lost in racism.org

Discuss the fabulous movie Lost In Translation!

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Arluss
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lost in racism.org

#1 Post by Arluss » Sun May 09, 2004 11:01 pm

http://www.lost-in-racism.org/


Anyone else see this sorry excuse of a moral crusade? These people are so concerned with how Americans will percieve Japanese society that neglect to point out that the Japanese find Lost in Translation entertaining too.

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#2 Post by Suntory » Mon May 10, 2004 10:42 am


Random Drift
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Oh, give me a break

#3 Post by Random Drift » Mon May 10, 2004 12:58 pm

The whole LiT racism thing is just so irritating. The use of cultural differences in movies, especially comedies, are very common. Do people prefer the Tarantino version of Japan in Kill Bill1?

I've had the privilege of visiting about 20 different countries in the past 10 years and lived in 3 for some period of time. The cutural differences and misunderstandings due to language barriers and cultural differences are pretty interesting. I think LiT does a very good job at describing the kind of isolation and "disconnect" one feels when traveling in a country where you can't understand the language.

In Italy I was on the train one one day when a guy came up to me and asked me something in Italian. Thinking he was trying to sell something or a beggar, I just said "no thank you" and turned away. But the guy kept pestering me and would not leave. Then somebody behind me told me that the guy was asking to see my train ticket. It turn out he was the conductor! Well it was pretty damn funny. That is the kind of thing that happens when you don't understand the language. In the USA, where I presently live, I still laugh every time I go to Subway and they don't understand the British pronounciation of tomato. We all have to deal with the way the outside world see our particular culture or country. I'm from South Africa and if you look at the movies/TV you would think we all live in huts and have elephants as pets in our backyards. I met a guy in Fance that asked me whether I could give him a lion as a pet for his grandfather!

LiT definately did not make me think that Japanese people where stupid, incompetent or all prostitutes. In fact, it looked like a pretty interesting country in the best sense. After seeing the movie, I would love to go there one day.

I wish people would just relax and enjoy LiT for what it was: just a movie!
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Suntory
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Re: Oh, give me a break

#4 Post by Suntory » Mon May 10, 2004 4:52 pm

You can hear what Sofia has to say about this in several audio interviews that are online. I see they are now linked on the links page.
Random Drift wrote: I've had the privilege of visiting about 20 different countries in the past 10 years and lived in 3 for some period of time. The cutural differences and misunderstandings due to language barriers and cultural differences are pretty interesting. I think LiT does a very good job at describing the kind of isolation and "disconnect" one feels when traveling in a country where you can't understand the language.
I've done a lot traveling as well. It's one of the reasons I liked the movie so much was it's perspective of being a traveler in a strange land and those experiences.
Random Drift wrote: In Italy I was on the train one one day when a guy came up to me and asked me something in Italian.
In Milan I got on a train and gave the conductor my ticket and he said something. I said in Italian that I didnt speak Italian. He wrote down on a piece of paper that I had to give him 10 Lira because I bought the wrong type of ticket!!! I hate when that happens!
Random Drift wrote: In fact, it looked like a pretty interesting country in the best sense. After seeing the movie, I would love to go there one day.
I wish people would just relax and enjoy LiT for what it was: just a movie!
I felt exactly the samne way! I really wanted to go to Japan and see all those sites and experience the culture. Of course now I really cant as its very expensive and I dont have the $$$ now. But someday.

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#5 Post by Arluss » Mon May 10, 2004 5:20 pm

I want to study abroad in a few years to Japan so maybe I'll understand more of what it feels like from a traveller's point of view.

I also think its interesting to think about the differences in Japanese media which for years has had it's own way of developing compared to western and some eastern cultures. I mean an adult reading a comic book on the subway on their way to work is considered normal unlike here where reading comic books is considered kiddie or geek faire.

Not to mention Japanese also have a unique sense of humor, which is why anime is growing in popularity with kids, teens and the adults who grew up with it(like me.)

Edit and offtopic: I have a livejournal account too. It's not very interesting but, hey, I like passing it around. www.livejournal.com/users/arluss

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#6 Post by jeffyen » Wed May 12, 2004 10:54 am

Yeah, when I first saw the lost in racism, it was so embarrassing because I think the website was initiated by people from the Asian community (I'm Asian, you see). These guys totally miss the point, it's not even funny!

