CHAPTER 1: Main Titles

Discuss Lost In Translation in a more structured way. We follow the DVD chapters and create a new thread for every chapter. This is an ongoing project.
User avatar
Cryogenic
Mr. Kazu
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:08 pm

CHAPTER 1: Main Titles

Postby Cryogenic » Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:03 pm

CHAPTER 1: Main Titles

DVD TIME INDEX: 0:00:00 - 0:01.00*
*PAL timing

Image

Image

Image

Image

SYNOPSIS: A Focus Features film logo. A semi-naked buttocks. Some production credits. A title. Fade to black. "Welcome To New Toyko International Airport". These are our first moments of Lost In Translation.

ANALYSIS: Well, what can you say? In the space of exactly one minute (according to the slightly skewd PAL video timing), Lost In Translation doesn't so much announce itself as gently impress upon the viewer. It's the tonal difference between "Kelly" and "Charlotte", a hard rock number and a piece of soft jazz, champagne versus wine. In one minute, the film quietly declares its genius and rolls forward, as if having done nothing at all. This is an oddly disquieting, yet mesmeric and joyous, beginning. No concessions are made to explain or clarify. That a viewer will either "get it" or not is simply assumed. But I'm not backbiting -- quite the opposite. The opening almost seems to function as a test. If you get this, you get the lot. If there is a "relationship" between a film and a viewer, then LIT starts as it means to go on, with something very beautiful, indeed.

It seems Sofia Coppola was lucky to get Focus Features distributing this film in Europe and America (is that correct?). And why? Their logo seems to organically fit the fabric and feel of LIT to a tee. It's the most serendipitous union I can think of since 20th Century Fox and Star Wars, whose own film logo and music is sublimely rousing and perfectly accentuates the old 1930's Hollywood feeling that's such a part and parcel of the Star Wars story and aesthetic. And here, with Focus Features and LIT, its the very opposite the logo courts, but no less perfectly -- a subtle, hazy, dreamy, almost brooding atmosphere. As the fuzzy blue-yellow discs undulate in the background, I'm reminded of the very delicate blurring and play of lights at various points in LIT. Similarly, the name "Focus Features" fades on much as the film's own title is about to. The title could even be a command: FOCUS. On this FEATURE. That's what film is all about. "The small details", to quote Rutger Hauer.

Of course, the segment that's probably going to get the lion's share of this discussion is the scene of "Charlotte" lying on the bed. It's our first true glimpse of LIT. It *is* LIT. I put "Charlotte" in quotation marks because there's no direct proof it's her. You might say it has to be, but I think the more salient aspect is that it's an objectified glimpse of feminimity -- or, more generally, something a little exotic (at least, in the manner it's depicted). You don't have to agree with any of this, by the way. This is simply my interpretation of things. Yours will necessarily be different, even if it ends up being the same. There are a lot of ways to approach this. I mean, if this scene or shot is "exotic", why is that? What purpose is it serving to LIT as a whole? At different times, Sofia Coppola has said it's just something she felt like doing and doesn't really mean anything, or it's a homage to the opening shot of Stanley Kubrick's "Lolita" and the paintings of John Kacere, or it's a glimpse of feminimity (as I've already stated above). It really is everything and nothing.

But I do find it oddly provocative. Not as pornography or anything like that (per se), but for the way it seems to be consciously designed (despite Sofia's reluctance to disclose specific filmic intentions) to push certain buttons. Here's what I wrote in my review for IMDb:

Sofia Coppola chooses to open her second picture with the unexpected appearance of Scarlett Johansson's semi-naked buttocks. On the big screen, it's impressive, and on any other screen, it manages to entice. But this is just the beginning. In many ways, it doesn't even seem that. The image is seductive but dislocated -- it's just there. Then the title credit appears: "Lost In Translation". It's like Coppola is having some massive joke at our expense. What's there to translate about such a sight -- much less to lose in translation? We're immediately intrigued by the voyeuristic nonchalance of it. It is this same casualness, hiding real intent, that shapes and sustains the picture. For at its heart, "Lost In Translation" is a hypnotic tone poem for desire and the need to reach out and find meaning. The butt-image functions as a motif: in the bold sensuousness, yet comic randomness of it, we are being made to lust for something -- but we are at a loss to make sense of it, just as the film's characters find themselves lusting for things they can't readily define.


