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Debaser
01-07-2004, 13:30:01
I don't think there's been a thread about this film before, but my apologies if there has.

I just watched Lost in Translation, and it's excellent. Everythinbg about it's superb. Bill Murry's really funny, Scarlett Johansson's really cool and cute and foxy, the cinematography's perfect, and makes an amazing place look even more amazing, and the directions excellent, really capturing the characters feelings, even in the long scenes without dialogue. The music's wicked too, but you'd expect that when it consists of My Bloody Valentine tracks and new music from Kevin Shields, along with other amazing bands like Phoenix, and Bill Murry doing karaoke .

Anyway, everyone watch it. It's really good.

BigGameHunter
01-07-2004, 17:22:47
My wife and I loved it. It is one of those rare "atmospheric" works that really speaks for itself by creating such a strong sense of mood and place you really feel like a fly on the wall.
Having lived in Tokyo, I felt they could have captured the profound disorieantation an American feels upon arriving there...they took a good stab at it it, but it really is like going down the rabbit hole.
I don't remember who won the Oscar vs. Murray, but it's a shame.

Nills Lagerbaak
01-07-2004, 21:33:59
Aha, don't forget the "let's patronise anothe culture for the sake of "Art"" angle....:D

BigGameHunter
01-07-2004, 23:22:59
On which end of the equation? Did you think the Japanese were portrayed poorly in the film? I don't recall anything too blatant--in fact, the party scenes indicated what I remembered to be what was a typical inhibitionless night on the town...

Angelhorns
01-07-2004, 23:48:00
I havent seen it yet, to my shame

BigGameHunter
02-07-2004, 00:38:16
You probably wouldn't understand it. If you need, come back here and I'm sure someone will break it down for you.

Angelhorns
02-07-2004, 01:41:12
/slap bgh

Nills Lagerbaak
02-07-2004, 16:45:12
I found the characters attitute towards Japan extremely patronising, but then I found both the charatcers generally annoying. The counter-argument is that neither of them wanted to be there.
I don't really feel strongly either way, but out of the people I know, opinions seem to be polarised about 50/50.

BigGameHunter
02-07-2004, 16:47:42
What attitude? There seemed to be a lack of interface/engagement altogether until drinking kicked in. I think that's a bit of a part of the theme.

Angelhorns
02-07-2004, 17:30:41
Anything with Bill Murray in is good
thats a general cinematic law

BigGameHunter
02-07-2004, 17:54:35
Yah...I hear Dodgeball is the modern Caddyshack with Vince Vaughn as Murray...I might have to see that, though I don't really like slapstick/physical comedy.

Angelhorns
03-07-2004, 12:54:46
I reckon Vince Vaughan is way underrated. He is a really good actor and great comedian. I love swingers.

Debaser
03-07-2004, 14:53:03
I've read a few reviews which have talked about the shallowness of the Japanese characters, but as far as I can tell the point of the film is that the two leads are thrown together as a result of being in a place that's completely alien and impenitrable to them. It's a story of two people who are totally out of place, and to fill in the details of everyone in the film would reduce the sense of isolation which the film revolves around. There's nothing offensive about the portrayal of the Japanese, it's just not a film about them.

Qweeg
07-07-2004, 08:33:52
A boring film, I hated it, like being stuck in a waiting lounge for two hours with two moody twats that don't want to be there. Would have been more fun watching a couple of Northerners on the Continent grumbling about how they refuse to eat any of that foreign muck, sod off back to Bodddmin then, people shouldn't be allowed to go and bother the Japanese, just to make a film as empty and narcessistic as this.

Never realized Bill Murray could be such an unfunny twat-faced plonker. Very dissapointing.

Aredhran
07-07-2004, 09:50:13
My favorite scene was the shooting of the whisky commercial... When the director goes on and on with his instructions in japanese, and then the translator just says "look at camera!", then bill, "is that all he said", then more japanese blah followed by translation "look more intense!" :lol: hilarious

Qweeg
07-07-2004, 09:53:41
Yeah, and there was one other funny bit I believe...

Help TCO
07-07-2004, 11:25:01
Originally posted by Debaser
I've read a few reviews which have talked about the shallowness of the Japanese characters, but as far as I can tell the point of the film is that the two leads are thrown together as a result of being in a place that's completely alien and impenitrable to them. It's a story of two people who are totally out of place, and to fill in the details of everyone in the film would reduce the sense of isolation which the film revolves around. There's nothing offensive about the portrayal of the Japanese, it's just not a film about them.

Yes, but Nils is not bright enough to see that.

Debaser
07-07-2004, 12:18:28
Amen to that.

King_Ghidra
07-07-2004, 13:01:48
There was an article in the guardian a few months back by someone who was protesting against the film at cannes who found it grossly offensive and racist to the japanese. Let me go and find it.

GP
07-07-2004, 13:05:39
It's right next to the article about people protesting Huck Finn for the n word and two down from the antisorcery Harry Potter complaints.