If I ever get to go to Japan again, I have to visit Kyoto! (and imagine how Acord actually got to present the sublime beauty of the temple with those few shots!)

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#7 Post by Arluss » Wed May 12, 2004 5:08 pm

I really don't think they speak for even a majority of the Asian community. They're just another group who likes to find things to complain about.

A while back at Game Bunker one of our writers wrote a review for Vietcong and used words like "gook" to give people an idea of how the game is. Well this writer is British born Chinese and he was doing it to be funny and ironic. We got so many complaint e-mails we just ended up doing a feature on whether or not realism in games should be that in depth.

Guest

#8 Post by Guest » Thu Jun 10, 2004 5:27 am

I just found this site. I love the movie.

Anyway, in regards to all the supposed anti Japanese stuff, one thing occured to me. There were a LOT of Japanese people who worked on this movie. Surely if it was that offensive, they'd have done something?

As a Brit, I have to suffer the continued stereotypes over here (I live in Canada now). How the English have bad teeth, like lots of candy etc... There's so many misconceptions, and you know what? I don't care. I don't personally think LIT does anything about the Japanese that isn't routinely done about the British.

It's just a bunch of people looking for a cause, and instead of fighting real battles that are important, they piss and moan about a movie.

Anum

Lost in Translation

#9 Post by Anum » Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:53 am

An article on Lost in Translation by Dyske Suematsu
Sofia Coppola's latest film "Lost in Translation" seems to be a national hit. The vast majority of critics are giving thumbs up, but there are a few critics voicing interesting opinions to the contrary. For National Post (Canadian), Robert Fulford writes a compelling criticism called "The joke's on them - Why can't the protagonists of Lost in Translation see what's around them?".

I liked the movie very much, but I find Fulford's arguments to be intriguing. He sees the two lead characters of the movie to epitomize the "ugly Americans" abroad with a sense of superiority and shameless ignorance. He builds convincing arguments, and I must agree with him on all. Many of the jokes rely heavily on the stereotypes of Japanese, and seem to parade modern Japanese culture as something ridiculous. Fulford goes as far as to imply that the movie is racist in some ways.

Many scenes in the film do support this argument. For instance, Bob and Charlotte make fun of the inability of the Japanese people to distinguish R's and L's. If you consider the situation in reverse, you could perhaps see how offensive this might be to some. Imagine a situation where you as an American meet some Japanese people here in the US. Say, you know a little bit of Japanese language. In order to convey your respect to them, you take the risk of appearing ridiculous by speaking to them in Japanese. Imagine how you would feel if the Japanese people made fun of your poor pronunciation.

Another scene at a Japanese restaurant, Bob takes advantage of the fact that the Japanese chef cannot understand English. He not only tells Charlotte to take one of her shoes off, but also yells condescendingly at the chef, something to the effect of, "What's with that serious face?" Imagine at 21 Club, or at any formal restaurants here in the US, a Japanese couple is talking loudly and obnoxiously in Japanese. She takes one of her shoes off in front of a waiter. The Japanese man starts yelling at the waiter in Japanese. You could see how offensive this might be to many people. The ironic thing here is that in both scenarios, Americans would see nothing wrong with themselves. In the latter case, they would simply see Japanese people to be rude and crass. They would not see the act to be ridiculing the Americans.

Americans are often criticized for blaming everyone but themselves. These scenes are vivid examples of this. It does not occur to Bob and Charlotte to learn a word or two of Japanese, but they have the audacity to make fun of the Japanese for their inability to distinguish R's and L's. When an American trips on a sidewalk, the first thing he/she does is to blame the sidewalk and sue the city. Most Japanese people would question themselves first, and they would never even entertain the idea of suing the city, because suing the city means to sue their fellow citizens.

This is true with most Eastern countries. The East is more self-critical and introspective than the West in most situations. Most easterners are aware when they are made fun of, looked down on, pushed around, and criticized, but they have the wisdom not to retaliate because they understand that not all problems in life can be solved by attacking or fighting back.

Guest

i think

#10 Post by Guest » Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:10 pm

i think its prety normal its just like putting arabs as terrorists in movies its just a point of view so i really dont think that this movie insults japan in any way

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