Without wishing to blow my own trumpet too much, that's still as good a description as I can muster. But there are lots of layers here.

I remember a discussion on the IMDb LIT board (eek!) about the specific style of this shot and nature of the composition. In its evocation of John Kacere (do a Google Image search), it aspires to still photography, yet is part of a motion picture, "living" at 24 pictures per second. There is a deliberate tension. We clearly see the subject shifting her weight. We HEAR it. But it's almost imperceptible. Even that aspect seems to set up so much of what is to follow in LIT. In a departure from Kacere's paintings, Sofia's composition is also less sexualised. And less fetishized. Or perhaps more so, paradoxically, through being less so. Kacere seemed to have an affinity for laced garments, frumpy bums and bright lighting. There is a loudness and a brashness to his own versions that seem alien to LIT's. The subject is tamely dressed in a kind of bored "middle class" jumper over a white "student" t-shirt. The pink panties are the exception. But none of the colours leap out at you. The shot is defined by pastels and has a soft malaise about it.

It's great to see those titles, by the way. I love the font used for this movie. I don't know what it reminds me of, but I'm sure it reminds me of something. Maybe it's a trick. I like the subliminal effect. Notice how the pre-LIT credits are positioned just above the subject's body. Like a deliberate attempt was made to not interrupt the butt. Or even the girl's slumber. The main LIT credit breaks this rule. Even to the point of music suddenly kicking in. Interesting choice. It's like the film is dangling a carrot in front of you. It gives you a LITTLE time to process what you're experiencing, then it cuts you off. No, sorry. LOST IN TRANSLATION. It's quite a bold summary of the artistic process.

I've come up with this dense analysis, but I haven't even commented on the sound design. Or the last few post-butt seconds (can I work this joke much longer?). OK, I think you actually HEAR LIT before you SEE it. The first thing you hear is some traffic. A motorbike engine displacing the air? Then a siren, but not an overbearing "this is a siren" foley effect like normal. Those are the sorts of sounds, in such "indoor" conditions, a film would normally make sure to filter out. Yet here we have "rules" being "broken" at the very start. It's like Sofia is saying: "This film is real life. Get used to it." But, of course, it ISN'T real life. It's a film. A shadow on a wall. Art. Not life. But art reflects life. And maybe this is her way of near-subconsciously clueing us into both these ideas at once. It has a closeness to real life that most films don't, yet it's STILL a film. I love that.

After the title, there is another fade. An inversion of the opening fade. It's almost like we haven't just seen what we've seen. The film wants to hide itself away and start again. Almost like we're being tricked and toyed with again. The sound design takes precedence here, telling the story of Bob's arrival in beautifully sleek fashion. It's not necessarily a compression of narrative time. Maybe it's what Bob is imaginging in his head. Half experiencing, half dreaming. Ergo, we're already getting closer to these people than most viewers get to most characters in most films. "Charlotte" and her panties while asleep (or trying to get to sleep) and Bob's jetlagged monologue. We are already accepting these characters through a weird kind of osmotic absorption. We are now primed for the actual "story".

Just some thoughts to kick us off. Please pick up on, expand, contradict, ignore and talk about whatever the hell I've just said said and whatever the hell you want. This is the true start of our "Chapter By Chapter" project. Let's make it a good one!
Image

User avatar
Tombo
Lounge Singer
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Birmingham,U.K.

Postby Tombo » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:46 am

...this is as iconic an opening to a film as any I know. I actually have a Japanese mini-poster of the shot of Charlotte on the bed adorning mybedroom wall. It's an off-beat shot that kind of sets a template for the tentative sensuality that threads through the film.

User avatar
Suntory
For Relaxing Times Make It Suntory Time!
Posts: 268
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 1:28 am
Location: Boston

Postby Suntory » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:02 pm

Cryogenic you pretty much say it all, I am not sure what else there is to say therefore!
The shot is multi-layered with image, text, and sound and all of that comes together to capture a defining moment and mood.
I definitely identify the FF logo with LIT. Whenver I see it now I think of LIT.