King_Ghidra
07-07-2004, 13:07:09
Found it: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1130137,00.html

GP
07-07-2004, 13:34:59
Her background lends some credibility to the article for sure, but her words are over the top. In no way is it reasonable to compare this movie to an Amos and Andy or the like. IF you doubt that, then you haven't seen such works.

I also think that she missed the points of the movie. There is more to a work of art than the surface issue of how approving it is of non-western cultures. And I don't see the way Japanese are treated as so strange as she did. I have partied with orientals. It is different, but you can have fun, but it is still different. And that is ok. Heck we could write the same story in reverse, why not?

I thought LIT was a very grown up story. Much better than the trite, TV-influenced PC-morality plays that we typically see from Hollywood.

GP
07-07-2004, 13:36:04
The one part that grated on me a bit was the filming of the TV commercial.

Qweeg
07-07-2004, 16:42:47
I didn't dislike LiT so much because I thought it was racist... I disliked it because I thought it was boring. And anyway, going to a foreign country and moping about grumbling 'don't like it, everything's foreign and strange' isn't big or clever.

Anybody who gets paid Two Mil to do a couple weeks filming adverts and yet dares to look moody and put-upon should be slapped.

Angelhorns
07-07-2004, 18:17:45
I havent seen this film, but having read that article, I understand her point but basically she really needs a humour bypass. While stereotypes can grate, they can also be amusing. If I got arsey every time I saw a joke about SCotland in this country I'd be one pissed off lady nearly every day. Look at the way Hollywood treats the Scots- they cant even get the accent right! But I still find films like 'So I married an axe murderer' funny with its haggis eating, kilt wearing, perpetually drunk, bay city rollers playing father. Why? Because its funny and affectionately done, its not done to seriously suggest that is a Scottish lifestyle- its a caricature. Same in Braveheart- we all know every Scot is not noble and altruistic, but thats the nature of cinema, to exaggerate and distill the essence of a story. I do think Western society has its head up its arse these days. You cant even mention a country without being accused of being racist. I'm sure LiT could have worked equally well set in any number of countries with some script adjustment. The bit mentioned above where he says 'is that all he said?' is just a classic gag, its not anti Japanese, its been done a thousand times. And frankly, any country where you can buy schoolgirls knickers from vending machines in the streets IS a bit bloody weird imho, but so what, life would be utterly fucking boring if we all had a mono-culture and the same way of looking at everything so we could morally and smugly approve it. Isnt the weirdness of other places to our own eyes the reason we travel? It doesnt mean we're looking down on it, just seeing it differently.
Thats what I think anyway...

Qweeg
08-07-2004, 07:11:27
I think it's sweet when Angelhorns posts stream-of-conciousness, very earnest, you can tell she really means it. :)

Help TCO
08-07-2004, 12:03:56
Originally posted by Qweeg
I didn't dislike LiT so much because I thought it was racist... I disliked it because I thought it was boring. And anyway, going to a foreign country and moping about grumbling 'don't like it, everything's foreign and strange' isn't big or clever.

Anybody who gets paid Two Mil to do a couple weeks filming adverts and yet dares to look moody and put-upon should be slapped.

Yeah...i understand your criticism of the pace. I still liked it, but I understand that. Regarding griping about Japan, it was really understated. And if you've ever spent a long time from home in a foreign culture, you will understand that. That was what the movie was about more than "ooh look at the wierd people".

BigGameHunter
08-07-2004, 16:13:24
I didn't see anything in that film that could be termed as racist--not even remotely. Anyone with some familiarity with Japan could have really taken the gloves off and gone to town if they had wanted--and they did'nt--at all.
Their game/talk shows are quirky and odd, Asian language DOES indeed seem "long" when translated to English, and a Westerner who does not speak the language is going to feel like they are a strange mix of invisible/neon--moving through a place with an inability to comprehend what is going on around them and yet being the center of attention in a "ooh, look, a white person" way.
It's funny how everyone is focusing on the cultural aspect of the movie...it's just a story about human isolation, how we can be alone even when we are surrounded by people or the center of attention. How we ignore each other and act on a very superficial level to the point that our relationships are near dead and meaningless though we work to keep up outward appearances and go through all the motions of concern and care, even when we don't.
I thought it was brilliant and feel sorry for the people who don't seem to "get it". They probably don't like "Being There" either....?

Qweeg
08-07-2004, 16:25:35
I loved Being There, and I did get this film... but feeling isolated and confused in a train-station at rush hour isn't my idea of cinema going fun, this film caught that feeling... accurately. I still hated it. And to think I used to think Bill Murray was cool.

But Top Analysis to ya sir, on the head opinion of the film.

BigGameHunter
08-07-2004, 16:30:37
Huh? Did you say something?

Qweeg
08-07-2004, 17:11:48
No, not really, I mean... when you think about it.

Nills Lagerbaak
09-07-2004, 16:49:48
Originally posted by Help TCO
Yes, but Nils is not bright enough to see that.

Who are you, do I know you?

