Lost in..

Peter Larson pete at bulbrecords.com
Sat Apr 3 15:18:02 EST 2004

Yes, I agree. I really didn't find Lost in Translation to be about Japan
at all, more about two lonely people far away from home. I didn't
particularly like the movie, but it wasn't because it was or wasn't set
in Japan although I did find parts completely depressing, perhaps in a
way the makers didn't intend. Having originally gone to Japan to get
away from a nasty divorce, I too spent too many hours hanging in bars
with folks like the Japanese surfer types portrayed in a movie. Japan
can be a very, very lonely place, seeing the movie conjured up many
memories of that time. In that way, I guess, the movie was a successful
portrayal of an experience many foreigners experience going to Japan.
However, they could have easily have put the movie anywhere else,
France, Turkey, Iraq, Korea, New Orleans, Adrian, MI or anywhere else
and have had it be just as effective.

I think much of the bashing of the film has more to do with the fanboy
thinking that things have to remain underground to be good and
"respectable". As soon as things hit the mainstream, many people are
quick to throw mud at it.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
[mailto:owner-KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu] On Behalf Of Mitch
Sent: Saturday, April 03, 2004 1:30 PM
To: KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
Subject: Re: Gaijin perspective from malaysia!

Dear Mohd Naguib Razak,

Your documentary sounds very interesting.  Best of
luck to you on it.  Hopefully those of us elsewhere
will get a chance to see it.

> p/s Lost in Translation sucks!

I'm actually a bit curious about the disliking of this
film on the KineJapan list, especially since it has
been so highly regarded elsewhere.  What I find most
perplexing is that I didn't find Lost in Translation
to be about Japan at all, or, for that matter, about a
white "Western" perspective of the country (as opposed
to a film like "The Last Samurai").  In fact, it
seemed to me that Tokyo was used as more of a backdrop
and metaphor for loneliness & isolation when
abroad--and, as such, the story could have pretty much
taken place anywhere else.  Had it been set in Paris I
wonder if the response here would be so harsh (the
film strikes me very much as an homage to French New
Wave cinema).  And, as outsiders, is there perhaps a
tendency to make our own personal experiences and
feelings about Japan--or Tokyo--somewhat exclusive and
precious?  Any thoughts?


Most recent propaganda (updated when I remember):

"As the movie industry becomes more like the merchandising industry, the
book business becomes more like the movie industry.  There's more
pressure.  I think it's very difficult to be a young writer today.  I
fear that young writers, after one or two books, will disappear the way
young film directors do."  --Don DeLillo

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