Very interesting analysis about the butt and why its there etc. I couldnt say why. Its just there! :D
Tombo makes a great point about it "sets a template for the tentative sensuality that threads through the film." Absolutely!

One thing to consider is that the opening shot is an interior and the figure is reclining in a relaxed way in their own interior world.
The movie is a lot about the interior life of the characters and the blending of those when they come together.
I believe the film while enjoyed by many is specifically endearing to introverts which/who I believe make up a majority of this community and
hence the small group of people.

silentguest
Evelyn Waugh
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 10:23 pm
Location: California

Postby silentguest » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:31 pm

Whenever I see the Focus Features logo I think of it as an out-of-focus shot of the Tokyo neon-scape.

The film opens with ambient sound instead of music. There are almost 40 tracks of music in LIT, yet it often feels so hushed and quiet. And the sound design complements the cinematography: muted and hazy.

A woman's backside is presented on screen, but she is not posing for the camera. She's not trying to be seductive by draping her arm across her hip, and she's not wearing sexy underwear. She commands our attention without being titillating (unlike the strippers). We get to see her butt but Bob never does. During their encounters he sometimes looks her over when they're facing each other, yet in the scenes where she's walking away from him it doesn't seem like he glances down at her a**. Sofia may have directed him not to do so to stress the point that their relationship wasn't about sex.

The words in the title appear one at a time deliberately, slowly. When trying to communicate with someone in a different language you often speak in a slower cadence and enunciate each word. And the music sounds like a slow-tempo version of "City Girl".

Aside from the end, the movie fades to black three times, each time with someone resting on a bed: first Charlotte, then Bob, then the both of them together. A symbol of their desire to fade into sleep?

Despite the startling wake-up call of the opening shot (every time I went to see it, it never failed to capture everyone's attention in the theater) Sofia lets us know it's the subtle intimate moments that will matter the most in this film.

User avatar
Tombo
Lounge Singer
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Birmingham,U.K.

Postby Tombo » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:08 pm

...what cool synopsis...all of this has got me thinking about the film in a much more profound way,and in a totally new light.

User avatar
Cryogenic
Mr. Kazu
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:08 pm

Postby Cryogenic » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:45 pm

Tombo wrote:...what cool synopsis...all of this has got me thinking about the film in a much more profound way,and in a totally new light.


Well, now, Tombo ...

That's what this Chapter By Chapter thing is all about!

You've gladdened my heart to hear you say that!

And this thing can just go on and on and on.

It's totally down to us! To everyone!

It's gotten off to a slow start, but I'm really hoping the CBC section will flower in the next month or two.

OK, enough wallowing and projecting! Let's look at these exquisite observations in turn:

Tombo wrote:It's an off-beat shot that kind of sets a template for the tentative sensuality that threads through the film.


"Tentative sensuality" -- I like that!

Suntory wrote:I definitely identify the FF logo with LIT. Whenver I see it now I think of LIT.


It's funny, the associations we make.

Suntory wrote:Very interesting analysis about the butt and why its there etc. I couldnt say why. Its just there! :D


Hey, that's fine!

Suntory wrote:One thing to consider is that the opening shot is an interior and the figure is reclining in a relaxed way in their own interior world.
The movie is a lot about the interior life of the characters and the blending of those when they come together.
I believe the film while enjoyed by many is specifically endearing to introverts which/who I believe make up a majority of this community and
hence the small group of people.


Come to dadda!

That is a superb observation/set of observations.

silentguest wrote:Whenever I see the Focus Features logo I think of it as an out-of-focus shot of the Tokyo neon-scape.


Yeah, I'd say it has that loose connotative quality about it. It's interesting that you specifically said "out of" [focus]. I didn't touch on that, yet it's a very cool aspect. The photography is often a little out of focus in the film itself, not just in the outdoor "city" scenes. Sometimes, it's almost imperceptible. It's like Sofia Coppola and Lance Acord are playing a subliminal mind game on us. And here is this film logo that wraps the film up in a very auspicious "bow".

silentguest wrote:The film opens with ambient sound instead of music. There are almost 40 tracks of music in LIT, yet it often feels so hushed and quiet. And the sound design complements the cinematography: muted and hazy.