Funkodrom
12-07-2004, 08:27:23
Someone says he isn't bright and he assumes it's someone who must know him. :lol:

Nills Lagerbaak
12-07-2004, 12:28:35
Well, either that or I'm sugesting he isn't qualified to make those kind of statements :D

zmama
12-07-2004, 14:57:11
But Funko's interpretation is funnier :D

protein
21-08-2004, 22:33:28
Just saw this film and immediately thought "I hope Debaser has seen this, he'd love it".

Surely enough he was the thread starter. :)

The film is excellent in so many ways. Visually it's stunning - Japan has now moved about ten places up my 'places to visit' list.

The film portrays jet lag perfectly. That feeling when you watch the clock click past 5am and you are completely wide-eyed and awake. It portrays being in an alien culture brilliantly too. The lead characters start off by feeling out of their depth amd alienated and then end up being completely absorbed by the place. The film gives the feeling of them just going with the flow and soaking up the experience. I have had a taste of that a couple of times in my life and I wish I was loaded enough to travel so I could experience that feeling all the time.

The music is absolutely stunning, so stunning that I'm going to buy the album - which will be the first album I've bought in years (I know I should buy music, I'm just too busy/poor etc).

The night we landed in Thailand we went to a fast food Japanese style restaurant exactly the same as the restaurant in the film. Nobody spoke English, the menus showed pictures of dishes that all looked the same and when we eventually managed to order we were given a load of raw fish and a pan of boiling water. The way they reacted in the film was identical to our reaction. A cross between embarassment, humour, dispair and delight. There's nothing to compare to enjoying being out of your depth.

My favorite scene would have to be when Bill Murray is waiting in the hospital waiting room talking to a patient. She is trying her best to communicate in Japanese and he in English and they end up in a useless sign language conversation. Behind them are a pair of extras who just can't contain their giggling. It's clear that the whole scene was a real ad-libbed situation that was so wonderful that it just had to be in the film. Actually, I got the impression that much of the film was ad-libbed because the acting (both by the leads and the Japanese) was so natural. Especially the kareoke and drinking/smoking scenes. They seemed to capture the slightly out of control, fun but scary feeling of a proper party. - The scene where they were chased away by a man with what seemed to be a laser guided semi automatic taser-gun was exactly that. Out of control, scary but increadibly funny.

I really want to go to Japan now. :)

Angelhorns
21-08-2004, 23:46:20
I bought the DVD because I knew I was going to love it, and I did. It gave me that aching feeling you feel when something is beautiful but sad but happy. I could watch it every day. I thought the cinematography was just incredible, and Bill Murray is such a genius (and still gorgeous). I loved the intimacy of the two characters and the way it was held back- so rare in films these days. I thought it was almost like an updated version of Brief Encounter in that way And what did he whisper in her ear??
Its gone straight to my top ten list.

paiktis22
29-08-2004, 17:44:27
I've seen it and liked it. Those films come by in a dozen but it's nice to see one in the "hollywood" package as well. Unescapably it evaded it but there couldn't be any other way.
Very nice.

King_Ghidra
13-10-2005, 10:01:44
Fnally watched this this week. I think my feelings on it are nicely summed up by:

Originally posted by Angelhorns
It gave me that aching feeling you feel when something is beautiful but sad but happy.

It dredged up a lot of old feelings and thoughts about past relationships and stuff for me, i was very touched by it.

I thought it was interesting in the comments that sofia coppola was saying that their relationship was very much non-sexual, and 'they both know it is going nowhere'. I'm not sure how the final scene is supposed to fit into that argument, in the main it is certanly non-sexual and about two people being intimate without relationship overetones, but in the final few scenes it seems to gain a different kind of intensity, you realise they really don't want to be apart. Perhaps it is just suposed to illustrate the extremes of loneliness and our responses to it, i don't know


great film

Japher
13-10-2005, 14:10:27
I hated it. I thought it was utter shit in fact.

TCO
07-03-2006, 01:38:08
Ending was well done.

Scabrous Birdseed
07-03-2006, 08:50:59
Hated it completely. It's a dull, racist movie about two incredibly dull, racist people, who whine and do nothing while they're in one of the world's most vibrant and interesting cities. Are you supposed to feel any sympathy for them? I certainly don't.

Nills Lagerbaak
07-03-2006, 10:14:01
There you go! I completely agree, I hated both those characters.

King_Ghidra
07-03-2006, 10:49:22
I find that strange. Whine and do nothing? Scarlett goes out and has a wander on her own, but the message is clear, she has no-one to share the fun with. When she and bill team up they go out and have a great laugh in tokyo with some japanese friends.

I don't see how it can be more simple than that, just because you're somewhere cool doesn't mean you have to be having a good time. After all London is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world, but is everyone in London having a great time?

I really can't take the racism criticisms seriously either. I don't think the film ever goes beyond the 'foreign people and foreign languages can seem weird and funny' level, which is hardly racism, most of us indulge in some kind of casual mocking of the foreign and unusual every day, even if it's of the 'english people all have bad teeth' kind which we see so often on CG.

Scabrous Birdseed
07-03-2006, 16:36:29
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
I find that strange. Whine and do nothing? Scarlett goes out and has a wander on her own, but the message is clear, she has no-one to share the fun with. When she and bill team up they go out and have a great laugh in tokyo with some japanese friends.

Did we see the same film? In my copy Scarlett goes to old, empty shrines, doesn't understand them and is bored. The She and Bill team up and get dragged along with some japanese people they barely know and don't like particularly, to a number of places they don't understand and are bored by.

That one moment of disinterested semi-action ais surrounded by two hours of Scarlett and Bill staying in their hotel rooms or sitting endelssly in the westernised hotle bar, like the two ruminating cows they are.

Debaser
07-03-2006, 17:01:45
I think you did see a different film, I don't remember a bit where they " get dragged along with some japanese people they barely know and don't like particularly, to a number of places they don't understand and are bored by", I remember them going out with her friends on a wild night of drunken shoot-outs and kareoke. They clearly have a great time.

devilmunchkin
07-03-2006, 19:34:39
saw it and loved it! but my bf fell asleep.
If you like this one, also watch The Aquatic Life with Steve Zizzou.

Lazarus and the Gimp
07-03-2006, 19:47:00
It's got possibly the best use of a song in a film ever. The scene in which they're driving across Tokyo with Scarlett falling asleep, and My Bloody Valentine's "Sometimes" kicks in- it's just crushing.

TCO
07-03-2006, 23:45:36
scab, you must have no artistic insights.

so what...maybe the movie is exactly what you claimed in terms of the events...but it's STILL well done and and interesting and 10 times better than the peurile TV-morality play of most films.

Colon
08-03-2006, 04:32:52
I also thought it was a bit patronizing at times, several aspects of Japanese culture were clearly displayed for laughter. However, I think it's unfair to blindstare on these scenes since Japan was also often put into a positive light. I don't see how else you can not feel a sense of amazement and admiration to the scene in which Murray was driven through Tokyo at night or the scene in which Johansson wanders around in central Tokyo with that massive screen in background. Same thing with the scenes in which aspects of traditional Japan is displayed, such as the buddhist temple and the garden. I think it's hard not to feel a sense of respect for that.

I think it's a great movie. It has a focus on situations, conversations and gestures without further consequences I appreciate a lot. It doesn't try to drag you through a high-octane story, with numerous of hurdles to jump, as if you're participating in a triatlon. That makes it very relaxing to watch and allows you to appreciate the emotional undertones.

Scabrous Birdseed
08-03-2006, 08:54:45
Good lord. You people are reading in what you like in this movie, aren't you? It's just a movie about two people who meet up a bit when they're a bit bored. There's no deeper meanings. No artistic intent. Certainly no amazement with japan and its culture. It's quite obvious neither of them care, staying in that fucking hotel all day.

Nills Lagerbaak
08-03-2006, 09:41:41
Agreed. It's a very dull, romantic drama. I don't even know why they set it in Japan, probably just to force these two boring people together through "cultural strangeness", if that's not patronizing I don't know what is.

King_Ghidra
08-03-2006, 09:50:40
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
Good lord. You people are reading in what you like in this movie, aren't you?

you are open to exactly the reverse accusation, and debaser already pointed out your bizarrely misjudged interpretation of a specific scene - something which is a good guide to your bizarrely misjudged interpretation of the rest of the film

Scabrous Birdseed
08-03-2006, 09:52:20
I maintain that they enjoy themseleves in that scene despite of what goes on around them, not because of it. I mean, they keep staying put in the hotel afterwards.

King_Ghidra
08-03-2006, 10:01:23
that is a bizarre interpretation

as to your second point, they later go out to meet their japanese friends again but the guys they know have gone to that strip bar and neither of them are much impressed by it so they leave and go somewhere else

the more you explain your opinion the more it becomes clear you are making the film fit your interpretation

TCO
09-03-2006, 00:08:22
scab, you are a fucking PC moron. Go protest Huck Finn and Harry Potter and the Cleveland Indians.

Colon
09-03-2006, 03:14:56
Scabrous, just curious, do you think Black Cat, White Cat was racist too? The Piano? Amelie?

TCO
09-03-2006, 06:09:47
Birth of a Nation?

BigGameHunter
09-03-2006, 06:35:17
Roots?

Debaser
09-03-2006, 09:06:38
Big Trouble In Little China?

Scabrous Birdseed
09-03-2006, 11:22:26
Triumph of the Will?

Oh wait, you people are asking me. Um, is Sofia Coppola suddenly Japanese? Que? 'Cause all of the other non-joke-answer films except The Piano* were done by people from a certain ethnic group about that ethnic group. Which to most reasonable people makes some sort of difference surely.

* What ethnic group are we talking about here? Englishwomen? Kiwis? Kiwis trying to be Maoris? Jane Campion is like, at least one and a half of those.

maroule
09-03-2006, 11:35:55
I heard that argument once. An israeli guy told me I shouldn't talk about Israel or Palestine, since I was neither jew nor arab.

Let's keep to our tribes, the universality of the human condition is the myth...

Scabrous Birdseed
09-03-2006, 11:50:12
"Talk about" <> "Trying to artistically represent". :rolleyes: Surely no-one can object to the idea of treating foreign cultures with a measure of humility and respect?

Why have I been into the sole defenders position when it comes to the racist thing? For the record, I think it's perfectly okay to joke with the Japanese since they're pretty much our equals when it comes to power.

Funko
09-03-2006, 11:55:07
Who is "our" in our equals?

Scabrous Birdseed
09-03-2006, 12:16:23
The Noble Swedes, of course.

Okay, they're more powerful. :o

Nills Lagerbaak
09-03-2006, 12:45:42
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
"Talk about" <> "Trying to artistically represent". :rolleyes: Surely no-one can object to the idea of treating foreign cultures with a measure of humility and respect?

Why have I been into the sole defenders position when it comes to the racist thing? For the record, I think it's perfectly okay to joke with the Japanese since they're pretty much our equals when it comes to power.

I expected a much better portrayal of Japan from this film (especially after all the hype). Something I think is reinforced about this film is the American steretype of ignorance and not really caring what a country is like. I thought it ended up using Japan as a plaything for these two bored / boring individuals, in a very patronising way.

maroule
09-03-2006, 12:56:35
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
"Talk about" <> "Trying to artistically represent". :rolleyes: Surely no-one can object to the idea of treating foreign cultures with a measure of humility and respect?


That was perfectly done in LiT

I've seen, and will keep seeing, a shit load of US movies lacking "humility and respect" about foreign cultures, but LiT is not one of them. Au contraire.

That the "heroes" don't want to get out of their hotel doesn't imply the jap culture is shite. It's a movie about estrangement, about being burnt out, and lonelyness. I was very happy to see a high profile US movie adressing grown up feelings, for once.

If you yap racism about that, I wonder which volume you'll need when genuine racism comes across.

Besides, thanks god sterotypes can be used in stupid comedies, no harm done. Watch the Pink Panther doing well in France.

maroule
09-03-2006, 12:59:27
Nills, again, it's not a movie about Japan. Blame the hype, or your expectations, not the movie.

It's like moaning the glorious shit with Stalone, Ardiles, Pele etc (the war movie about football, victory something) doesn't protray football accurately.

Colon
09-03-2006, 15:58:21
The Piano: the Maoris are simple-minded, promiscuous and disrespectful. Look at how they handle the precious piano! Only good enough to carry stuff and to buy land from. Savages.

Amelie: nice and romantic vision of French culture. No brownies, even though it takes place in one of Europe's most ethnically and culturally diverse cities.

Black Cat, White Cat: do I even need to spell it out? Gypsies are drunks, swindlers, criminals, backward, violent and lazy. Fortunately it was shot by Serbian, who's reputation for ethnic tolerance of course is beyond reproach.

I expected a much better portrayal of Japan from this film...

A better portrayal in what way? All the nice and dandy post-card depictions we've seen dozens of times? Japan as the country of serenity and grace? The Japanese as the people of humility, politeness, hard work and sophistication? We are talking about a country that has a TV channel especially dedicated to "stupid" sex shows, such as one in which REAL virgins get "deflowered" LIVE on TV, in front of an audience of hundreds.
I think you're being far more patronizing than Coppola is. I sort of missed the Japanese outrage over the film, and I'm quite sure they're capable of standing up for themselves.

But of course, as Maroule has painfully been trying to point out, this movie isn't about Japan, it's about alienation.

Nills Lagerbaak
09-03-2006, 16:09:59
Better portrayal - a deeper portrayal of japan, not seen through the window of a hotel.

But I know it was not a film about Japan, it was a film about alienation etc. etc.
I found it very hard to feel any sympathy for the two characters who summed up "hotel travellers" quite nicely for me.

And there was a slight malice about the wierdness of Japan which if done as a laugh is fine (pink panther etc.) but doesn't work when it's used to make you feel for these two people.

Scabrous Birdseed
09-03-2006, 16:30:47
I hate to use polyesque pseudologic terms from middle school here, but the last flurry of posts have "strawman" written all over them. You're viciously yapping at us for a position neither Nills or I have taken.

Our main position has always centered around the fact that we can't relate to the main characters, who are boring, self-centered and can't appreciate what beauty the world is giving them.

(This is just my position now, not Nills's) It's not a far stretch to think that the filmmaker can relate to them, though. Sofia Coppola portrays Japan as being completely alien and bad with nothing positive going for it whatsoever, everything being either unfathomable, laughable or zany crap. She (or to be more accurate, the film) doesn't like Japan. I think that kind of xenophobia (and borderline racism) is vaguely disturbing.

Whether the movie is about Japan or not doesn't matter. Bill, Scarlett and the narrative voice all find enclosed navel-gazing introspection more positive than actually going out in search of experience and knowledge, and that's a fucking abhorrent position to take I think.

