remaining topics should be under Bande à Part (disambiguation), or possibly a disambiguation page entitled Band Apart, which would include Tarantino's company A Band Apart, but no editor has yet taken the first, or the next, step in that direction yet.—Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 20:36, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Roman mentions Au Revoir Les Enfants as how Maltin styles it, but again we have the problem that that doesn't even follow our rules. This makes me think more and more that we need to follow the styling of the native language. --Rob Sinden (talk) 22:52, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Tangentially, I've just had a thought. If we're worried about not knowing the correct style, why not look to our cousin versions of Wikipedia for inspiration. Assuming that they're applying the correct style for their regions, why not mirror how they style the native title. --Rob Sinden (talk) 22:45, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

1) There is is already a Wikipedia consensus not to follow certain American orthographic practices, especially as it concerns "logical" quotation (Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Punctuation inside or outside; elucidated at User:SMcCandlish/Logical quotation). Likewise, in American film guidebooks, titles which start with French, Spanish, Italian and German articles (Le Beau Serge, El Bruto, La Dolce Vita, Das Boot) are alphabetized under the initial letter, while the British guidebooks have them as Beau Serge, Le; Bruto, El; Dolce Vita, La and Boot, Das. The mid-title initial cap for "Les" in Au Revoir Les Enfants may seem odd at at first, especially since other titles in Maltin, such as L'Age d'Or and La Vie en Rose do not have initial caps for conjunctions and prepositions but, apparently, some decades ago, American guidebooks had reached consensus to use initial caps for articles, both definite and indefinite, in French, Spanish, Italian and German titles, as confirmed by consulting not only Maltin, but also Scheuer, Martin & Porter and Videohound, all of which have Au Revoir Les Enfants.
2) As for other Wikipedias, the matter was touched upon in the discussion at Talk:La Strada#Upper or Lower Case and reproduced below is a portion:
  • "Ideally, it would not be a research topic since linguistic conventions are, presumably, non-negotiable but, as has already been noted, WikiProject Opera has controversially negotiated an opt-out for original-language opera titles despite the fact that all references in The New York Times to performances always refer to La Traviata, not La traviata. The same is true for notices in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek and inconsistent when mentioned in The Times and The Guardian. Since this decision has the potential of creating a precedent, marshaling evidence in the same manner that the Oxford English Dictionary takes pride in the historical and literary research which supports its etymological entries, may prevent titles with foreign-language orthography from taking root in English Wikipedia.
  • It is a concern which does not exist in other Wikipedias, since English is the only Latin-alphabet language which imports a substantial number of foreign-language titles. My example of Italian I miserabili for "Les Misérables" could have been presented for any other non-native-Italian title — virtually all are translated into Italian — even with titles which represent names, "Hamlet" becomes Amleto, "Henry V" becomes Enrico V and "Richard III" becomes Riccardo III. "Macbeth" somehow remains the same in Italian, but in Polish Wikipedia, it becomes Makbet. The trade-off, in English, however, is that the foreign-language titles are expected to adopt English-language conventions. As has been pointed out, some derogations have been controversially negotiated for French-language works of art, but above-mentioned lists such as those for the works of Molière, Balzac, Manuel de Falla and Richard Strauss are often misleading since they are not part of the Manual of Style and tend to include all or most entries in the original language, including those which are best known by their English-language titles (Cousin Bette, not La Cousine Bette). Also not all Italian operas are performed under their original appellations — La fanciulla del West is usually staged in the English-speaking world as The Girl of the Golden West.
  • We must also be wary of such sweeping statements as "Wikipedia has a strongly developed practice that the capitalisation of foreign-language titles follows the conventions for that language", or the earlier assertion that "it's a foreign film and that's the way it's done in mostly Latin films (Spanish, French, Italian, etc)". English Wikipedia, founded in January 2001, is nine-and-a-half years old, while these foreign-style rules have been added to the MOS with very little supporting evidence (and shortage of examples) within the past year or two. The assertion that scholarly works use foreign-language conventions in comparison to mass-market publications which use English-style capitalization may also not stand up to challenge. Key works of art have individual entries in every major encyclopedia, with the most important use coming in the main title header. Thus, while Encyclopedia Britannica's Giuseppe Verdi biographical entry makes reference to La traviata in its Italian context, the Encyclopedia's main entry for the title itself, uses the heading, La Traviata. Similarly for Fellini, although his biographical article refers to La strada, the film's own Britannica entry (as well as its entry in every English-language encyclopedia) lists it as La Strada."
Note: above text was written in 2010, hence the outdated reference to Wikipedia's age—Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 01:18, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
If the editors on other articles make a mistake in some cases, that's not a reason to abandon the best practice. It seems that attempting to follow any other style but our own is an invitation to OR. If it's not OR, it must be based on consulting another source, but if we're going to consult another source, wouldn't it make more sense to follow English-language practice for foreign titles? --Ring Cinema (talk) 03:00, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
No, as we've illustrated, a lot of mistakes are made with English-language sources, and generally on Wikipedia, capitalisation practice is not based on source anyway, but rules. Also, as has been pointed out, English-language sources differ as to how these titles are capitalised. As Roman illustrates above, there is no fixed English-language practice. Thus, only by following native capitalisation practice can we be sure of not making a mistake. The sources are out there - maybe we should capitalise titles based each country's film institute entries. --Rob Sinden (talk) 06:23, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
To illustrate, the BFI have published their list of the 50 best films of all time. Of the foreign-language titles in the list, they have preserved the native-language capitalisation of these films. However, as a test, if you look for sources for La Règle du jeu, you can find all variations of capitalisation - imdb has both La règle du jeu and La Règle du Jeu, Amazon has La Règle Du Jeu, so we're back to square one. We have to ask which is encyclopedically correct, and to my mind (as if you can't guess!) best practice has to be native language capitalisation. --Rob Sinden (talk) 08:32, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Well look, we don't have to source our article titles, we can call our articles whatever we want and stylise them how we want, it's just a convention to name them after the film. There are several options available to us: we apply English title case (as the per Time Out and retaining consistency with English language Wikipedia titling guidelines), we capitalise the first letter of each word (as per Maltin, providing a very simple rule of thumb for editors), we use the styling of the original language (which can be easily found by going to the appropriate foreign language Wikipedia using the links down the side and seeing how they have done it). Personally speaking if there is a precedent for applying English title case to foreign titles then I support that option, because then we have consistency across all our article titles i.e. if it's not wrong to do it, then it is our prerogative to do it. However, I don't have any great leaning either way. For me the bigger problem is the constant article moves; until there is a consensus on the matter we should institute some kind of "retain" guideline for any article title that adopts one of the three available typographies—some articles have been moved back and forth several times, and for me that's greater problem than a capital letter. Betty Logan (talk) 08:58, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree completely with preventing the constant page moves, which is why we need a firm guideline to refer to. As far as precedents go, I *think* the majority of non-translated titles are kept in native capitalisation, if a glance at Category:French films and Category:Swedish films is anything to go by... --Rob Sinden (talk) 09:23, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Obviously this debate is set to run and run, but if Ring is amenable to a 'retain' guideline we can shove that into the MOS and it will at least stabilise the issue. We should probably create an edit/move notice too, which stipulates that any article move of a 'foreign language' title is not an "uncontroversial page move" and should not be carried out as such. Betty Logan (talk) 09:41, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