Yes! Yes! Yes!

I adore this.

silentguest wrote:A woman's backside is presented on screen, but she is not posing for the camera. She's not trying to be seductive by draping her arm across her hip, and she's not wearing sexy underwear. She commands our attention without being titillating (unlike the strippers). We get to see her butt but Bob never does. During their encounters he sometimes looks her over when they're facing each other, yet in the scenes where she's walking away from him it doesn't seem like he glances down at her a**. Sofia may have directed him not to do so to stress the point that their relationship wasn't about sex.


Sexual tension is a critical part of their relationship, but it's not about sex. Very salient set of points, again. The lack of "trying" is interesting, too. These characters aren't overstretching themselves for anyone's benefit. And neither is Sofia Coppola in her directorial style and aesthetic choices. It's like the opening is saying: "This is the way the film is. Accept it or forget it."

silentguest wrote:The words in the title appear one at a time deliberately, slowly. When trying to communicate with someone in a different language you often speak in a slower cadence and enunciate each word. And the music sounds like a slow-tempo version of "City Girl".


A-ha!

Yes, I like the way the title fades on one word at a time. It is like it is trying to "speak", almost. There's a kind of teaching or annotative function present with that stylistic choice. Of course, all the titles fade on. It feels like they're whispering to us, reflecting the introversion of Bob and Charlotte and the inherent quietness of the picture. The slow fading effect also has a kind of hypnotising effect, as if we're being induced into a semi-sleepy state -- the kind of state we need to be in to meet these characters where they're at in life and interpret their issues correctly, perhaps?

silentguest wrote:Aside from the end, the movie fades to black three times, each time with someone resting on a bed: first Charlotte, then Bob, then the both of them together. A symbol of their desire to fade into sleep?


Or fade away from their current lives? To escape the mundanity of reality? Or maybe just to process everything and get their energy back, so that they can live again? The fading isn't just limited to the titles, then. It is an intrinsic part of the way information is conveyed and mood expressed.

silentguest wrote:Despite the startling wake-up call of the opening shot (every time I went to see it, it never failed to capture everyone's attention in the theater) Sofia lets us know it's the subtle intimate moments that will matter the most in this film.


It's funny you describe it as a "wake-up call" when it feels so mellow and dreamy. But I know what you mean. It grabs the attention. It's kind of ... intrusive and protrusive. Ebert made an interesting comment in his review: "Basically it's a comedy of manners -- Japan's, and ours." In other words, the film plays and explores matters of proper and improper behaviour? Seeing a girl's butt up close is a bit improper. We're getting the most intimate information first. We haven't earned it. It's been offered up before we've taken other socially-agreed steps to secure our "look" at it. Sofia Coppola makes US peeping-toms, and on a first viewing, at least, we tend to fidget and squirm, even laugh. This is a way of letting our fellow human beings know that we implicitly understand the social rules we're all bound by, that they're being broken and that we don't fully approve -- hence visible discomfort (e.g. wriggling) if not rejection of the thing breaking them (e.g. giggling). I watched a programme on nudity recently and it was very illuminating.

So, there's something slightly improper transacted by the visual arrangement and its place of occurrence in the film, which we nominally respond to as social creatures, never mind sapient individuals. Sofia Coppola presses some very specific buttons here. She may not have meant to, but I think she was cognizant of what she was doing . Or, if not, something was at least going on underneath, in her subconscious, telling her this was the "right" start for her movie -- the natural intuition of a deep artist. In this light (and many others, actually), the opening shot might be considered a motif that we can apply to the rest of the movie. It sets an offbeat mood and indicates that the humour will be derived, and dependent on, what's accepted between human beings in matters of etiquette and intimacy and what isn't.

