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Forum posts for Review of Lost in Translation

All in a Mood
Posted by nszyngie on Feb 17, 2004
Okay, so I disagree. And that's . . . okay (read: Stuart Smaley, SNL)

Some movies need to be experienced in the proper mindset, in the right environment, or the right day - in order to be properly enjoyed. Some movies don't lend themselves well to Saturday afternoon viewings while eating toast. Others don't hold well with a full stomach of pountine.

In any case, I enjoyed this movie tremendously. The first comment I have is that yes, it is very well shot, and makes it a joy to watch. Scenes from Kyoto of the temple and the message tree, and the stepping stones seem to be the most memorable. It is a beautiful film.

As for the story, Paul is - again - right. There isn't much of one. But that is kind of the point. It is the emotional connection to two characters make with one any other that makes the film intriguing. First off, you sympathize with both. There is some strong emotional ties with the characters, both very well played, that make you want to know how this ends. Both are seemingly abandoned in Tokyo, getting a hold on life - trying to figure out where the are headed in the crazy world. The fact that they manage to come to terms with their choices in a crazy fastpaced world that is Japan, is incredible.

And yes, there are some bad stereotypes in the film. But I feel that they were made to completely distance to characters from their own country - so far away. They're just trying to make a point - Japan is a whole other culture, very different from our own.

Anyways, those are my two cents. I am not trying to 'defend' the film, just to give my persepctive on it for others who may or may not have seen it.

I give it a 8.75/10.

Blarg
Posted by Nerhael on Feb 17, 2004
I tried to watch this movie last night, but my dvd player would not play it.

That made me angry.

BONK
Posted by alltogethernow on Feb 17, 2004
Paul you have a unique taste in movies…

You seem to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff, unlike most of the general public…
(i.e.: You Got Served vs. Pirates of the Caribbean – Both mainstream movies with wide appeal but while the latter is great the former is horseshit.)
… and that I applaud you for….

BUT

You seem to have a mental block when it comes to recognizing the truly great, different and important movies for what they are. You often speak of movies “…[S]uffering from too much hype syndrome.” I would encourage you, next time you watch a movie to ignore all the hype and just watch, give the movie a chance to speak to you.

Now I will attempt to explain to you where you went wrong in watching, and perhaps understanding this movie. Now granted you are entitled to your opinion, that’s what a review constitutes, your opinion. Also, some movies aren’t for everyone, some movies you have to be in the right mood, or mindset to properly enjoy. Some movies even require the right life-experiences to properly understand.

Is Lost in Translation a movie with wide audience appeal – NO
Is Lost in Translation a great movie nonetheless – YES
Is Lost in Translation the BEST movie of the year – NO

Lost in Translation was one of my favourite movies of the year, and I think you need to have a second look….

First –

This movie is not supposed to be funny. Sure, the usually hilarious Bill Murray is involved but the situations that have potential for comedy are made to be more pathetic than funny. Pathos seems to be the emotion most associated with Bill Murray’s character for the majority of the movie.
A co-worker of mine said he hated watching this movie in theatre due to all the laughter. This movie rarely raised more than a dry chuckle from me and Jessica. Although, when he is making the commercial that director is quite hilarious.

Second –

I really don’t believe the Japanese people in this movie are being overtly stereotyped, and I certainly don’t believe they were there for laughs.
BUT
As I have said before and will again… Stereotypes exist for a reason…

As someone who works with Japanese people both within my company and as students at the school, I can safely say Lost in Translation was NOT miss-representing the Japanese. The Japanese students that who saw this film feel it was an accurate (even flattering) representation of Tokyo and Japan.

But don’t take my word for it; let’s hear from my esteemed Jap friend Yuki Arai who is currently in Tokyo and communicating via MSN.

T. Marshall says:
hey did you see Lost in Translation?
yukiy says:
Sure!!!I saw in Canada! Did you??
T. Marshall says:
yeah did you like it?
yukiy says:
It was really nice movie!I want to buy DVD yeah
T. Marshall says:
what did you think about the movie and the representation of japan in the movie?
yukiy says:
I think that its very well to made representation of Japan

Well there you have it…

Are Japanese hostesses and business people polite to an extreme? – YES they are.
Especially when you are their guest. When I go to a student’s apartment they go crazy to make you feel comfortable, more so than a fussy grandmother. While I am on the subject if you are in a Japanese or Korean household and they offer you something, be it drink, food, shoes... whatever… best thing to do is to accept graciously and don’t argue. Every time I have said no to something I always end up getting whatever I have refused and more.

Do the Japanese like karaoke? – You bet your fucking ass they do.

Do the Japanese have funny Engrish accents? – Shit yes.
It’s completely unavoidable except with years of training.
V + B, F + P and R + L are all the same sounds in Japanese so it causes all sorts of hilarious mispronunciations. My name at work is T-LE-BA, need I say more?

Is that talk show host crazy and strange? – Ummmm... YEP
But that’s the point. Japan is quite Americanized but still remains a very unusual place with television like this… who can argue.

The movie is set in Japan, without proper Japanese representation why make the setting Tokyo? The setting works so well in this case because the literal external, cultural isolation the main characters feel is directly related to the internal emotional isolation they are experiencing, due to varying factors in each of their lives.

Third (and final) –
The ending…
Paul here is where you really lose points with me, well at least as a movie critic. You are right; you can’t understand what Bill Murray says at the end of the movie… So what?

Who says you have to? Would it have added anything to the movie if we knew what he said? I think no. If anything it would have DE-tracted from the movie. It would be like having the last scene fade to black and a voice over reading,
‘…and they lived happily ever-after.’

The movie due to its nature has no easy resolution, just as most decisions in your life have no easy resolution. Even when you make a decision concerning something there are always nagging doubts and new revelations and regret… lots of regret… even years down the road.

In summary:
Paul it’s too bad you didn’t give this movie more of a chance, I think you really could have enjoyed it. But as I said some movies aren’t for everyone. This is just my opinion and rebuttal to some things that I thought Paul got wrong.
I very much enjoyed this movie, and would highly recommend it.

a star 4 u!!!
Posted by Miguel on Feb 17, 2004
Awesome, awesome post!

You took some arguments straight out of my mouth! But I have my own post in favour of Lost In Translation.

Duffy's Side
Posted by Palmer on Feb 26, 2004
I'm actually with Paul on this one...I felt exactly like him in this regard...