Lost In Translation

Bob Harris: Bill Murray
Charlotte: Scarlett Johansson
John: Giovanni Ribisi
Kelly: Anna Faris
Commercial director: Yutaka Tadokoro

Focus Features presents a film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. Running time: 105 minutes. Rated R (some sexual content).

Central Theme
Most of us wander through life as if traveling in a foreign land. We feel no one understands or cares. Those closest to us, while initially offering the promise of deep companionship sometimes become distant. We long for simple breakthroughs with another person, which when experienced are refreshing like rain on parched earth.

Bob Harris (Murray) and Charlotte (Johansson) are two Americans in Tokyo. Bob is a movie star in town to shoot a whiskey commercial, while Charlotte is a young woman tagging along with her workaholic photographer husband (Ribisi). Unable to sleep, Bob and Charlotte cross paths one night in the luxury hotel bar. This chance meeting soon becomes a surprising friendship. Charlotte and Bob venture through Tokyo, having often hilarious encounters with its citizens, and ultimately discover a new belief in life’s possibilities.

Shot entirely on location in Japan, Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation is a valentine to the nature of close friendships and to the city of Tokyo. Ms. Coppola’s film, from her original screenplay, contemplates the unexpected connections we make that might not last – yet stay with us forever.

Ms. Coppola studied Fine Art at California Institute of the Arts. She then wrote and directed the short film Lick the Star (which world-premiered at the Venice International Film Festival), followed by the feature The Virgin Suicides (which she adapted from Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel, and which world-premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival). ‚© Focus Features.

This film is a visual and verbal exploration of the agonizing disconnect and isolation that characterizes human experience. From the language barriers posed by an American in Tokyo, to the “ships passing in the night” of a wife using long distance time to select carpet samples instead of relating to her husband, to the dissonance of Tokyo’s cacophonous, jangled sounds contrasted with a peaceful, still garden in Kyoto, everything in this move underscores the pain of human isolation from self, others and place. It is a brilliant expose and exploration of the human dilemma with sweet relief offered by the ¢â‚¬Ëœmisery loves company” serendipitous friendship forged by Bob And Charlotte. Against the backdrop of foreign language, Japan’s alien culture and their marital malaise theirs is the sweet friendship without pretext or subtitles and with minimal subtext.

Beliefs num
–Most of us feel lonely, disoriented and disenfranchised.
–Most communication is so bad we might as well be speaking a different language.
–We are building a society that tries to deaden that pain through noise, bright lights, fast-paced games.
–Natural beauty and ancient traditions still offer something real.
–As our life experiences differ from the ones we love. Our lives drift apart.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–What are the artistic merits of this film?
–What elements common to human experience did you resonate with in this film?
–What elements in word, deed, theme or behavior created a dissonance with who you are or want to be spiritually?
–What does this film tell us about who God is? Who humans are? What we are seeking in life?
–How does the gospel respond to the issue of isolation and loneliness?
–Is there a soul mate out there?
–Can someone who was once like a soul mate become distant through the passing of time and changes in circumstances?

Provocative Quotes byline
–I don’t know who I married.
==Charlotte to monks.
–Lip my stockings please.
==Masseuse wanting Bob to Rip here stockings
–I gotta get out of here as soon as I can.
==Bob to manager who wants him to stay another two days.
–She’s nice. Not everyone went to Yale.
==Charlotte’s husband when she doesn’t connect to young actress.
–There’s hope in resurrection¢â‚¬¦we both live in LA, we both like Mexican food, we have so much in common.
==Ditsy actress in press conference about her movie and co-star.
–Taking a break from my wife, missing my son’s birthday, getting paid $2 million to shoot a commercial when I could be doing a play somewhere.
==Bob at bar to Charlotte on why he is in Japan.
–You sleep eight years of your life. That knocks off eight years right there.
==Bob on how his marriage has lasted 24 years.
–What is this? A Soul’s Search. Finding Your True Calling?
==Bob sees what Charlotte is reading then confesses he has it to.
–Its not fun. Its just very, very different.
==Bob to wife on phone.
–The tightness has disappeared and been replaced by unbelievable pain.
==Bob after massage.
–I’m stuck. Does it get easier?
==Charlotte asks Bob.
–No., Yes it gets easier. The more you know who you are and what you want, the less things upset you.
–I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be.
–That’s hard. We used to have a lot of fun. She would come with me when I made movies¢â‚¬¦Now she doesn’t want to leave the kids¢â‚¬¦She doesn’t need me…It gets a whole lot more complicated when the kids are born¢â‚¬¦ The day your first child is born your life as you know it is gone, never to return¢â‚¬¦ Then they turn out to be the most delightful people you’ll ever meet in your life.
==Bob on marriage.
–You’re not hopeless.
==Bob to Charlotte as they fall asleep.
–Whatever you think¢â‚¬¦I am lost. I want to get healthy. I don’t want to eat pasta. I want to eat Japanese food.
==Bob to wife on phone.
–Do I need to worry about you Bob? I’ve got things to do; I’ve got to go.
==Wife to Bob on phone after he says he is lost.
–When are you leaving? I’ll miss you.
–I don’t want to leave.
–So don’t. Stay here with me. We’ll start a jazz band.
–I miss you. See you tonight.
==Fax from Charlotte.
–Hey you.
==Bob to Charlotte on the street as he is leaving.
–The Japanese phrase mono no aware, is a bittersweet reference to the transience of life. It came to mind as I was watching “Lost in Translation,” which is sweet and sad at the same time it is sardonic and funny.
==Roger Ebert.

Posted in Movies, Staublog in September 1, 2003 by | No Comments »

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