With regard to applying English title case style rules to foreign titles, I still feel that this is impractical. To repeat the example I gave above, imagine if Ingmar Bergman's All These Women did not have an English-language title. Its original Swedish title is För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor, and it would be problematic for the majority of editors to know which words are to be capitalised when apply *our* style. For example, what would you do with "om"? It means "about" and therefore a preposition which are not capitalised, however words with more than four letters in English are always capitalised, so do you apply the rule for the direct English translation and capitalise, or take the rule for short prepositions and not capitalise? I think that if someone is making a judgement call on this, there's an element of OR. --Rob Sinden (talk) 10:07, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, there is no problem with your example. Go ahead and follow WP style: 'om' has less than four letters AND it's a preposition. So for two easy reasons it's lower case. For all the reasons given above, the best practical course is using the style we know the best; to avoid OR, we use sources. No problem there, but I think we can predict with certainty that no single solution will always be followed perfectly. C'est la Wikipedia. For practical reasons, the legacy article titles that follow a different rule need to be left to the editors on those pages, I would say. I suppose, Betty, when you say, "retain," you mean that capitalization style by itself is not a good reason to move an article. For me, that's sensible, although as time goes it will create some friction. --Ring Cinema (talk) 13:34, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
What I also wanted to convey was that editors would need to have a working knowledge of the language in question to know that "om" was a preposition in order to apply "the style we know the best", and this would involve a certain amount of OR. This clearly isn't a very practical course, and I still maintain we should find a source which shows the correct local capitalisation - I don't mind if this is an English-language source or not, but we need to be sure of the fidelity to the native language. This BFI list uses native-language capitalisation for example. --Rob Sinden (talk) 14:18, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
1) Most of us participated in the two-year-old discussion at Talk:La Strada#Upper or Lower Case and the debating points raised there cover the majority of the arguments brought up here. However, to sum up, as far as the English Wikipedia is concerned, the film titles in question are in the four key Romance languages: French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, as well as the key Germanic language, German. Occasionally, a short Greek or Russian title (transliterated into the Latin alphabet) remains in its original form, but original titles in other European languages are rare (regarding the mention of All These Women, above: not a single Ingmar Bergman film kept its original title in the English-speaking world (the Swedish title of Fanny and Alexander is Fanny och Alexander). Even WikiProject Opera does not venture beyond those languages (and a couple of Russian operas): it's still The Cunning Little Vixen, rather than Příhody lišky Bystroušky and Bluebeard's Castle rather than A kékszakállú herceg vára.
2) While there appears to be general WP:ENGVAR agreement to use initial caps for each word in the titles of those Asian and African films which were marketed and distributed in the English-speaking world using their original appellations (Pather Panchali, Ju Dou [the name of the main character], Dersu Uzala [again, the name of the main character] or Faat Kiné [yet again, the name of the main character]), there is no uniformity in the five main European languages mentioned above. The problem, however, seems to be confined to the capitalization of definite and indefinite articles. Most of us have no knowledge of which words constitute articles, conjunctions and prepositions (or any other parts of speech, for that matter) in such Latin-alphabet European languages as Albanian or Estonian and we very rarely see films from these countries, in any case. We are, however, expected to have knowledge of what constitutes an article, a conjunction and a preposition in those five main European languages, and if we don't know or are uncertain, it is properly indicated by those who do know.
3) Ultimately, logic would dictate (at least in my opinion, I must hasten to add) that, in the English-speaking world, those film titles from the other major European languages, that are left in their original form, should follow the standard English-language orthography of capitalizing nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives and conjunctions/prepositions that longer than four letters, while using lower case for mid-title articles as well as short conjunctions/prepositions. As for the American peculiarity of capitalizing mid-title "Les" in what should be Au Revoir les Enfants, it has to be treated in the same manner as another, above-mentioned American peculiarity, the "illogical quotation" (Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Punctuation inside or outside), as a peculiarity which is adjusted for WP:ENGVAR.
4) While it is tempting to simplify matters by clicking the link ("interwiki'ing", where such a link exists) to the sister Wikipedia's entry for one of "their" films and just using that form of the title, as Ring Cinema keeps pointing out, this is, after all, the English Wikipedia and we should not import foreign orthography. Even the late Leslie Halliwell who was so insistent on using solely French titles that on his alphabetical "Best Films" list, he has Les 400 Coups alphabetized under "Q" (as in Les Quatre Cents Coups), even he has these French titles with initial caps (in fairness, or unfairness to Halliwell, it may not have been his choice --- perhaps his editor insisted on the initial caps), but since initial caps is the established WP:ENGVAR, with agreement across the entire English-speaking world, we would be swimming against the flow if we decided to disregard the usage in almost all guidebooks, encyclopedias and print media. Of course, perusal of Google Books and other sources will show numerous examples of lower-case, "original" use. Those, however, represent the styles of individual authors, editors and publishers of those particular scholarly or popular works and not the form in general use in newspapers and magazines.—Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 15:50, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
If memory serves, for article titles the guideline says that the most common English form is used: "The most common name for a subject, as determined by its prevalence in reliable English-language sources, is often used as a title because it is recognizable and natural." Wikipedia:UCN There is a lot more said there, but this, too, should be kept in mind. --Ring Cinema (talk) 17:19, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I endorse many of the points made above by Rob Sinden in favour of original language conventions for capitalization of foreign titles, and I won't extend the debate with repetition. But two additional comments:

