Lost in Translation

Terrific film. Yeah, sure, so the portrayal of Japan and its people is two-dimensional – give it up, that’s not what the film’s about. Tokyo is a shorthand, a way of nudging at that dissonance we all feel at times. Alienation brings it into focus; the film could have been made in Berlin, or Rome, or Reykjavik. Or Glasgow, for that matter.

Bill Murray is stonkingly good, Scarlett Johanssen doesn’t have a whole heap to do except smile wanly while wearing knickers, but that’s harder than one suspects, no? And Tokyo looks enticingly exciting, in the right sort of arm’s-length style. Plot mavens may notice that fairly exactly nothing happens, but it happens with such glorious style and surety, I was delighted to let the detail and photography infuse.

And the closing music is an old Jesus and Mary Chain track, for heaven’s sake! How perfect can it get? Mum, Dad – I’ll set you up with the DVD in due course, don’t you worry.

Now… where’s my copy of Darklands gone?

3 thoughts on “Lost in Translation”

  1. psychocandy, now there was a record – and I have to say it was a record when I bought it and still is – must unpack my record player

  2. Having been to Japan in November I can vouch for much of the peculiarities of the film.
    Most of the population speaks no English and you’ll often end up in “conversation” for ages using a weird form of sign language and they absolutely piss themselves when you copy their body language or intonations.
    The most ammusing thing is the sheer volume of people. Even in small towns the streets are packed, and yet, bizarrely still, it’s really quiet. One of my favourite things about Japan was how quiet and clean it was [London felt like a deserted, but deafening village when I got back]. Apart from Osaka, which was dirty, noisey, smelly and wet; pretty much like Bladerunner, which was also good.

  3. Don’t know what URL means. Haven’t been to Japan but thought ‘Lost in Translation’ vastly overrated.Found myself planning menus and losing the plot(was there one?) at several points. Saw it as Hollywood trying to do Arthouse and failing miserably.The ending was excruciatingly awful. Spare us from any more Coppola nepotism.
    Remember me, Jonathan. Your mother directed us to your website and I couldn’t resist a comment.

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