* * *

Another idea I forgot to include in my opening analysis is one of stillness versus motion. That is, in Sofia Coppola's deliberate evocation of the paintings of John Kacere, done in cinematic form, she is exploiting a tension between things that are still (e.g. paintings) and things that have a temporal cadence (e.g. motion pictures). If it weren't for the fact that the subject shifts her weight, we might never know she was even alive -- or, in some sense, that we're watching a motion picture. Of course, this is somewhat absurd. We can detect film grain changing between frames. We can hear sounds. We can even see the subject breathing. But the film is causing us to look hard for signs of life. We're being drawn in, right from the start. To those inspired to look for these things (even if they're not conscious of doing so), that is. The same might be said in an elevated metaphoric sense of the emotions at play. If we're inattentive, we might conclude that there's nothing here; that this is just a frigid landscape where "nothing happens" (the common anti-LIT refrain). If we're good studies, if, for no other reason than this, we've simply been drawn in, we can see something happening here. We can see life. Life at 24 frames per second. And the "small details" of it that only film can truly capture.
Image

hannidan
Tokyo Insomniac
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 9:03 pm
Location: USA

you guys are good

Postby hannidan » Tue May 12, 2009 3:39 pm

I give up! I give up!

You guys are so good with your observations I'm suddenly in the mood to watch the movie again. Perhaps I can recapture that same haunting, beautiful, suspended in the moment feeling I got the first 100 times I watched it. :)

User avatar
Ben-B
Japanese Surfer
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:53 am
Location: under the bed

Postby Ben-B » Thu May 14, 2009 11:07 pm

I think the opening shots are great. Sure some might see it as erotic, but besides the undenaible sexual appeal of a half-naked fanny theres a kind of reflection being prompted. Like Sofia has explained, she got the image from a painting, something which requires thoughtful reflection that may appear intimidating.

But besides the butt nakedness aspect, which immediately evokes the average horny viewer's erotic impulses, there is the theme of isolation incapsulated in this vouyeristic image.

We see a girl on a bed. Is she sleeping, dreaming, or awake? Who is this girl? And why is she in those hot pink undies? Mmmm... (I have a one track mind. he-he)

As the director mentioned with specific reference to this 'pany shot', she wanted the tone to be dream-like to which I think this is hinted at in the opening shots.

So the image is a bit of a tease really. Our minds flit between these thoughts as we enter a kind of celluloid dream world. We are ushered hush-hush into a dream-like state, where our dreams, romantic fatasies and memories all converge towards a very personal experience. Which probably explains everyone's viewing habitsand why it had such a sucessfull run in theatres.

User avatar
Cryogenic
Mr. Kazu
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:08 pm

Postby Cryogenic » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Lovely input, Ben-B!

My favourite bit:

Ben-B wrote: So the image is a bit of a tease really. Our minds flit between these thoughts as we enter a kind of celluloid dream world. We are ushered hush-hush into a dream-like state, where our dreams, romantic fatasies and memories all converge towards a very personal experience. Which probably explains everyone's viewing habitsand why it had such a sucessfull run in theatres.


I couldn't agree more. Your idea of a "celluloid dream world" is phrased in a very captivating way.

I know it seems like this one chapter has been going on forever, or that the CBC discussion has come to an end, but things are moving forward, I promise. Yes, at long last, I'll be posting the next chapter shortly! Before I do, however, I want to leave this one on something of a conspiracy. :twisted:

On my last viewing of LIT, as I was reconnoitering, as it were, I noticed that there's actually a large curtain behind the Suntory people during the whiskey commercial scene. Obviously, I'd seen it before, but I'd never really consciously acknowledged it till now (the film seems to work that way a lot). As soon as I did acknowledge it, however, it struck me that it's amazingly similar to the curtain in front of "Charlotte" on the bed, in this, the first chapter. Take a look:

Image

(Note: I altered the colour timing of the Suntory shot to make the connection slightly more obvious). Now, it's possible that the curtains of Charlotte's room in the Hyatt (a "Deluxe" room, I think: http://www.j-hotel.or.jp/hotel/PARKHYAT ... M_dawn.jpg ) make a very similar folding pattern; her room curtains seem to be of a similar base colour, at least. But it's uncanny how much the folds/creases match up in these two shots.