1. The arguments about referral to "reliable sources" seem to me misapplied here. Capitalization is a matter of Wikipedia's style and policy, and other sources should be used to inform the discussion about Wikipedia style as a whole, not to argue for particular treatment of a particular article title. In a debate about publication style, the "reliable sources" that I would primarily refer to are the Style manuals which exist to solve these problems. The most prominent ones used in general publishing are The Chicago Manual of Style, The MLA Style Manual, Hart's Rules (The Oxford Style Manual), and Judith Butcher's Copy-editing. These have their variations but all of them recommend original language conventions or "sentence-style" for foreign titles. That adds up to a strong precedent for Wikipedia to follow. The major exception to this practice is the style followed by newspapers and popular magazines, e.g. The New York Times, which tend to capitalize all titles. In my view, newspapers do not offer an appropriate style model for an encyclopedia; the standards of general and scholarly publishing are the proper model for Wikipedia to pursue.

2. In view of frequent reference here and elsewhere to a previous discussion about the capitalization of La Strada, I should point out for the record that there were six contributors to that debate: two in favour of English conventions, one against, and three uncommitted. A majority but hardly a consensus! The adjudicator prudently described the matter as "controversial". Lampernist (talk) 14:08, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Your points are good ones, but how do you answer the criticisms to the use of original orthography? One is practical: we don't know what is original without OR. (And the sub-objection: do we use a language's current orthography or the style in use at the time of creation?) The second is a reductio: if original orthography is better, we should use it for English titles, too, but we recognize that is not our style. Instead, we capitalize all English titles using one style. --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:55, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I may have been misleading in referring to "original language conventions" and should amend that to "conventions of the language of the title" (the current ones). As to how we know what the conventions are, personally I would settle for the Chicago Manual rules which are admirably succinct: for foreign titles, "capitalize only the words that would be capitalized in normal prose - first word of title and subtitle and all proper nouns. That is, use sentence style." That deals with the vast majority of languages in the simplest possible way (and far simpler than trying to apply English conventions). Chicago goes on to note variations for Dutch (negligible) and for German (for nouns - not a major source of dispute in my observation). And that leaves only the vexed question of French, which is really a separate debate. Chicago recognises two systems of capitalization which are in general use for French titles: one is "sentence style" (simple again!), and the other is the more elaborate and sometimes confusing system in more traditional use (and applied in French Wikipedia). French, of course, is the one foreign language for which English Wikipedia has stipulated specific rules of capitalization - the traditional ones - at WP:FRMOS. But whichever French system one adopts, there is little doubt in my mind that in general "using sentence style" easily cuts through most of the practical dilemmas while respecting the forms of the language one is dealing with. Lampernist (talk) 19:16, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
1) The matter of adherence to and compliance with manuals of style and particularly the Chicago Manual has already been discussed at Talk:La Strada#Upper or Lower Case, but this discussion provides an opportunity to expand on that topic as well as on MOS guidelines. Since newspapers, magazines and guidebooks across the entire English-speaking world use La Strada and La Dolce Vita, not La strada and La dolce vita, let us examine the "dueling sources", with the entries found in the indices of numerous film texts. Among the highly regarded British sources which use La strada, La dolce vita and all other Romance-language film titles in lower case are Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia of Biography and The Oxford Companion to Film.
2) On the other side, those which use La Strada, La Dolce Vita and all other Romance-language titles in upper case include Encyclopedia Americana, World Book Encyclopedia, Compton's Encyclopedia, Collier's Encyclopedia, Cambridge Biographical Dictionary (1990 edition), The American Film Institute Desk Reference (2002 edition, 608 pages), Chronicle of the Cinama: 100 Years of the Movies (1995 edition, 920 pages) and The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made, as well as all newspapers and magazines (Time, Newsweek) which review film.
3) This is not an American "peculiarity" of a nature similar to the American press' misguided use of the "illogical quote", the guideline to which is provided at Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Punctuation inside or outside (elucidated at User:SMcCandlish/Logical quotation), nor is it an ENGVAR issue which pits British and Commonwealth sources against American sources. As far as these "foreign-language" film titles are concerned, all guidebooks, without exception, both American (Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, Steven H. Scheuer's Movies on TV, Mick Martin's and Marsha Porter's DVD & Video Guide, VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever, Magill's Survey of Cinema, The Motion Picture Guide, The New York Times Film Reviews, Variety Film Reviews, Village Voice Film Reviews, etc) and British (TimeOut Film Guide, Halliwell's Film Guide, David Shipman's Good Film and Video Guide, David Thomson's Biographical Dictionary of Film, etc) use upper case for La Strada, La Dolce Vita, etc, thus treating these foreign titles as if they were foreign terms absorbed into English and thus subject to English-language orthography. It is a practice so widespread, including use in American, Canadian, British and Commonwealth newspapers and magazines, that it is the "traditional" sources which continue to insist on outdated adherence (in regard to film titles, at least) to the "Chicago Manual School" that have fallen behind the times.
4) If we continue to insist on the "Chicago Manual" form, are we then saying that all of these encyclopedias and film books and guidebooks and the The New York Times Manual of Style are incorrect and don't know the proper style, but the Chicago Manual and whatever other manuals insist on lower-case use are the only ones that offer proper guidance? The encyclopedias are general knowledge sources but, it would seem some respect is warranted to the film book field, itself. Should we insist that we know better than all the guidebooks, both British and American, how film titles ought to be be styled? Wikipedia:Naming conventions (capitalization)#Capitalization of expressions borrowed from other languages offers the answer: "[I]f the article is about a work in a foreign language (such as a book or other written work, movie, album, or song), using the capitalization found in most English language reliable sources is recommended." What better "reliable sources" for film than the film books and guidebooks themselves, both British and American. Since the Chicago Manual is a one-size-fits-all tome, the widespread contradictory usage for film (other media, such as theater, opera, music, etc, entail separate discussions) has made the Chicago Manual style in regard to following the stylistic conventions of the language used in the country which produced the film, inapplicable.—Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 05:19, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
So, Lampernist, to my eyes you make a significant change in your position. Your explanation says to me that you prefer Chicago Manual of Style (let's call it 'C') to Wikipedia style (hereafter 'W'), while earlier you said it was clear that foreign orthography ('F') was better. C does not endorse F, you seem to say. And despite your assertion to the contrary, there is nothing easier or clearer about C compared to W. In both cases, each word in a foreign language must be assessed to determine if it gets a cap. C and W use different criteria, but the editor still has to decide. So, again, I fail to see the practical advantage of deviating from W. Or, alternatively, if that seems too OR, we imitate a reliable source ('I'). --Ring Cinema (talk) 05:59, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
In my understanding, the Chicago Manual does endorse foreign orthography, just like the other style manuals I cited. I favour Chicago because its formulation of the rules is the simplest I have come across. Lampernist (talk) 11:31, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
I thought you said 'for foreign titles, "capitalize only the words that would be capitalized in normal prose - first word of title and subtitle and all proper nouns. That is, use sentence style."' So sentence style (='S') is C and is not F, because F may or may not be S. And what is meant by "normal prose"? Normal in which language? --Ring Cinema (talk) 16:09, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Film trilogies[edit]

With the discussions here and here, and closer inspection of this guideline, I'd like to propose we remove the following wording:

When trilogies are often referred to as such by outside sources, their articles may be titled Series name trilogy.

The guideline suggests that "(film series)" should be used, but "trilogy" may be used. This use of "should" gives obvious preference to "(film series)" but allows for "trilogy" as an exception, which makes the guideline confusing, and it does not promote uniformity. Is "film trilogy" without enclosing brackets (as in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy) even a proper disambiguator? "Trilogy" is overused to market any film series that have three films, without taking into account what a trilogy actually is. However, removing the wording would cause problems for thematic trilogies, such as The Three Colours Trilogy, so perhaps we can change the wording so that only conceptual or thematic trilogies are excepted. I expect this to be a little controversial... --Rob Sinden (talk) 10:42, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

I think (film series) should be the only disambiguator, but I think we are confusing article titling with disambiguation. I think the The Three Colors Trilogy is a perfectly fine article title since there are plenty of sources referring to it as such, but if we were disambiguating it from a book trilogy of the same name for example, then I believe the correct disambiguated title of that would be The Three Colors Trilogy (film series). By the the same token, I don't think The Lord of the Rings film trilogy is an appropriate title: the potential titles, depending on what other articles come into the equation, are: i) The Lord of the Rings (film series), The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy (film series). If a series of films are known collectively under their own name (with trilogy being a common identifier) then WP:COMMONNAME applies, and overrules anything on here, but what we should be clarifying is how to disambiguate i.e. what goes in the brackets after the title. I believe the bracket term should always be (film series). Betty Logan (talk) 11:26, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Well clarified Betty. I'm in agreement. A clarification of this in the guideline might be all that it needs. --Rob Sinden (talk) 11:35, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh and as an aside, I've noticed in existing articles discrepancies as to whether "trilogy" is capitalised or not. See Category:Film trilogies. Is it descriptive, or does it form part of the title? --Rob Sinden (talk) 11:47, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Is it a foreign title or English? Betty Logan (talk) 11:49, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
 :) --Rob Sinden (talk) 11:50, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
We have Infernal Affairs trilogy, but The Vengeance Trilogy. --Rob Sinden (talk) 11:51, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, that's not a good example, as Infernal Affairs should be disambiguated as Infernal Affairs (film series) anyway. --Rob Sinden (talk) 11:53, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I would regard it as descriptive form so it would be "trilogy", unless it is actually part of the tile. For example the Three Color films are called Three Colors: Blue etc, so in that case I would use trilogy. If the films had been titled Three Colors Trilogy: Blue then Trilogy would form part of the title and should be capitalised. I would imagine in most cases (if not all) the usage is descriptive. Betty Logan (talk) 11:56, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
That's pretty much how I see it, although I could probably be swayed with a convincing argument in the other direction! It will be nice to see some uniformity for these articles. Any thoughts as to a way of clarifying the guideline? --Rob Sinden (talk) 12:15, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the guideline is necessarily wrong, I think it is just being misinterpreted. I would tweak as follows:

For articles on a series of films, the title of the article should be Series name (film series) or Series subject (film series). When trilogies are often referred to as such by reliable sources, their articles may be titled Series name trilogy, or Series name trilogy (film series) if further disambiguation is required. If there are two film series with the same name, use (YEAR film series) as the disambiguation term, where YEAR is the year of the first film of the series.

Betty Logan (talk) 13:03, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, I think I was misinterpreting it myself, but your clarification seems to make sense. Your addition seems to be sensible, although I wonder if we need further clarification, so that we don't end up with "Beverly Hills Cop trilogy" or similar. How about "when trilogies are critically assessed as such" rather than "when trilogies are referred to as such"? --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:00, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Article titles follow the rule of the most common English language reference, I believe. It's not a style issue, exactly. --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:28, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
This guideline is still causing confusion, so does anyone actually have any objections to my draft above? It doesn't add or take anything away from the guideline as it currently stands, but it does offer further clarification on the disambiguation, which is what is currently causing these Hobbit/LOTR article moves. I know Rob would prefer a much stronger guideline but as Ring points out, it's difficult to formulate that without over-riding COMMONNAME. I think if no-one actually objects to the redraft we should stick it in and at least it would clear up the confusion between article titling and disambiguation. Betty Logan (talk) 04:55, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Ha, yeah, I think that trilogy should be used a lot more sparingly than it is already, and I see no reason for three to be treated any differently for four or five. It's a little difficult to justify my viewpoint in terms of existing policies and guidelines however, although as Betty has ably demonstrated, WP:COMMONNAME would still apply to The Three Colours trilogy, even if we removed the bits about trilogies from the guideline. You're right, I would like to see a stronger guideline, but I'm happy with your wording for clarifying the guideline we already have to ensure it is not misapplied, as it was at The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. I'd like to point out that I have no problem with trilogy being used if necessary, but it should be reserved for when something is a bona fide trilogy, and shouldn't have articles called "The Santa Clause trilogy" or the like.[1] -- Rob Sinden (talk) 08:16, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Betty Logan (talk) 13:46, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Placement of alternate titles[edit]

I have a question regarding the lead of the article Taare Zameen Par. It is most known as Taare Zameen Par, and was released in cinemas worldwide under that foreign title. However, the international DVD release years later titled it as "Like Stars on Earth". All of the English sources used (except for ones related to the DVD release) refer to it under the foreign title.

