Roger Ebert's Comments

Discuss the fabulous movie Lost In Translation!

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Suntory
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Roger Ebert's Comments

#1 Post by Suntory » Wed May 05, 2004 1:04 am

I really like Ebert and he gave LIT 4 stars. I found on imdb someone posted this from Ebert's Answer Man column which I thought was really interesting:
Q. "I work at a local video store and the recent release of "Lost in Translation" on DVD has had lots of
people asking about it. But I noticed that about 90 percent of the people that watched it said they didn't
like it. In fact, most of them said that it was one of the worst movies they've ever seen. They didn't
understand why it drew all of the attention that it got.

Is this because of the expectations that the general public has in their minds? Was it over-advertised by
the Oscar hype it got? Or is it just because the general public can't watch a film that will challenge them
to think when they are used to watching big-budget films where everything is drawn out for them?"

Sean O'Connell, Novato, Calif.

Ebert's Response:

A. Yes, yes and yes. "Lost in Translation" requires audiences to be able to pick up feelings and
information on frequencies that many moviegoers don't receive on. Most of the movies most people go
to see are made in such a way that not a moment's thought is required. The audience is a passive
receptor for mindless sensation. When I'm told by people that they hated "Lost in Translation," I have to
restrain myself from replying, "You are saying more about yourself than about the film."

"Lost in Translation" was applauded by 94 percent of the 190 critics monitored at rottentomatoes.com,
and by 97 percent of the major critics. Does that mean critics are (a) out of touch with popular taste, or
(b) have better taste than the customers at Sean O'Connell's video store? Before you answer,
remember that the mission of a good critic is not to reflect popular taste but to inform it."

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#2 Post by Guest » Thu May 20, 2004 2:36 pm

Ebert's review of LIT was the most insightful one I've read. His remark about how one can only really open up to a stranger was very insightful. People that know you have formed perceptions about how you're supposed to behave and if you start to weave outside the boundaries it makes them nervous. Charlotte's friend Lauren's reaction to the rambling phone call about visiting the shrine etc. is a prime example.

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#3 Post by Guest » Sun May 30, 2004 9:24 pm

Funny you mention how none of the customers liked the movie.

I work at a certain video store chain (biggest in the world), and the customers at the store I work at had the same reaction, too. They were like: "It's horrible" or "It's overrated" or "I didn't like it at all. Worst movie I've seen."

Ebert's response was great.

Movie watchers, at times, don't do thier job as audience members and "pick up" on what is unseen, unspoken, and, for all intents and purposes, "subtextual". They want in their faces, no interpretation. They don't want to be a part of the movie, they just want to watch it.

If they think it's boring, then they say it's bad. If it isn't boring, then they say it's good. Terrible criteria.

This movie, for me, was so much like poetry, in that, as the observer, I had to "turn on the switch" for myself. Mentally, I had to be involved. To me, Lost in Translation demanded that kind of cognizance.

Movie is one of my faves because of this (TOP FIVE).

Glyphiks
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#4 Post by Glyphiks » Sun May 30, 2004 9:25 pm

My name is Glyphiks and I'm a new user. That was me. ^^^

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Suntory
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#5 Post by Suntory » Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:40 pm

Yea my mind loves a challenge so if a movie makes me think then I like it!

Glyphiks
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#6 Post by Glyphiks » Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:43 am

^^^^Yup!

So, props to Sofia for that!!!!

Job well done!

*like she really needs to hear that from an anonymous Internet personality who barely knows anything about film*

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findingcharlotte
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rentals of LIT

#7 Post by findingcharlotte » Mon Nov 08, 2004 2:46 am

I think when LIT was released on DVD and people rushed to get it and then didnt " get it " en mass....it was due in part to the promotion of the release. Even when it was in theatres ( mainstream release ) I saw ad after ad saying " side splitting comedy " or " best comedy of year " along with endless references to the " lip my stockings " scene...Those who know the film can see how misleading the ads were...I think once it came out of limited release and the buzz had started ...promoters were caught off gaurd....How do we promote this little film when were used to pushing mainstream , mostly forgettable tripe week after week....I think promoters dont see gems like this waiting to get pushed to a mainstream movie going audience.....

We all know only certain lucky people " get " this film..I almost wish it hadnt hit the " multiplex " market at all...
Call me if you get lost...

" before we go, Im not as brave as I told you.."

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#8 Post by Drood » Thu Nov 11, 2004 2:09 am

If LIT is a comedy, then so is Star Wars. Moments of humour in an otherwise dramatic story.

Marketing types are pricks, and generally market a movie without actually seeing it first. (Classic example: Ravenous. HUGELY under appreciated movie, murdered by piss poor marketing.)

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