Y'know, I've always found the opening shot slightly odd. I was never sure how Sofia Coppola and Lance Acord attained that kind of lighting in a small hotel room, without artificially lighting it a certain way, given that the thick room curtains appear to block out virtually all the natural light when drawn (as you can see when Bob's curtains open and the frame is changed from complete darkness). Having a large stage space would give them more options, allowing them to light it "just so", and since we never see any other angles in the opening shot, the naturalistic lighting aesthetic for all the actual hotel room shots in the actual film is preserved. All they would have needed to "fake" this one is a large curtain, a bed, Scarlett Johansson and some pink panties. :D

So, I have my doubts that the opening shot is entirely "truthful", as it were. Plus, "staging" the composition would be more in-keeping with the idea of the shot being a homage to a painter, who nominally works in a studio and gets subjects to pose in an open space. If this shot is somehow dreamy and dislocated from the rest of the film, then it actually makes a measure of sense, poetically speaking, to not have it be entirely grounded in reality, either. It's also funny because of the way the Suntory scene is done. Bob not only says, "For relaxing times, make it Suntory time," but he's in a "fake", semi-built study (another irony, as, in the course of LIT, one is being built for him at home), surrounded by lighting equipment, so it also seems like some sort of in-joke. Well, that's my "conspiracy". Thoughts? :)
Image

User avatar
Ben-B
Japanese Surfer
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:53 am
Location: under the bed

Postby Ben-B » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:41 pm

Thanks for the kind words Cryogenic. I agree with your insights. The curtain detail is certainly an interesting observation. I think you might have cracked the code of the opening shot, which is perhaps a 'key' shot to rest of the film.

I really don't think I've known a more passionate group of LIT fans anywhere else. Sure, some may call it mental masturbation or pandering pedantic pretensions. Either way, I guess all passions have their reward. And everybody 'gets off' in some way or other. And this is how we do!

User avatar
Bob_san
Site Admin
Posts: 310
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: United States
Contact:

Postby Bob_san » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:03 pm

Excellent discussion from all!

Having watched the film again a couple weekends ago, something dawned on me and I think I finally have something to add to this.

What we are seeing, Charlotte's butt to be specific :), is through a sheer garment of underwear. The point is that it's not opaque, it's sheer, and we are seeing something we are ordinarilly not supposed to see. Not supposed to unless we are intimate with that person. The entire film is a study in seeing things about two people we ordinarily would not (and perhaps are not supposed to) see. Their personalities and relationship becomes "sheer" to us, not completely transparent mind you, and we see into something normally not seen but awesome to behold! :wink:

User avatar
nathan
Sleepless in Tokyo
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:48 am
Location: michigan
Contact:

Postby nathan » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:15 pm

i have had to defend this shot to so many people that have made arguments saying it is unnecessary and feels detached from the rest of the film. my usual response is based on a thought i had a few years ago:

sexuality is everywhere in this film and it manifests itself subtly at several different levels in the narrative though it is never talked about or even mentioned in passing. the opening shot sets this up; it shows subtle sexuality (i say subtle because charlotte isn't shot in a seductive pose, she isn't wearing anything that is overtly sexual..two things that sofia easily could have done) that never gets addressed in the film's hour and forty-minute run time. the viewer waits for the film to make meaning of the shot, to give it an outright significance in the narrative and this never happens. hollywood has conditioned us to expect a narrative explanation for shots that focus on one particular person or object (for example, one of the early sequences in hitchcock's shadow of a doubt devotes a few seconds of a shot that establishes one of the main characters to track in on a pile of money where the camera holds for a few seconds before cutting to the next shot in the sequence. this money is later shown to be a crucial plot point within the film) and this causes that shot to be at the back of the viewer's mind throughout the film. we want an explanation, we want to know what part it plays in the narrative and like everything else in the film, we will get no such explanation. intentional or not, sofia couldn't have picked a better opening shot to set the psychological tone of the film.

User avatar
Ben-B
Japanese Surfer
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:53 am
Location: under the bed

Postby Ben-B » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:03 pm

I like the way you think nathan.
Nathan wrote:
sexuality is everywhere in this film and it manifests itself subtly at several different levels in the narrative though it is never talked about or even mentioned in passing.

I've thought about this a bit. Tho I'm not sure you or any sane person would believe me when I say that I may have delved deeper into these layers, to the point where the audio is read like a hidden narrative. Maybe it's just my imagination but it's so convincing to me when it happens.