The guideline for alternate titles says to put them in the first or second sentence, but I wanted to know if everyone agreed that exceptions can exist. The lead sentence of the article currently gives the foreign title with an English translation ("Stars on Earth"). Since the DVD release of the film was a big deal and is detailed in the lead, I felt for the sake of flow (and to avoid repetition) that it made most sense to put the alternate title there. Thanks. Ωphois 01:10, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Just going by the information you have given me (that the film was released theatrically everywhere as Taare Zameen Par, and Like Stars on Earth was ONLY used for the DVD release) I would say the naming guideline does not actually apply to this case. The guideline is for alternative titles not format titles. For instance we don't include Blade Runner: The Director's Cut in the lede because it is a format title for a film that was originally released everywhere as Blade Runner, the same goes for numerous other home video releases. The MOS is not explicitly clear about this so someone may have a different take on the matter, but I think giving the DVD only title in the context of the actual DVD release is fine. Betty Logan (talk) 22:49, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Like Stars on Earth is the title the film is currently released on DVD, on streaming sites, for broadcasts and whatever else you can think of. It is the title most recognizable to English-speakers in the English-speaking world and absolutely must be mentioned in the first sentence. Film Fan (talk) 20:08, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Care to provide sources for any of these claims? An entire move discussion that you are well aware of completely disagrees with you. Ωphois 20:23, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Between films of the same name[edit]

Betty Logan expanded the "Between films of the same name" section here, but it was reverted by Dicklyon here. His edit summary: "Yes, I'm very unhappy with the rewrite based on the presumption that a primarytopic usually exists and is defined." It looks to me that Betty paraphrased the definition of a primary topic from WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. I do not think her wording means that we have to force a primary topic regardless. It defines a primary topic so we can know how to approach it. For example, despite several films titled Gladiator, the primary topic is gladiator. Another example is Death at a Funeral being a disambiguation page for two films of the same name. Yet another one is The Day the Earth Stood Still, which is considered the primary topic over the remake due to its sizable influence. Is this last one an example you disagree with? Please elaborate what you meant by your edit summary. Erik (talk | contribs) 19:02, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Betty's edit, in which she invited anyone who disagreed to revert, included the start, "The 'primary topic' for any given title is defined to be the topic which is most widely sought when a reader searches for that term, or if the topic has a significant long-standing association with that term." This immediately sounds like it presumes the existence of a primary topic, and then gives a mangled "definition". In fact, the whole concept of primary topic seems to be very much in question, and to the extent that it is discussed it certainly is not defined that way; it does not appear to have ever had any very broad discussion, in terms of how it fits into and supports title policy; and it is frequently over applied where it is inappropriate. Betty's phrasing would appear to encourage that. Among her examples were Deep Throat; I've already filed an RM to fix that, so if anyone besides Betty thought it was a sensible example, I'd like to know why. It would be much better to discuss how to disambiguate between films of the same title in general, and then note that in a few cases one film might be so much more important than another of the same name that it would be considered the primary topic; it seems to me this should be treated more as the exception than as the rule, and then some such exceptions can be pointed out and justified; perhaps Miracle on 34th Street is a legit example. Dicklyon (talk) 21:06, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm confused. Why do you consider the definition mangled? Betty's phrase "most widely sought when a reader searches for that term" goes with the definition of "usage" at WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Her phrase "significant long-standing association with that term" goes with the definition of "long-term significance". Film guidelines are derived from general guidelines such as this one. I don't think she's out of line with what she wrote. Nor do I think it requires a primary topic; it just imports the definition for editors to read to apply to film guidelines. We can identify Miracle on 34th Street as an example of a film that is a primary topic that has its own host of secondary topics. Erik (talk | contribs) 00:31, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Primary topic is not a policy; it is one consideration among several, and in my view causes significantly more problems than it would ever solve. It has become a mantra for editors who think there's a quick and dirty algorithmic solution to every naming issue. Tony (talk) 01:22, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
@Tony1: Are you contesting these guidelines for determining a primary topic? What are the other considerations that have been discussed? Guidelines in general have caveats so there can be flexibility in discussions. Among films, it seems relatively simple to discern a primary topic based on prominence. It is the comparison of different subjects that I imagine makes primary-topic discussions tricky, such as dictionary terms. We may not be able to account for every case, but surely we can provide guidance for most of them. Are there any film-related cases that can serve as contrary examples? Erik (talk | contribs) 01:37, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm trying to understand what sort of improvement the dissenters might have in mind. Betty's text doesn't seem controversial to me, although of course appearances can deceive. Even allowing for the purpose of argument that there is an assumption of the kind Dicklyon mentions, what is exactly the harm? If there is no primary topic issue to consider, there is no need for the guideline. When films have the same title, considerations of primacy are paramount, notwithstanding other non-film claimants to primacy. Betty seems to have accounted for this fairly deftly. So should the guideline instead direct the reader what to do if the guideline doesn't apply? I'm not clear on the nature of the objection. --Ring Cinema (talk) 04:11, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Comment @Dicklyon

  • I only actually added a single sentence to the disambiguation guideline: The primary topic for any given title is defined to be the topic which is most widely sought when a reader searches for that term, or if the topic has a significant long-standing association with that term. We can easily drop that sentence if it is a disputed interpretation of what a primary topic is: my only intention is to lay out a process of applying disambiguation when it is decided it is required.
  • I selected the Deep Throat example mainly because it was an example of where the film was most definitely not the primary topic, by virtue of the fact it was not the primary usage (i.e. the sex act) or had a longstanding historical association (i.e. Watergate). Even after the page move (if it goes ahead) it won't be the primary topic so it will still be disambiguated as Deep Throat (film). I don't really want to be sidetracked into a debate over examples when an ambiguous example can be replaced with an unambiguous one in less time than it has taken me to write this paragraph. If you have a more appropriate example then please feel free to suggest it.

Betty Logan (talk) 04:50, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Betty, first, the construct "... is defined to be ... or if ..." is mangled and non-parallel. But fixing it would still leave this as a trivialization of what WP:PRIMARYTOPIC says, which is not bad (except for how it gets badly interpreted sometimes). People tend to trivialize it already, and this would just make that worse. And you did add the Deep Throat example, which embodies a very poor choice of primary topic where there really is not one. I didn't really study the other examples to see if they were good or not, but I didn't see why you needed to add 4 kB if the point was to alert people about WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Dicklyon (talk) 06:22, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I am not suggesting fixing it, I am suggesting dropping the sentence for the moment if you disagree with the revision. If we drop the sentence then the naming convention has not been altered by me at all and the problem simply goes away. Also, I am not trying to alert editors about PRIMARYTOPIC, I am trying to address the process of disambiguation and the selection of disambiguators. Inparticular, I selected specific examples that highlight particular disambiguator selection in certain contexts that have emerged in film articles, and which I think editors will find helpful. For instance, we could simply replace Deep Throat (film) with Gone with the Wind (film). Would you object to the restoration of the examples section if we do that? Betty Logan (talk) 06:48, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not against examples. The proposed examples section is a bit of mess in any case; why would you propose a section entitled "Confusion"? Maybe something like this:
new proposed section (by Dicklyon) based on this discussion

Between films of the same name[edit]

If a film's title is ambiguous (for example, shares its title with one or more other films or other topics on Wikipedia, or is a widely used generic term that might not be recognized as a film title), disambiguation will be necessary, unless the film name is determined by consensus to be the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC for the ambiguous term. If one film is the primary topic, name its article after the film's title without disambiguation. For the other films (or all the films, if none of them are the primary topic), add the year of its first verifiable release (including film festival screenings).


Do not use partial disambiguation such as Titanic (film) when more than one film needs to be disambiguated.

In the rare case that multiple films of the same name are produced in the same year, include additional information such as the country of origin, like Noise (2007 Australian film) and Noise (2007 American film); or a descriptive adjective, such as Heidi (2005 live-action film) and Heidi (2005 animated film).

Comment I can live with the alternative proposal. The main reason behind the "confusion" section was because the Film project has been expending a lot of energy recently on page moves with editors arguing for ambiguous disambiguation i.e. Psycho (film) over Psycho (1960 film). We consider it irrelevant whether one film is much more famous than the other, and feel that PRECISE should be fully observed once the decision to disambiguate has been taken. Anyway, barring any objections I will move Dicklyon's redraft into the guidelines in a couple of days time and hopefully the rewording is strong enough to bury this ongoing (film/YEAR film) debate. Betty Logan (talk) 09:06, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

The first sentence of the proposal is inaccurate. We are not concerned with the title's ambiguity in this section. --Ring Cinema (talk) 22:31, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
The parenthetical in the first sentence detracts from the overall clarity of the article and is out of place. The section under review is about films of the same name. Other cases are covered elsewhere. --Ring Cinema (talk) 22:36, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
The example section is good, assuming it is accurate. I'd like to suggest we incorporate that into the section and adopt Betty's text, which fits better. --Ring Cinema (talk) 22:39, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed the difference in wording myself—nothing gets past Ring! Determining what to disambiguate is not what we are trying to clarify, it is just the selection of a disambiguator which we are trying to address. I agreed above to not change the actual guideline so we should keep it as it is for now, and just use Dicklyon's rewording from the examples downwards, which offers the clarification we need. If that still doesn't solve the problem we can revisit the guideline itself. Betty Logan (talk) 22:46, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, you agreed, but my reading is that Dicklyon's try takes the same approach as you regarding "primary topic". His objection, i.e. that your text "assumes" there is a primary topic, seems vacated by his proposal, which seems to make the same assumption. I hope he will agree that it is okay in the final analysis to put it plainly and just tell the reader that the primary topic is there and what to do about it. This context, where there are films of the same name, makes it mandatory to discuss primary topics. --Ring Cinema (talk) 01:22, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I do not understand what you're saying, or why you think I make the assumption that a primary topic exists; sometimes it does, but I see that as more of a special case than a typical case. Do you have a specific proposed wording in mind? Dicklyon (talk) 04:44, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Maybe it's that last part, which I'd say would be better in this shortened proposed version (examples as above):
Between films of the same name

If a film's title is ambiguous, disambiguation will be necessary (unless the film name is determined by consensus to be the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC for the ambiguous term). The usual disambiguation is to name the article by adding the year of its first verifiable release (including film festival screenings) in parentheses after the film's title.

  • No, this repeats the same misconstruction as mentioned above. As to "the assumption that a primary topic exists", it is present in all the drafts offered. I see no way to differentiate them in that regard. And that is not a problem, since anything we say about films with the same title must cover it explicitly. --Ring Cinema (talk) 13:52, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Nobody has said they believe a primary topic always exists. Betty's draft had ""The 'primary topic' for any given title is defined to be the topic..." which suggests that it must exist by definition. The other stuff I changed merely used the phrase "the primary topic" in a way that might to some suggest that it always exists, which in general it does not. So "the assumption that a primary topic exists" is not intended in any of these drafts, but is something that a reader might wrongly infer if we're not careful. So let's be careful. Dicklyon (talk) 16:58, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Even in cases where there is not a primary topic, the issue has to be addressed, I believe. Or do you see it as a subject that can be avoided? --Ring Cinema (talk) 18:08, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not following you. What issue has to be addressed? What issue do you think I'm trying to avoid? I thought the proposals above were fairly clear about the need to disambiguate, and how. Dicklyon (talk) 06:22, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I think Dicklyon's examples section, assuming they are accurate, is an improvement. I'd like to incorporate them into the article if there is no objection. --Ring Cinema (talk) 17:10, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I've added them in, since everyone seems to be ok with this aspect of the revision. Betty Logan (talk) 17:43, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
What about these three?

Chortle. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 17:47, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

There's a requested move at Talk:Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008 Asylum film), actually. :) Erik (talk | contribs) 17:48, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
These instances must be pretty rare, but maybe when two films from the same year have to be disambiguated maybe we should just go with the director's name i.e. Journey to the Center of the Earth (Jones and Wheeler film) (Eric Brevig film) (T.J. Scott film). Not a fan of distribution being a disambiguator because it could vary from country to country. Betty Logan (talk) 18:15, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

From other topics[edit]

In this revert, Ring Cinema said the point about whether a primary topic always exists is under discussion, but the section above seems to make it clear that nobody thinks so. I was merely fixing an error. So I fixed it again. If anyone sees a better fix, please make it or propose it. But don't go back to what's plainly wrong, which was when it said "compare all topics and determine which one is the primary topic". Dicklyon (talk) 16:47, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

I tried something simpler. --Ring Cinema (talk) 18:10, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I clarified it, changing "if" to "whether" and a few more words. Oh, wait, that's what I had before. Anyway, I'm glad we agree now. Dicklyon (talk) 03:34, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
And if you could be more clear what words bother you we could probably converge more quickly. Is it where I added "for that title" after "primary topic" (sort of like the expression "primary for that term" in WP:PRIMARYTOPIC)? To say "compare all topics and determine whether one of them is the primary topic" seems incomplete without that. Or maybe that's not the part you meant to object to? Dicklyon (talk) 06:15, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Ocean's Eleven[edit]

There is a request to move Ocean's Eleven (2001 film) to Ocean's Eleven and to move Ocean's 11 (1960 film) to Ocean's 11. The discussion can be seen here. Erik (talk | contribs) 19:21, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Proposed change[edit]

"If a film shares its title with one or more other film topics on Wikipedia, compare all film and non-film topics and determine whether one is the primary topic."→"If a film shares its title with one or more other film topics on Wikipedia, compare all film topics and determine whether one is more prominent than the others."

I know the 1997 film is not the primary topic of the title "Titanic", but it is the primary topic of the title "Titanic (film)". It's quite inconvenient searching (or linking to) the title "Titanic (film)" and being redirected to a disambig page that lists a bunch of other films that neither I nor 99.9% of English Wikipedia users have never heard of. I was actually the one who tried this under a different account before I was made aware of this guideline. This still applies to "The Avengers (film)" as well, but the redirect "Avengers (film)" actually already violates this guideline (the barely-noteworthy 1998 film could just as easily be misnamed without the "The"). Hijiri 88 (やや) 10:49, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose. If something is disambiguated, it needs to be fully disambiguated, otherwise it is still ambiguous. "Avengers (film)" is pointing to the wrong place - I'll change that. --Rob Sinden (talk) 10:54, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Why? Isn't that what hatnotes are for? Hijiri 88 (やや) 11:20, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
No, we don't have secondary primary topics. --Rob Sinden (talk) 11:21, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Is there a reason for that? It seems counter-intuitive. I've looked around and this page seems to be the only one that specifies this policy, although the same seems to apply to songs and albums. Hijiri 88 (やや) 11:36, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
The point of disambiguation is to make a title unambiguous. If you've only partially disambiguated a title, it's still ambiguous, so it defeats the point as the disambiguation isn't doing its job. The essay WP:PDAB discusses the situation further. --Rob Sinden (talk) 11:42, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
That essay lists a bunch of articles in non-film categories that currently run against the trend here, and a bunch of other redirects in non-film categories that also run against this trend. Why can't NCFILM follow the precedent of Angel (TV series), or Lost (TV series)? Hijiri 88 (やや) 12:38, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
It's not a guideline, it documents the two sides of the argument, and catalogues the (few) cases where it hasn't been followed. As you say - "against the trend". We shouldn't be trying to make a WP:LOCALCONSENSUS here, that would also be "against the trend" and you can see from your previous attempt to move that there is a strong opposition to your proposal. Lost or Angel don't set any precedent, they are simply examples. --Rob Sinden (talk) 12:44, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Actually, "Angel (TV series)" is a redirect. --Rob Sinden (talk) 12:45, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I said "trend here" -- don't misquote me. I specifically stated that Angel (TV series) is listed as a redirect (read my post more closely). I can not find a single policy or guideline that states that we don't have secondary primary topics except this one, so actually the status quo is a LOCALCONSENSUS that contradicts the trend of a significant number of other pages that are listed (under two separate headings, both of which contradict the NCFILM LOCALCONSENSUS) in that essay you showed me. Hijiri 88 (やや) 16:27, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
What you have are a very small number of examples that do not follow the guideline. These are exceptions or oversights. There a great many more examples that go the other way. It seems you just want to change the guidelines so that two pages you mention can be moved. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:35, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Incidentally, why do you call The Avengers (1998 film) "barely noteworthy"? That's clearly not the case. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:37, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't "want" to change or move anything. This is a proposed change, not a "change that I want". Clearly the (respectively) second- and third-highest grossing movies of all time are inherently more WP:PRIMARY than the relatively obscure older films that share their titles. The fact that the simplest titles for both of these articles do not direct the reader directly to what they want to read (let alone that they make it inconvenient for editors who accidentally link to disambig pages) just doesn't seem appropriate. Instead of providing me with a reason (another policy, guideline, etc.) why NCFILM has this unusual rule, you instead directed me to a page that provides a (non-exhaustive) list of numerous exceptions to this "rule". Clearly NCALBUM and NCTV allow for reasonable exceptions like Avengers 2012 and Titanic 1997 -- why doesn't NCFILM? In the last 90 days, some 20 times as many people read the 2012 film article than read the other one. This means that of the roughly 4,000 people who searched for either "The Avengers (film)" or "Avengers (film)", probably 3,800 were looking for the article on the 2012 film: why on earth can we not just redirect them to where they want to go?? (BTW, when I said "noteworthy" I wasn't referring to GNG -- I was referring to the fact that, compared to the behemoth that came 14 years later, it is a footnote to a footnote.) Hijiri 88 (やや) 16:59, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose If you are going to disambiguate something there is no point only partially disambiguating the page. WP:PRECISE stipulates "...titles should be precise enough to unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, but no more precise than that." Titanic (film) violates this criterion. Betty Logan (talk) 12:55, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
You missed off the word "Usually" from the start of that definition from WP:PRECISE. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 13:07, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
And you've neglected to qualify the instances where the criterion does not apply: Exceptions to the precision criterion, validated by consensus, may sometimes result from the application of some other naming criteria. So what other naming criteria would potentially trump PRECISE in the case of film articles? Our guidelines already deal with the case of WP:COMMONNAME and WP:PRIMARYTOPIC so what else is there? Betty Logan (talk) 13:19, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I neglected to qualify lots of things, but I didn't take something out of context, such as leaving off a key word in a line of policy. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 13:36, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
If I misrepresented a guideline as a policy like you have done then I would be taking something out of context. Betty Logan (talk) 14:35, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
But what about all the other articles that violate your interpretation of PRECISE? I could just as easily say that it's a violation of WP:WEIGHT and WP:NPOV to include veiled reference to the titles of much more obscure films in the titles of articles like "The Avengers (2012 film)" and "Titanic (1997 film)". Hijiri 88 (やや) 16:27, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
WP:PDAB is an essay that was rejected as a guideline. The exception does not make the rule. The NPOV policy does not apply here either because this is a matter of organization. In another universe, Wikipedia could be structured to show an article under a given category, where disambiguation would not be part of the article title. WP:LOCALCONSENSUS does not apply either because the overall consensus is to disambiguate topics from each other, and WikiProject Film follows that. I do not see a compelling reason to make certain article titles more ambiguous because they are more popular than other titles, in some form of hierarchy. It seems like the objection here is that the desire is to be able to type "Titanic (film)", knowing that "Titanic" on its own would go to the ship's article, right? I find that a rather specialist search to perform (I do that myself) but it is not one that most readers would do. So it is hard to favor adding ambiguity to the way that articles are organized for that relatively minor convenience. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 16:46, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

I address a side issue here, not the main thread. I'm not sure I can agree that local consensus does not apply -- not in any case. Local consensus is recognized as the method by which new practices are introduced that sometimes become widespread enough to be policies. Policy is by design a reflection of practice, so as a logical matter a policy can't trump a local consensus. However, that point is mostly moot, since as a practical matter page editors can ignore any policy or guideline if there is a consensus to do so. I don't see what would stop them. That's why we have the anomalies RobSinden mentions above perhaps. --Ring Cinema (talk) 17:06, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Again, show me another policy or guideline that says the same thing as NCFILM? The exceptions are proof enough that other naming conventions allow for such exceptions. Most of them are likely not as extreme as the Avengers example I discuss above. Hijiri 88 (やや) 17:01, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't see where that is point. Could you spell out please why it is important? NCFILM does what NCFILM is supposed to do. --Ring Cinema (talk) 17:05, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The policy is WP:NATURAL. It says, "When a more detailed title is necessary to distinguish an article topic from another, use only as much additional detail as necessary." By itself, "The Avengers (film)" is not enough detail. The release year is the most objective way to identify the 1998 film and the 2012 film. By the way, the 1998 film is notable per Wikipedia's guidelines many, many times over. It would be more accurate to say "more popular" so we do not obfuscate popularity with notability, which is specifically defined on Wikipedia. In response to what you said above, the 1998 film's article actually gets more traffic than the disambiguation page. This is because most readers are arriving at the appropriate article through search engine results or Wikipedia's automatic drop-down menu which shows "The Avengers (2012 film)" when one begins typing "The Av..." Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 17:08, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Moving on from mine and Lugnut's little domestic, the main two ways a reader would search for an article (interpret that as the two ways I search) would be a google search or by typing into Wikipedia's own search box. Both methods bring up the full title by just typing "titanic" into the search, and Titanic (1997 film) instantly identifies the article to the reader, so I just don't see what we gain from reintroducing partial disambiguation. Why risk potential confusion when we can instantly clear that up with a well chosen title? I just don't see the logice, and the fact that many other articles use partial dismabiguation isn't a reason in itself. Betty Logan (talk) 17:54, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
YES! That's the kind of sensible response I was looking for. Now that you mention it, having unambiguous article titles is probably preferable anyway. Your points are good, but they do not explain why we can't make The Avengers (film) and Avengers (film) can't be made to redirect to the article readers are probably looking for (and editors are trying to link to). I don't like getting disambig link notices on my talk page, and the current directions of these redirects are basically functioning as traps for hapless editors like me. Hijiri 88 (やや) 12:38, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

3D film titling[edit]

I've noticed a lack of uniformity here when it comes to 3D films. In the case of Dredd (a featured article), the 3D in the title was dropped very early on in that articles life, with little to no effort to restore it. Same goes for the recently released Pompeii, which has it's official poster as Pompeii in 3D. However, go back and we find Piranha 3D, Piranha DD (I just renamed 3DD to DD, will revert after posting this), Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. I personally don't believe we should include 3D in the title of the article unless it is especially relevant or released in some 3D format on home release (like Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over). However, I think we can find a solution. It's even inconsistent between Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, and IMDb. IMDb is user-created and not a reliable source, however (much like Wikipedia itself) and Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic are run by professionals and are reliable sources. In the case of Harold & Kumar, Dredd, and Pompeii, the 3D is exempted on Metacritic. Ditto for Rotten Tomatoes. However, in the case of Silent Hill, Piranha 3D (technically 3-D) and 3DD include it. And yet, Rotten Tomatoes does not include 3D for Silent Hill. In my personal opinion, I think the MOS should read that we use Rotten Tomatoes' titles, but there's discussion for a reason. We need to have some kind of uniform policy for 3D films, or things will just get confusing. Corvoe (speak to me) 15:47, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

My initial thinking is that if reliable sources reference the film without the 3D annotation, we should fall back to that. I was going to say that it looks like this would apply to Silent Hill: Revelation and A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, but not to Piranda 3-D or Piranha 3DD, but checking the Piranha reviews at Metacritic, it does look like there are some reviews that just call the first one Piranha. Maybe in that case, with the sequel's title being Piranha 3DD universally, it makes sense to keep 3-D for the first one as a matter of natural disambiguation. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 16:03, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Dredd is just Dredd, marketing purposes don't modify that. In the case of Harold and Kumar, I fought against teh inclusion of 3d but all evidence provided says it actually is called that, with the 3D included. DWB (talk) / Comment on Dishonored's FA nom! 19:54, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Naming convention for film award categories and pages[edit]

What is the naming convention regarding film award categories?

Award winner categories: In most cases the naming is like this - "Best CATEGORY-WINNER AWARD-NAME winners" like in Category:Best Actress Academy Award winners, but there are others as well, such as Category:Best Actress HKFA, Category:Ophir Award winners: Actresses, Category:Silver Bear for Best Actress winners and Category:Genie Award winners for Best Actress.

Award page: In most cases the naming is like this - "AWARD-NAME for CATEGORY-WINNER" like in Academy Award for Best Actor, while others appear as well such as Bavarian Film Awards (Best Acting). Festival names for an award appear different as well as "Best CATEGORY-WINNER Award (FESTIVAL-NAME Film Festival) like Best Actor Award (Annecy Film Festival). --Gonnym (talk) 14:15, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Good question. I guess they should at least mirror what the film festival calls the award, but I see no harm in setting a standard to mirror the Academy Award categories/pages. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 14:23, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Not a lot of action going on here it seems. Also, as this seemed a bit familer to me, It turns out I already raised a similar problem three years ago. If there isn't any objection I think we should go for a standard naming convention as follows:

How would a standard apply? --Ring Cinema (talk) 18:52, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

@Ring Cinema, I'm sorry but I don't understand your question. If you're asking how it should look like, then as i wrote above, award pages should be "AWARD-NAME for CATEGORY-WINNER" and award winner categories should be "Best CATEGORY-WINNER AWARD-NAME winners". --Gonnym (talk) 11:54, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Another issue I've noticed is regarding award names. Some of the award pages are in plural form, such as: Academy Awards Empire Awards Genie Awards Meril Prothom Alo Awards while others are in the singular form, such as: Golden Globe Award Emmy Award Saturn Award. Is there any reason not to choose one form and apply it for all award pages? --Gonnym (talk) 16:55, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Would this proposal only apply to the names of articles? --Ring Cinema (talk) 17:59, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The first one was regarding names of articles, the second one was regarding names of categories. The latest issue with the plural vs singular doesn't have a proposal yet, just stated whats going on wikipedia atm and asking for thoughts on that matter.--Gonnym (talk) 18:48, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Why parentheses?[edit]

Parentheses around “film series” should not be removed. Other, unresolved issues are being treated in an RFC in the next section. — (talk) 11:07, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Please read the RFC below. In § Film series, why Series subject (film series) rather than Series subject film series? The subject’s name isn’t the film series, so it seems to make more sense without parentheses. — (talk) 07:29, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

If the series had a formal name—such as The Twilight Saga—then that's what the article would be called. There is nothing wrong with Harry Potter film series or Harry Potter films, or even Harry Potter adaptations, but the box sets tend to just be branded as "Harry Potter" (see [2]), so it makes sense to just use the title that is used in the branding and disambiguate the title. It stops arguments and is consistent with other film series articles in the same position. Betty Logan (talk) 19:01, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
The consistency is what's misguided. If an article is about the Harry Potter film series, there's no reason for Wikipedia to make "Harry Potter" a definite article. Something like James Bond in film makes more sense to me. -- Wikipedical (talk) 21:41, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

WP:NCFILM#Film series currently instructs, “For articles on a series of films, the title of the article should be Series name (film series) or Series subject (film series).” I propose either changing or removing the “Series subject” model—if the series does not have a name, there’s no reason for the descriptive term to be in italics or for “film series” to be in parentheses. For instance, James Bond in film is not “James Bond (film series).” And most significantly, we don’t appear to have any articles titled Series subject (film series) where subject and name are not identical. (talk) 19:46, 11 February 2015 (UTC); edited 04:52, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Support in principle, however, it would be preferable to give an example of the alternative case where these is no name, e.g.:

For articles on a series of films, the title of the article should be Series name (film series), such as Harry Potter (film series). Where the series does not have a common title, use the most natural description, such as James Bond in film. When trilogies are often referred to as such by reliable sources, their articles may be titled Series name trilogy (e.g., The Three Colors trilogy), or Series name trilogy (film series) if further disambiguation is required. If there are two film series with the same name, use (YEAR film series) as the disambiguation term, where YEAR is the year of the first film of the series.

sroc 💬 06:21, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose The XXXX in film and XXXX (film series) are not synonymous. If a series has an official title then that is what is used, but if not then the term or subject that is most commonly associated with the series is used instead, and if necessary disambiguated. The disambiguator (film series) and in film are not interchangeable, and are used to structure the different article tiers. Let's take Batman for example. There are several different articles about Batman movie properties on Wikipedia. There is Batman (serial), Batman (1966 film) and Batman (1989 film); all three need to be disambiguated since the main Batman article occupies the title. We also have Batman (1989 film series) and The Dark Knight Trilogy; in the case of the latter the common name is used, but since the original series doesn't have a unique name it is named after the property and disambiguated in such a way as to identify the topic. Finally there is Batman in film which describes the presence of the Batman property in the medium of film. The Batman example isn't an anomaly, it is quite common. Articles about individual film series need to be differentiated from articles about a property's film presence, which is why the distinction exists. If you change the article name for Harry Potter (film series) to Harry Potter in film then it actually creates inconsistency, because the article is about a single series. Betty Logan (talk) 09:03, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
    • In the title “Batman (1989 film series),” is “Batman” being used as the name of the series, or the name of the character who is the subject of the series, or the name of the first film of the series? If that article is named for the character himself, it shouldn’t be italicized (i.e., Series subject (film series), not Series subject (film series)). Otherwise, none of the Batman series articles are an example of what I’ve asked to remove—those series all have names. How about replacing the line with “… the title of the article should be Series name (film series) or First film's name (film series)”? — (talk) 19:03, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
What you are suggesting is removing the naming consistency for series without formal titles. If we don't disambiguate film series titles, then it leaves the question of what to call them: 1989 Batman film series? The Original Batman films? As for changing the guideline to First film's name (film series), then I don't really see how Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone (film series) is superior to Harry Potter (film series) It also has implications for something like Bourne (film series), which I don't think would be improved by calling The Bourne Ultimatum (film series). In fact, both would seem to conflict with WP:PRECISE. If you just have an issue with the italicisation then that can be corrected through formatting, but otherwise I think this really is a case of trying to fix something that isn't broke. Betty Logan (talk) 19:40, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Batman is a superhero film series featuring …”. So that series is named Batman; call it that. But Batman (film series) is ambiguous, so disambiguate it with the year, and we have the article’s current title. “Series subject” still doesn’t apply. Similarly, the Harry Potter films are collectively named Harry Potter. Those series have titles. I’m actually not sure whether the Jason Bourne movies (actually beginning with The Bourne Identity) have a collective name, so that may be a good example, unless Bourne is short for The Bourne XXXX. If not, I’d be happy with Bourne (film series) (no italics), and I honestly see no problem with Bourne film series (i.e. the film series about the character Bourne, as opposed to the film series which is the character Bourne). Again, this is assuming that “Bourne” is not the name of the series.
Anyway, was my RFC not clear that italicizing a descriptive title was an issue? I never suggested we shouldn’t provide guidance for series that don’t have their own names (unless there are no such series); I suggested changing it to be more consistent, treating our article titles as what they actually are rather than indiscriminately treating them the same. — (talk) 21:17, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
TL;DR: Series subject titles are descriptive titles. Treat them as such. — (talk) 21:29, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you could provide us with some examples of articles where you disagree with the naming convention, because all I keep seeing is agreement with the examples I bring up. It would provide us with a better understanding of the problem. Betty Logan (talk) 22:31, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
That’s the thing—I don’t have any examples of “series subject” titles, other than ones like “James Bond in film” which don’t follow that format anyway. That’s what brought me to questioning whether there’s any point to having “series subject” in the guidance when we don’t seem to actually use it. Even your objections used examples which had names (even Bourne, I’m pretty sure is truncated from the film titles). So… are there any articles with “series subject (film series)” titles where the series has no name? Or does that term mean something different from what I think it means? There has been zero discussion of that question besides my asking it below, so… — (talk) 23:04, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Betty Logan above. With parentheses it is easier to distinguish articles with similar titles. Also, this way it is visible on first sight whcih part of the article title is the actual series title and which part of the title is the part for disambiguation. Just imagine all the confusion in titles like Star Trek or Doctor Who. --Tuluqaruk (talk) 10:59, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As per Betty Logan. The parentheses appear to be the most succinct way to differentiate between an actual title and a film series. Similarly, when we have several versions of a film, we use the parentheses to differentiate between them, so this would appear to continue that convention. Onel5969 (talk) 15:24, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Regarding the Batman example above, why wouldn't Batman film series, 1989–97 be sufficient? -- Wikipedical (talk) 20:51, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: If there are no actual instances of “series subject (film series)” (as distinct from “series name”), then there’s no point mentioning it. — (talk) 20:19, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
I have specifically discussed two examples already: the 1989 Batman series and the Harry Potter series. There are probably many other series that don't have formal names. You don't seem to be able to highlight any problematic titles, you haven't really proposed any viable alternatives in the examples I have given you, so I don't really understand why this discussion is taking place. Betty Logan (talk) 20:33, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Those series are respectively named Batman and Harry Potter. There is no indication that those articles are named for the series subjects rather than their names. (Otherwise, Batman (1989 film series) should open with Batman The Batman film series is a superhero film series ….”) I can’t really propose an alternative to something that isn’t there. But if we did misrepresent the facts by presenting non-names as names, my alternative would be to… not. — (talk) 16:59, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Confusion of terms?[edit]

Maybe this is just a confusion of terms… what is a “series subject” as opposed to a “series name”? The responses here seem to treat them synonymously. Do we have any examples where the “series subject” is not used as the name of the film series? — (talk) 19:16, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

My confusion on this point remains. If the subject of the series is used as the name of the series, is that not then the WP:COMMONNAME of the series? And we should assume that readers of this are already familiar with the main titling policy. Or can someone provide an example of an article where the subject is not used as the name of an unnamed series? Can someone show where this “series subject” guidance is relevant in actual use? — (talk) 21:25, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

RFC: Series subject as a name[edit]

According to WP:NCFILM#Film series, “For articles on a series of films, the title of the article should be Series name (film series) or Series subject (film series).” Is the “series subject” alternative necessary when Wikipedia doesn’t seem to have any articles about nameless film series? Or if a series does not have a name, is it acceptable (i.e., not original research) for us to choose one ourselves (the “subject”) and present it as if it were the name, per the current guidance? — (talk) 10:10, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Note: I brought this up in the previous section, but since responses mostly concerned the removal of parentheses, I’m starting a new RFC in hopes of getting more focused discussion on the question of name vs subject vs OR. My above exchanges with @Betty Logan are relevant here, though. — (talk) 10:10, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • COMMENT This new RFC is simply a reformulation of the RFC above (see #Why parentheses?). Ending the RFC and starting another RFC by rephrasing the question because you are getting answers you disagree with is simply gaming the system. As explained in my first reply in the above RFC, Series subject (film series) needs to be included in the naming convention to accommodate film series that do not have titles, such as the 1989 Batman series as opposed to the later The Dark Knight Trilogy. Moreover, by ending the RFC above, I suggest that the proposer accepts the opposing arguments put to him above, so a fresh RFC with the goal of initiating the same alterations to the guideline is not necessary. Betty Logan (talk) 10:48, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
    • I made no attempt to hide the fact that it was a reformulation of part of that RFC, and I explained my reasons: not because I was “getting answers I disagree with,” but because I was getting irrelevant answers. I am not here asking whether “film series” needs parentheses, which was what all the other opposers were opposing. I’m asking here whether it’s needed or appropriate to include “Series subject” in this guidance, which none of the other opposers commented on. And as I’ve said in my earlier responses to you both here and on your Talk page, the 1989 series of Batman films is named Batman—and if it’s not, there’s the WP:OR side of this RFC. — (talk) 10:52, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
      WP:Original research applies to claims within an article, not to article titles. We are not making any specific claims by giving an article a name of our choosing. WP:NC is the applicable policy here, and the only criterion that something like Batman (1989 film series) fails is "naturalness", and that is at the expense of consistency i.e. all series articles without formal titles are named after the series subject and disambiguated appropriately. Betty Logan (talk) 11:32, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
      WP:OR also applies to implied claims. We’re not allowed to intentionally mislead readers by, for instance, making them think something has a name that it does not. (Incidentally, if “Batman” were not the name of the series, a name like Batman film series (1989) might better fit the naming criteria. Whatever the article title, the series non-title shouldn’t be italicized.) — (talk) 11:41, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Alternate proposal: Replace “Series subject (film series)” with “Franchise name (film series)”. This seems to better reflect actual usage, and an unitalicized title per MOS:TITLE#Neither is less misleading. — (talk) 12:00, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Oppose (yet again) It is not unusual for franchises to have spin-offs. A classic example would be something like Catwoman, which is still a character in the Batman franchise, but we wouldn't call a Catwoman series Batman (2004 film series) or something to that effect, we would name it after the subject of the films i.e. Catwoman (film series). The naming conventions are fine as they are, they lead to appropriate titles for the articles and any that are problematic can be dealt with on a individual basis. This level of interference by the IP is unnecessary and unhelpful, since it is trying to "fix" something which has worked fine for years. Betty Logan (talk) 12:37, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Oppose both. (For the alternate suggestion, a franchise and a series are two different things). I agree with Betty's comment above - 'if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it'. I'm not sure we need to change the wording, or to re-open something that's recently been so clearly sorted one way. - SchroCat (talk) 12:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

To my knowledge, this has not been recently sorted out. If you’re referring to the previous section, that primarily concerned the presence of parentheses around “film series” in these titles, which is a separate question. As for “if it ain’t broke”… if it encourages WP:OR or otherwise misleading readers by presenting the “subject” (the lead character?) as a name for the series, it’s broke. On top of that, if there are no “subject” titles for articles on nameless series, it’s (a very small example of) instruction creep.— (talk) 13:26, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
There's no evidence of OR - can you present some? Most of these type of series are given an allcovering-epithet in the media, which is what we tend to replicate. There's no instruction creep either: there is a very, very small clarification in the MoS, that is all. - SchroCat (talk) 16:43, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
All right—for the purpose of this argument, I’ll assume that one of the previously mentioned articles really is for a series with no name. Take Batman (1989 film series), for example (again). That article’s title is italicized in accordance with this guideline, indicating that it’s the name of that series of films. Consequently, that article’s opening sentence uses that name for that series of films. If there is no name for this series, picking any term and using it as the name is OR at best (i.e. Wikipedia editors deciding what its name is) and deliberately misleading at worst. This kind of scenario is why I say this “Series subject” rule encourages OR.
And if it does have a name, I maintain that this rule is completely unsupported by practice—if we don’t use “series subject (film series)” titles, we shouldn’t claim that we do. Even if we do, “subject” is awfully vague, which, again, encourages OR. — (talk) 19:02, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Oppose both suggestions. Can't say it any better than Betty Logan has already done. Onel5969 (talk) 15:26, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Comment: We can all at least agree, I hope, that a term which is not a name should not be in italics. Right? There is no policy support (see MOS:TITLE) for italics in this sort of descriptive term. — (talk) 19:29, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
    Personally, I have no problem with de-italicising non-name/subject titles. But if this is what it is mainly about then it didn't need two RFCs to get here. Betty Logan (talk) 03:14, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    It was mainly about… well, here, let me just lay out my thought process as plainly and clearly as I can, and hopefully everything will be explained:
    • If all our XXXX (film series) titles use an established name for the series, there’s no point in offering an alternative that is simply never used in practice.
      • We shouldn’t include unneeded rules.
    • If we have any such titles that don’t use a series name, either I have never seen them or I couldn’t tell the difference. Assuming the 1989 film series does in fact have no name:
      • Fact: The article Batman (1989 film series) is titled exactly as if “Batman” were the established name of that 1989 film series. This is typical of such titles.
      • Fact: The article uses Batman as the unambiguous name of the series in its opening sentence. I can only assume this is typical of such articles.
        • It’s not unreasonable to assume that this second point follows directly from the first. I.e., an editor may find an opening line like, “The 1989 Batman film series was a series about Batman who…”, and then, making a quite reasonable assumption from the title, mistakenly use the invented name in otherwise improving the lead: “Batman is a film series…”.
    • The existing guidance encourages making unnamed series (if we have any) indistinguishable from named series. The reader may never know the difference. This is horribly unencyclopedic and both readers and editors.
    So there’s the whole logic behind my position. Hope it helps. — (talk) 06:06, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
    I was expecting someone to poke holes in my logic. Are there none? Like, if we have long-stable articles about series that explicitly have no name, it should be trivial to refute me here. — (talk) 19:20, 1 March 2015 (UTC)