Monday, February 23, 2004

Lost in Translation

Watched "Lost in Translation" on DVD last Saturday. Thanks Kakyou!

Having been aware of racism claim against "Lost in Translation" some insists for the way Japanese was portrayed, secretly expected to see some unrealistic wired Japanese created by American imagination for fun in the film but none was recognized. From an eye of Tokyo local Japanese, I say this is the first Hollywood film the REAL TOKYO with REAL people was featured in there.

People Bill Murray works with looks just looks REAL people doing jobs of their kind. Shops and places Bill Marray and Scarlett Johansson hung out and easy-going young they sees are all REAL popular place for Tokyo-stay-foreigners and Japanese young likely to be hanging around such places. Scene that Bill stands a head taller than the crowds in lift is getting familiar view in crowded Tokyo train where looking around another direction can be seen shorter foreigners and taller young Japanese too. It's so real that Bill Murray is making ad of "Suntory" whiskey and appears on a real mid-night TV program, Matthew's Best Hit TV!! Matthew has a good presence!! Real irony is that professional translator woman who looks typical English elite fails to translate soul of words but easy-going young and Matthew has mach better way to communicate! I know these are not a favorite Japan of decent or scholar people prefer to see but are REAL people of Japan.

The other thing this film portrayed well is the feeling of travel to countries whose language I don't speak. The strongest was when I traveled to Prague for a week holiday just after Czech and Slovakia were separated, had totally lost there. People did not speak English and their service and tourist treatment based on former communism were often too far from comprehensible level. Plague was a beautiful town and people I saw was nice but can't deny how totally I was lost there.

I see this film is an ordinary American film about lonely American man and woman happened to meet at abroad they shortly stay. Has good taste but very doubt it's worth to be nominated to Academy award. Sofia's location choice is good to focus their inner as Tokyo is not worn-out for Hollywood and has as the best material prosperity yet still holds intrinsic language and culture, which is different from theirs. And she is one of few who detached Tokyo from the subject of exoticism and artistic illusion on particular part of culture of Japanese. This is good job!