Bob_san wrote:
The point is that it's not opaque, it's sheer, and we are seeing something we are ordinarilly not supposed to see. Not supposed to unless we are intimate with that person. The entire film is a study in seeing things about two people we ordinarily would not (and perhaps are not supposed to) see.

Good point Bob_san. For some reason I always felt that LIT was a dense work. Not plotwise, but in it's formal elements & the way it's been crafted, specifically the sound design. Sofia seemed to spend a large portion of her budget on the sound design & it paid off. The question I have in the back of my mind is 'Could she have placed within the sound elements, a hidden narrative? One we can easily percieve on a subconcious level & with practice begin percieving it on a concious level?' I wonder. :?

User avatar
nathan
Sleepless in Tokyo
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:48 am
Location: michigan
Contact:

Postby nathan » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:12 pm

this idea is interesting to me but i'm not sure i fully understand. could you elaborate? (or if you have in the past, just link me to a post where you did)

User avatar
Ben-B
Japanese Surfer
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:53 am
Location: under the bed

Postby Ben-B » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:26 am

Hi Nathan, thanks fo rthe response & interest in this idea. It's kinda hard to explain because of it's subjective nature. Like Lynch would often say mysteriously,'It's something in the air'.

See my earlier post about David Lynch's emphasis on sound design : http://www.weareawake.org/litforum/viewtopic.php?t=945&highlight=lynch

I forgot to list this page as my reference supporting my claims: http://www.lynchnet.com/lh/lhpress.html

Lynch notes, "Half of the film is picture, the other half is sound." It also seems that support for my claims are found in the other half of Lynch's filmic paradigm; the picture. My curiosity led me to discover a hidden animation layer in one of his films. Read about it here: http://www.dugpa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1624&view=previous
There's definately something to this. I feel like I'm in on a 'secret' that few people may be aware of, conciously.

Just remember I am not 100% sure/correct on the details. This is a tricky thing to get most of the time. For me at least. :)

Let me know if any of this makes sense. :wink:

User avatar
Cryogenic
Mr. Kazu
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:08 pm

Postby Cryogenic » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:12 pm

Some great stuff in here! Thanks!! And if you can -- keep it going!!!

This is a brilliant article on LIT, written by Wendy Haslem in 2004:

http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2004/feat ... anslation/

From there, there's something I'd like to add here:

Lost in Translation begins explicitly and ends implicitly. The opening title credits are pasted over a close up of Scarlett Johannson’s (sic) bottom covered in pink lacy underpants. This is a controversial opening shot, but one that has a precedent in cinema history. In 1963 Godard conceded to producer Carlo Ponti’s desire and produced a prologue for Contempt (Le Mépris) which comprised an extended single shot of Brigitte Bardot’s naked body, focusing particularly on her bottom. Godard emphasises this voyeuristic spectacle with the use of coloured filters and by calling attention to Bardot’s body in her dialogue. Under Coppola’s direction a similar but perhaps less explicit shot challenges classical narrative form offering the viewer an intimite (sic) image without context. Coppola’s intention with this opening shot appears to be to defy taboos and to undermine expectations surrounding what might be considered the “money shot” in more traditionally exploitative cinema.
Image

User avatar
Ben-B
Japanese Surfer
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:53 am
Location: under the bed

Postby Ben-B » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:17 pm

Good reading, cheers

Tonight I was thinking of rewatching Dreams (A. Kurosawa) and I realised that LIT makes visual reference to this film.

- Charlotte's private witnessing of the weding at the temple alludes to (both thematically and in shot composition) the Wedding of the Foxes in Dreams
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0335266/movieconnections)

I believe Mr. Kurosawa and her the writer/director's father were friends and peers. His work and person would have made an impression with her for sure.
The mood feels like Sophia's yet it seems she's been inspired by the dreams of others.

User avatar
Mr Kazu
Awake
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 1:21 am
Location: NY Bar

Postby Mr Kazu » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:13 pm

the inspiration

Image
"Let's never come here again because it would never be as much fun."


Return to “LIT - Chapter by Chapter”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest