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Lost in Translation (2003)

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Just saw Lost in Translation.

lost_translation_175.jpg

Give Bill Murray an Oscar.

As a matter of fact, give Scarlett Johannson an Oscar.

Give the cinematographer an Oscar.

And at least nominate Sofia Coppola. (This is, after all, the year they give Peter Jackson what they owe him.)

I give it: biggrin.gif/ :red: :pinkie: :thumb:


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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When does it open there?


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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September 12.

If Sofia Coppola ever wanted to marry Jim Jarmusch, I would agree to be their best man.

Alas, Sofia is already taken... by Spike Jonze, if I remember right.

I say this with all the gravity of a seasoned, professional, intellectual critic: Scarlett Johannson is now the official "it girl" of 2003.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Hey, what a matchup. I bet thier progeny would look like Robert Bresson. (I didn't know you were such a Jarmusch fan.)

Spike Jonze, eh? What a waste. Looking forward to reading your review. We don't catch it here until 9/4.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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I say this with all the gravity of a seasoned, professional, intellectual critic: Scarlett Johannson is now the official "it girl" of 2003.

Cool. I just discovered her last week, watching "Ghost World." I found myself wishing the film had told me a little more about her character, and a little less about Enid.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian, drop everything and rent The Man Who Wasn't There. Not the greatest Coen Brothers film, but a very very good one, and she's dynamite in her small part.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I have seen "The Man Who Wasn't There" but didn't remember her being in it.

I'm overdue to see that film again. I liked it quite a bit. My brother bought the DVD but I haven't gotten around to borrowing it. I'll make a point of it.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I first noticed her in The Horse Whisperer. She's definitely cool.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I am so glad to see your enthusiastic post, Jeffrey. i've been excited about this for quite some time now. Is a review forthcoming?

Would you now say that Coppola is working in her own tenor, with her own recognizable nature, or has she wandered away from that dreamy, atmospheric style that she so easily flaunted in The Virgin Suicides?

-s.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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If Kieslowski were alive today, I'll bet he'd come up with a fourth episode of the trilogy for her.

Oh, man. i missed this post. I think i just got my own question answered.

-s.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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dangit i just realized that you were referring to Scarlett J and not Sofia C.

OK, i'm a bit slow, but i'm back.

-s.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Oh, it's dreamy, alright. Slow, languid, gorgeous, poetic... I just wanted it to go on and on and on. You could sum up the plot in just a few words, but they'd be empty words.

You can all see the trailer at www.focusfeatures.com ...

but don't do it. Don't let it sum up all these choice little moments for you, because they're better experienced fresh and in the flow of the film.

Don't you love it when people tell you not to go somewhere, and then give you the key? Ain't I a stinka? :twisted:


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I've actually seen the trailer twice in the theater and was beginning to get worried that Coppola'd sold out to the Murray ala Stripes or Ghostbusters crowd.

-s.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Hey all!! I'm sitting in the internet booth at LAX typing this response. It's kinda weird, I'm sitting in here 3000 km from home, but this forum is like a little bit of familiarity when I'm so far away.

That said, I've seen the trailer (unfortunately according to Jeffrey) and I agree that this is one of my most anticipated films of the year. Right after Kill Bill and ROTK. Can't wait to see it. Wish I was a respected critic so I could see films months before release.

Anyway, I'll try to have fun in Disneyland for you guys. Later.


"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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I have envied people here before, but never like this.

TOTAL COMPLETE CONGRATS. THAT IS SO COOL. 8)


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Take the disc, and if you feel any connection, do it. And then explain to her that i'm one of her biggest fans, and that i think she's a greater director for the current generation than her dad was for his.

-s.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I know this is a premature thread. But I can't wait to start talking about this one. The maturity of both the cultural and emotional expression behind this film is incredible. Coppolla said that since this was her sophmore effort, and all second films are usually bad, that she would have fun with it and do something that she wanted and not worry about being a genius. Well, I hope she keeps filming with this attitude, the ease and unpretentious grace with which this film rolls off the screen is magnificent.

But that doesn't even touch on the content of the film itself. The Lost in Translation subtext is remarkably profound. Is there anything we can talk about without spoiling it for others who haven't caught it yet?


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Oh wow. Finally, someone else besides Parks and I have seen it. (You know, there WAS a thread on this already...)

I'm working on my review. So far, it's my favorite non-documentary, non-animated film of the year.

SPOILERS MAY BE AHEAD

Okay, this is going to be off-the-top-of-my-head and rambling, but here goes.

Coppola is the real story here. She's just arrived at the level of Jarmusch for me. Such confident filmmaking, such gorgeous light, such a perfect fusion of imagery and music.

I think Murray and Johannson, both brilliant, delivering performances I doubt they'll ever top, create a relationship almost completely unique in the library of film. There are only two relationships I can think of that compare: Jeff Bridges and Rosie Perez in "Fearless" and Albert Brooks and Leelee Sobieski (sp?) in "My First Mister", but this one is even more complex and profound than those.

