a few ideas for people to comment on

Discuss the fabulous movie Lost In Translation!

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a few ideas for people to comment on

#1 Post by nikolaijapp » Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:20 pm

i just wanted to share a couple of thoughts i have had about the film with you guys, though these may have been brought up already.

Scarlet doesn't know her stuff: During the scene where scarlet and her husband are talking to the Anne Farris character, Scarlet criticizes her use of Evelyn Waugh as a pseudonym, however in reality Evelyn Waugh's wife was also called Evelyn, so in fact scarlet doesn't know as much as she thinks she does.perhaps this is the director suggesting that the west isn't as self contained and self knowing as it believes itself to be.

Bob and Scarlet watch Fellini's la dolce vita in the hotel room. In my opinion this citation of another film is incredibly suitable and ingenious choice by the director, as the film has a similar premiss. It is set over 7 nights in Rome, and shows the life of a nocturnal cast of characters. Fillini made the film with a soft grade effect, so as to give the audience the impression that we are watching a dream, or rather characters wondering around in a dream, slightly unaware of their environment. In the film Marcello, the lead male, is unsure of his direction in life, and the decisions he is making. Throughout the film he goes on all sorts of strange hedonistic trips through the Roman underworld, eventually coming to a few important self realizations. However apart from having a similar plot set up and lead character, the main feature the two films share is a notion of communication, as at the end of la dolce vita marcello cannot hear the words which his young love is mouthing to him. In contrast, in LIT the two characters have communicated so deeply that it is on a metaphorical level, beneath our wavelength.

Thurthering this point, many people have mentioned the inconstancies of time keeping, whether it be between Bob and lydia talking (the idea that the are having breakfast is implausible), or the arrangement of the rooms changing. However, whether deliberate of not, Fellini incorporated very deliberate similar devices in his films to unbalance the viewer. The whole metaphor for the hotel, the way it is entered from ground level via a lift, and appears to hang over tokyo, and the hazy lighting and sot focus, are all techniques to make the viewer engage with bob and scarlet. we share their time and space and are just as disorientated as they are. this way we share more with them and have a better connection. I is one of the greatest strengths of the film.

Another point i think is important, but one which is far more tenuous, is the idea that bob and scarlet aren't the only ones isolated from their new surroundings. Much has been said about the images Sophia uses to suggest that the western characters are isolated from the traditional values of tokyo: It would be stupid to deny this, as one only has to look at the frequent social and language mistakes bob makes, or the frequent images of Scarlet wondering alone around Japanese traditions. However, in many ways the western characters are not the only ones who are marginalized. In a poignant piece of social commentary, the film portrays the traditional areas of Tokyo and the surrounding Kansai region portrayed in the film as sparsely populated. She changes the hue of cinematic film during the temple, flower arranging, and gold scene, to make them appear grayer and colder. Whats more these scenes are populated by a few solitary older japanese figures. The vibrancy of the film comes in the portrayal of of noise and light, during the scenes in the pachenko and games parlour, adn during the nights out Bob spends with scarlet. I am off the opinion that these two western interlopers, inadvertently illustrate the dyeing culture of Japan, which is rapidly being replaced by western icons

My final thought betrays the romantic in me. I have read lots of people point out the inconstancy in the film, where by at the beginning as the trailers run, bobs views himself on a large poster with the drink. Many people have returned that he must have had these shots taken in the US. However, other people have also suggested that when we next see bob, cut from the car to the hotel lobby, he is wearing a slightly different shirt, and his hair is slightly different. Now i know this might be really pushing it, but isn't it a nice idea to think that what we see of bob in the cab at the beginning is actually him returning to Tokyo (for Scarlet) or more cynically just for another photo shoot) hence his surprise at seeing the suntori images. the rest of the movie is then him in flashback from the hotel onwards. I think its a cute idea...any opinions.

anyway just a few ideas for people to comment on

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#2 Post by jml98 » Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:39 pm

nice post! you brought to my attention some things that i hadn't noticed before...the last part about it being a flashback has been discussed, it is a very romantic way of looking at it indeed, sometimes when i'm in that kind of "mood", if you will, i think of it like that; other times i just think of it like its happening at that time (linear)....

you sure know a lot about the technical aspects (color and soft focus, etc) are you in some kind of class or something?

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#3 Post by Glyphiks » Sun Jun 26, 2005 7:09 pm

Yeah, that's quite impressive.

Can teach one how to be mentally involved when observing a film.

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#4 Post by sooner77 » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:43 am

Very interesting post although I think you are giving Sofia too much credit in some ways. LIT was shot in just 27 days and I have written off most of the continuity errors to that. Once the filming is over and you decide to rearrange scenes you're stuck with the attendant inconsistencies (Charlotte mentioning she's tried flower arranging before you see her try it etc.), wardrobe malfunctions, and other things that look to me more the result of a rushed filming schedule than any kind of grand design on the director's part.

LIT reminds me more and more of "Casablanca" as time goes by, a happy accident that turned out to be much better than the sum of the parts.

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#5 Post by wiggle » Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:36 pm

Your points sound strangely familiar. Did you copy and paste or write them yourself because I'm sure I've read those points somewhere else.
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#6 Post by You Make it Easy » Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:18 pm

Ive read these on IMDB's board.
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