Colon
09-03-2006, 16:35:09
It's a dull, racist movie about two incredibly dull, racist people

Sorry for "misunderstanding" you.

paiktis22
09-03-2006, 20:47:54
i only read the last quoite so...



I disagree. It was great! The unbearable loniliness of being and entrapped in an exotic environment and the uuuurge need yern force for ccome together of two people of different age background etc.
come on

paiktis22
09-03-2006, 20:49:42
Originally posted by maroule
I heard that argument once. An israeli guy told me I shouldn't talk about Israel or Palestine, since I was neither jew nor arab.

Let's keep to our tribes, the universality of the human condition is the myth...


see? thats why i love the french


got to love the french
not that they're not abnoxious navel gazing bastards mind you but still
(im drunk so im gushing)

Lazarus and the Gimp
09-03-2006, 22:47:17
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed

Why have I been into the sole defenders position when it comes to the racist thing?

It didn't strike me as being racially prejudicial to the Japanese. You're stating the "racism" thing as if it's a fact, but I think it's just a subjective interpretation of the film that others may not have shared.

TCO
10-03-2006, 04:27:55
hairy fooker...

Scabrous Birdseed
10-03-2006, 07:32:01
Originally posted by Colon
Sorry for "misunderstanding" you.

I said that exact same thing in the last post! :rolleyes:

I didn't say that "ancient japan is superior to modern japan" or that "there should only be a positive portrayal of japan" or that "this film is about japan".

Scabrous Birdseed
10-03-2006, 07:35:18
Originally posted by paiktis22
The unbearable loniliness of being and entrapped in an exotic environment

Entrapped? I've never been entrapped in an exotic environment. It's cause I actually like that kind of environment where I've yet to explore everything.

The entrapment is entirely self-made. They've built their own cages 'cause they're limited, timid, boring, xenophobic people, "hotel travelers". That's why I can't feel any sympathy for them.

maroule
10-03-2006, 08:56:21
so you reproach them of lacking empathy... fair enough, but you'll have noticed empathy is not really the most share human trait around, and that every movie have to be about that. Thanks God we don't build art around empathy (a lot of the best work in art comes from fairly autistic minds)

About the strawman, you boxed yourself into it with the accusation of racism... just say you don't relate, don't kill a fly with a hammer...

Anyway, you're obviously bitter because you are a swede male... it's like being a black man with no sense of rythm, a cruel occurence. Your country has been designed specifically to produce hot blonde chicks who come to southern euro beaches to topless, and porno movies from the 70s' with donkey fucking brazilian waxing challenged actresses.

Amen.

Scabrous Birdseed
10-03-2006, 10:01:10
I reporach them for lacking curiosity.

Experience is, after all, the meaning of life.

maroule
10-03-2006, 11:17:37
well, they say you're too normative and probably a poseur who likes the bicycle thief, John Fante novels, and spitting in the soup


(I have that uneasy feeling I'm criticisim myself)

Scabrous Birdseed
10-03-2006, 11:32:23
I am too normative, definately a poseur, I do like Bicycle Thiefs (but for the opposite reason everyone else seems to like it), I've no idea who John Fante is and the only foreign object I allow to enter my soup is sourdough bread.

Whereas you're obiously clad in all black, spend your time staring out your bohemain loft window and refuse to talk to anyone who's not read In Search of Lost Time.

maroule
10-03-2006, 11:45:57
John Fante, a bit of the same style than J Kennedy Toole, great read


I'm sure I'd love Proust if I had the courage to read it

Colon
10-03-2006, 13:31:26
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
I said that exact same thing in the last post! :rolleyes:

I didn't say that "ancient japan is superior to modern japan" or that "there should only be a positive portrayal of japan" or that "this film is about japan".

Said what? That this is a racist movie?

And I'm clueless how you came up with the idea I was somehow believing you said ancient Japan is superior. I think you have some serious interpretation problems dude.

King_Ghidra
10-03-2006, 13:43:25
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
Our main position has always centered around the fact that we can't relate to the main characters, who are boring, self-centered and can't appreciate what beauty the world is giving them.

i don't find that a credible argument, because you seem to want to punish these characters simply because they are not having the most fucking amazing time ever in japan

isn't it a great comment on the modern world that people can travel and work and not find the world a marvelous place? perhaps the true face of the global village is a state of ennui, in this case characterised by a lonely unremarkable international hotel

i saw this film a little while before i went to lisbon with work and it struck an extra chord with me afterwards because i was in a similar situation. i'm sure lisbon is fucking great if you have people to enjoy it with, but i was stuck in a hotel bar being taught tricks with matchsticks by the bored barmen while i kept an eye on the man utd game

Now LiT is not an exact parallel with that but i think there is a comparison there, the working experience of the world, which is quite different to that of the pure tourist, whose aim is simply to see and enjoy a new place and culture

Scabrous Birdseed
10-03-2006, 14:56:35
Originally posted by Colon
I'm clueless how you came up with the idea I was somehow believing you said ancient Japan is superior.