The "Fearless" connection is important: Bridges and Perez played a couple bound together by mutual truama, having graduated to a new level of wisdom and understanding about life. By graduating to that level, they find it hard not to live in contempt of others who are still caught up in what they now regard as trivial things. But the triumph of "Fearless" is that Bridges DOES choose, in the end, to bite the bullet and honor his responsibilities... to come back down to earth. There is a similar story at work in "Lost in Translation."

Bob and Charlotte's unlikely friendship is a triumph of storytelling because (again... SPOILERS!!! TURN BACK UNTIL YOU SEE THE FILM!!) Coppola doesn't go down the obvious, available, predictable path of a sexual connection between them. The characters are mature enough to know that their relationship is about something else. Sure, the temptation is there, but they can see past it to something deeper.

Christian film critics... many of them anyway... will jump to the conclusion that these two are being "unfaithful" to their spouses. I beg to differ. They have the opportunity to be unfaithful, but no, they are together for very different reasons. Bob needs to rediscover a youthful sense of wonder and courage. Charlotte needs a voice of age and experience in her life to tell her that it won't always be so frustrating.

It is likely that neither of their marriages will last... both seem sorely flawed to begin with. But in their friendship, Bob and Charlotte begin to realize how to get beyond the surface of things, how to find something meaningful in the surface-oriented, sensation-oriented, isolating big city experience.

Charlotte is drawn to ritual, to religion, to tradition... she wants a Part to Play in the Drama. Even though she doesn't understand it, she gets a quiet thrill from planting a flower in a temple ritual. This stands in sharp contrast to the ego-driven career of her daffy husband (Giovanni Ribisi).

And her husband, the American photographer on assignment... what a fool. Ribisi plays him perfectly, as a kid wearing clothes and sunglasses that he hasn't yet grown into. He astonishes the audience by ignoring or else overlooking the beauty in his own hotel room and yet going ga-ga over the ditzy Cameron Diaz clone (Anna Faris) that he encounters by chance.

And Charlotte is beautiful. As I said before, Kieslowski probably wants to dig himself out of his grave so he can film a fourth part of the Colors trilogy with Scarlett Johansson in the lead. She is more fascinating with each film she does.

Murray, on the other hand, is (if I can echo words that will probably appear in J. Robert's review) "pure poetry." It's amazing that THIS actor is capable of such complex emotion. With a glance, he can shock you, turning a moment of light affable sarcasm into a glimpse down the abyss. There is so much sadness and longing and regret in this character.

Ultimately, I think the film is about finding meaning in a world that has become a Menu of Empty Experiences. It is about breaking through and communicating. "How do I get off this thing?" cries Murray, stuck on the running machine. "I feel stuck," says Charlotte. "Does it get easier?" In a world that constantly lets you down, how do you "get off" of the machine and start making real progress? You know the one-word answer, but the film delivers it so beautifully.

It is, in a way, related to Code Unknown... a story about being alienated in an instant-gratification world. You will not find lasting satisfaction in anything UNLESS you experience it in relationship. Charlotte is looking for some kind of profound connection to that sense of mystery and the sacred. She is learning the codes to connect with people in spite of the barriers of culture and tradition. The film's respect for tradition leaves me thinking that Coppola is not making a mockery of marriage, but revering it. The fact that two people in separate marriages make that discovery together will unsettle many Christians, but the fact that they discover it at all is wonderful, and that they respect each other enough not to corrupt their personal commitments is a great relief.

Not that they're perfect. Murray's character makes stupid stupid mistakes (which the film portrays as stupid stupid mistakes.)

But the film ends on a rush of hope and joy, tinged with sadness. He has had a meaningful encounter that will restore his hope, remind him of what is disappearing from his marriage, and perhaps give him the gumption to return home and make a go of it.

That big moment at the end (remaining intentionally vague here) is not about romance or sex or betrayal. It is about groping for the only expression they can find for what they mean, have meant, to each other.

Kudos to Coppola for concocting one of the most complex and challenging relationship stories I've seen in a long time.

Bring on the PFCC Awards!!


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Oh goodness. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have said, especially about thier performances.

SPOILERS

The "older man and younger woman in love" thing is hard to pull off. BUT, they do it effortlessly, and without stumbling into the whimpering erotica Lolita.

The thing I like the most about the film is its ending, and how Coppolla uses that apparent ambiguity to us to reach back and tie up all the loose ends about what "Lost in Translation" really means.

SPOILERS

Permit me, indulge me, to quip an excerpt from my review draft for the sake of efficiency: "The implicit irony is that nothing throughout the course of the film is lost in translation. The subtext of the utterly human experience shared by Bob and Charlotte resides clearly between the lines of thier unspoken similarities and the occasionally comfortable private moment. They are both dissatisfied and they are both homesick, but they don't even know where home is. Lost In Translation is about the way people find homes in each other, an experience that in contemporary urban society is a familiar bedrock of meaning. In an endless city filled with what for them is empty signs and meaningless interactions they find a language game of thier own to play.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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