Originally posted by Colon
A better portrayal in what way? All the nice and dandy post-card depictions we've seen dozens of times? Japan as the country of serenity and grace? The Japanese as the people of humility, politeness, hard work and sophistication?

Scabrous Birdseed
10-03-2006, 15:02:19
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
perhaps the true face of the global village is a state of ennui

I can see you saying this while puffing your pipe, one patched elbow rested on your worn green trousers. In french. During a deconstruction lecture.

Whenever I've been working in a mind-numbing plans I make sure I explore the surrounding extra much and have extra much fun looking at new stuff in the breaks I have. Boredom is something any intelligent person reserves for home.

Nills Lagerbaak
10-03-2006, 15:06:48
Agreed. I used to relish the opportunity to check out a city when I travelled with work. Fair enough if they are cruel enough to send you there for a day at a time there's not much you can do. However as soon as you have one night in a hotel at least wander round the area, have a meal not in your hotel restaurant etc. etc.

They were really ignorant, braindead characters.

maroule
10-03-2006, 15:53:30
bullshit, it's just you haven't travelled enough, especially in a work environment, to reach the stage where you're burnt and don't have the energy to open up anymore.

It comes back after a while, sometimes, but on a different cycle, in a different moment in your life. Just because you haven't experienced it doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and is not understandable. For people preaching empathy, you're remarkably short of it.

Nills Lagerbaak
10-03-2006, 16:10:33
That old bastard Murray might be forgiven for being burnt out and disinterested, but the girl? What's her excuse.

maroule
10-03-2006, 16:31:59
her nationality

Nills Lagerbaak
10-03-2006, 16:41:00
:D exactly!

Scabrous Birdseed
10-03-2006, 16:54:33
When you're fed up with new experiences, you're fed up with life.

Well, okay, I guess they are, aren't they? :D

maroule
10-03-2006, 17:18:35
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
When you're fed up with new experiences, you're fed up with life.

Well, okay, I guess they are, aren't they? :D


:gotit:
this smiley has never been more appropriate, even when Drekkus understood a joke 3 days after

MOBIUS
10-03-2006, 17:35:13
I saw this movie too long ago to remember exactly what I thought of it, however I do remember thinking that I had absolutely no sympathy whatsoever with the two main characters...

What a pair of self-absorbed and self-pitying twats, IIRC.

As for the undertones of racism against the Japanese in the movie, I think I dismissed it as two yanks floundering in their own cultural ignorance and their attempts at seeking refuge in some sort of air of superiority. something like that anyway.

I thought the racism as an indictment of the American characters, the sort of things their blinkered and small minds would come up with as a sort of defence mechanism due to their woeful inability to cope with a different culture.

As for coping with alien cultures, I remember my solo winter business trips to Glasgow where my only free time was spent in the cold and the dark of the Scottish night, I still had a great time checking out the nightlife on company expenses!

I picked the Glasgow trips as the bleakest of my trips, but if you can't cope with a couple of days on your own in an environment outside of your 'comfort zone', then you're a pretty sad individual...

Scabrous Birdseed
10-03-2006, 17:40:41
Originally posted by maroule
:gotit:
this smiley has never been more appropriate, even when Drekkus understood a joke 3 days after

;)

Now all I need to come to grips with is my deep dislike of depressive people who have no reason to be depressed and I'm set. :p

Colon
10-03-2006, 18:58:07
Ok from this (which was a reply to Nills but anyway):

A better portrayal in what way? All the nice and dandy post-card depictions we've seen dozens of times? Japan as the country of serenity and grace? The Japanese as the people of humility, politeness, hard work and sophistication?

You arrive to this:

I didn't say that "ancient japan is superior to modern japan"

Yup, you got interpretation issues.

Besides, you rolleyed, so you lost. Neh.

MOBIUS
10-03-2006, 19:48:15
I think the title of the film is rather apt considering this whole argument.

Maybe that was the whole point of this movie in the first place...:clueless:

paiktis22
11-03-2006, 15:10:34
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
Entrapped? I've never been entrapped in an exotic environment. It's cause I actually like that kind of environment where I've yet to explore everything.

The entrapment is entirely self-made. They've built their own cages 'cause they're limited, timid, boring, xenophobic people, "hotel travelers". That's why I can't feel any sympathy for them.


That's not how I received it.

I used the word entrapped not in relation to the place they were but to the way they feel inside, a way that not even an excotic environment could shake. I also happen to like exotic environments and can't stand still for 1 second and have to explore. So if I sometime don't, I'd know there's something very seriously wrong with me.
And why say they were "xenophobic" because they felt miserable? Japan is the stage to play not the essence of anything in that movie.

maroule
12-03-2006, 10:06:27
Originally posted by MOBIUS
I picked the Glasgow trips as the bleakest of my trips, but if you can't cope with a couple of days on your own in an environment outside of your 'comfort zone', then you're a pretty sad individual...


Glasgow! I'm impressed... you really are a man iof international mystery...


try that in Pristina, Aktau or Arusha

BigGameHunter
12-03-2006, 19:17:53
Why shouldn't I be surprised that a lovely debate somehow devolved into yet another "American's are stupid and shallow" commentary?
You miss the fact that both of these people had major challenges in their non-travel related lives and that their detachment is the theme more so than the fact it is taking place in Japan. Japan, IMO, is merely the backdrop for bigger themes, the lens through which their issues are focused.
Some of the threads of analysis here seem to support the claim that travel is a constant delight and the cure for all ills...?

DaShi
12-03-2006, 20:04:26
Europeans are more enlightened than us, thus they can appreciate and understand other cultures. Americans in foreign countries are just displaced cavemen.

Darkstar
13-03-2006, 04:29:12
Originally posted by DaShi
Europeans are gods of intellect and wisdom, thus they can appreciate and understand all other cultures. Americans are just aspiring cavemen.

fixed.

mr_G
14-03-2006, 11:57:48
x-fear :shoot:

Kitsuki
14-03-2006, 12:12:35
Well, no, seeing he changed it for humour value... ;)

TCO
14-03-2006, 12:16:22
We kick ass though.

maroule
14-03-2006, 12:57:31
he who lives by the ass kicked will get his ass kicked (Iraqi proverb)

TCO
16-03-2006, 03:23:07
I'm sure you hope so...

maroule
16-03-2006, 08:22:00
I don't hope, I observe

What I hope for would be for some measure of humility and maturity in some decision makers on that matter, but I still ain't seen much

King_Ghidra
16-03-2006, 09:44:49
Remember that self-restraint!

maroule
16-03-2006, 09:55:10
this is cruel... everybody can say the king is naked, except me! :hmm:

all right, I'll shut up

King_Ghidra
16-03-2006, 09:57:54
only kidding, iirc i encouraged you to post more and exercise less self-restraint

Darkstar
16-03-2006, 16:26:43
Originally posted by maroule
I don't hope, I observe

What I hope for would be for some measure of humility and maturity in some decision makers on that matter, but I still ain't seen much

:lol: Most sane people hope that, but find that's true throughout the world.

Of course, if they could manage to actually do that, a whole lot of comedians would be out of work because they'd have no material.

Wow! Everyone wins then! ;)

TCO
17-03-2006, 01:29:33
Bullshit.

Darkstar
17-03-2006, 02:36:36
So you don't believe that most people want their leaders to act with a measure of humilty and maturity? That's a serious cynical outlook, TCO.

MOBIUS
17-03-2006, 10:02:19
I think it boils down to whether those people are themselves capable of acting with a measure of humilty and maturity.:cute:

King_Ghidra
15-11-2007, 14:40:22
Originally posted by King_Ghidra

It dredged up a lot of old feelings and thoughts about past relationships and stuff for me, i was very touched by it.

Sometimes life makes strange connections:

I found out today that My Bloody Valentine are doing some tour dates in the UK soon. That made me think of 'Sometimes' as featured on the Lost in Translation soundtrack, which is a beautiful song for what i consider to be a beautiful film. So i decide to re-read this thread for old times' sakes because i wanted to be reminded of how i felt when i watched it because it really affected me. Shame we don't get more discussion on movie threads like this any more.

The strange thing? i've recently been seeing the girl from the past about whom i was thinking when i wrote the above quote. Now i remember again why it touched me so much when i saw it.

so that's life

Funko
15-11-2007, 14:58:22
I hadn't seen this film at the time the discussions were going on here but I have now. I'm in the K_G, maroule, BGH, Debaser, protein camp. I thought it was a really good film.

Reading back through the posts I'm slightly surprised no-one mentioned the obvious lonliness of the main characters, which seemed to me to be one of the main reasons they were so disengaged. When they are together they actually go out and have a great time in Japan, and with the Japanese.

As for the Japanese characters being superficial, I thought it was more that that is the nature of the kinds of meetings you get on that kind of trip. Impersonal and businesslike.

King_Ghidra
15-11-2007, 15:13:44
Originally posted by Funko

Reading back through the posts I'm slightly surprised no-one mentioned the obvious lonliness of the main characters

*ahem*

Originally posted by BigGameHunter

It's funny how everyone is focusing on the cultural aspect of the movie...it's just a story about human isolation, how we can be alone even when we are surrounded by people

Originally posted by King_Ghidra
the final few scenes it seems to gain a different kind of intensity, you realise they really don't want to be apart. Perhaps it is just suposed to illustrate the extremes of loneliness

Originally posted by paiktis22
The unbearable loniliness of being and entrapped in an exotic environment and the uuuurge need yern force for ccome together of two people of different age background etc.

Funko
15-11-2007, 15:29:07
Hmm. I obviously didn't read very well. I did search for the word loneliness before I posted that, probably spelt it wrong. :)

maroule
16-11-2007, 07:41:21
in paiktis spelling, it's loniliness