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I am enthralled with Lost in Translation. I love it. Just love it even after four viewings so far. I like its meditative mood (and the music!) and Bill Murrayís countless understated expressions and the interaction of the characters. Part of what I liked about it was that it gives the feeling of being a stranger in a foreign land, something I can relate to from my own travels. I also liked seeing the diverse slices of Japanese life, things that we might otherwise not have known. And again from the perspective of a traveler not a documentary. It reminds me of my traveling days. And makes me wish for them again. I almost wish that I could or should have somehow made it my path to live a year or two in a different country and learn the language and meet the people of the land instead of staying in one city in the US. I thought after traveling so much that I was done, that I was tired of it. But maybe for a short while like after a good meal. You get hungry again. And I am hungry for travel, for wonderful landscapes whizzing by from the window of a train and the intriguing conversational exchanges with strangers in a strange land. As much as I like the countryside I love cities, and I think thatís what I also like about LIT. The camera swoons and caresses the city of Tokyo in all its nighttime glitter and daytime panoramic grandeur.

Sophia said the movie is based on her personal experiences. People who have had similer experiences can relate to it and thus enjoy it probably more than someone who has not had any of those experiences. Its an experiential movie in many ways about many things. Someone who doesnt relate to those experiences may still enjoy it on some level or they may just be completely bored. There are the experiences and there is the mood which I find almost meditative. I do meditation so I liked it. I also liked Kill Bill but that's another story! I personally loved the movie because I could relate to some of the experiences and those that I had not I appreciated because a bridge had been built and I went over it and embraced them. 

Obviously it's not for everyone and no movie ever is. I enjoyed 2001 but I know people who found it completely boring.


*THE* most touching movie I have ever seen. 
100% heartfelt, genuine, grounded, simple, blatantly honest, mesmerizing, thought-provoking, soulful, HUMAN. 

There really is too much to say about this movie... but this is a start! The fact that people still talk and post comments and thoughts about it months after its release is an ode to LiT's effect on so many people's lives.


I've thought about this film a lot, even when not watching it. Exemplary.


LIT is a movie that is a study on the human need to love and to have that love requitted. Charlotte is a young woman who has hurried through her formal education and married another youthful person. He seems to be a kind and caring person but inadvertantly does not fulfill Charlottes needs. She is confused as evidenced by her talk with her friend at home and the listening to self help tapes. Her confusion stems from the fact that her mate is not being blatantly mean to her which would give her cause to vent her frustrations on him or worst case leave. She thinks there is something wrong with [u]her[/u]. 

Bob is an aging actor stuck in a semiloveless marriage. He makes it quite clear that he is there for his children and thats a primary reason why he sticks it out. His wife Lydia seems to have given up on the relationship as well and seems content with that, acknoledging that they need to stick it out and be there for the children. 

When the two meet, you can tell that there is an immediate spark. Im sure everyone here has had this kind of spark. Butterflies in the stomache can leave you feeling nauseous but never feel so good. 

Isolated from thier spouses and stuck in a foreign land they are not so much drawn as they are forced together in a destiny sort of fashion. Bob finds in Charlotte an intelligent woman who is interested in him and his shortcomings (midlife crisis?). Charlotte has an odd facination with Bob, almost as a father figure but much more deeply than that. This is evidenced by thier late night talk on the bed. 

The movie is a fantastic examination of modern Japanese culture. Although I can see where some people would have the understanding that the movie is racist I cannot disagree more. The use of some stereotypes , (some of which are in fact actually quite common), simply allows the viewer to immediately relate to the scene instead of having to explain the intricacies of a foreign land. 

An account of the actors. 

Bill Murray was this picture. 

Incredible how he was able to turn off his comedic ability and turn it on in a second at Sophias direction. Several bits which were quite obviously improved were genius. But lets not forget his acting as a flawed, shy, aging movie star. 

Scarlett Johansson performed adequately. She was helped by the fact that she was a relative unknown and was able to stand back and let Bill work his magic. I'm not knocking her. She is a competant actor and performed admirably in LIT, I just think she was overshadowed by Bill. 

Giovanni Ribisi is a competant performer , and AI thought he used the role well. 

Anna Faris was fantastic, completely imersing herself in the shallow persona of Kelly. Very funny as well, brought her few lines to life. 

I think the best part of this film was the cinematography. Thrilling views of the Tokyo skyline, beautiful shots inside the Park Hyatt, great job at Shibuya crossing, and moving moments at the temples and Mt. Fuji. 

Final kudo must go to sophia herself for sublime directing, knowing when to contain Bill and let him go, and certainly for her brilliant screenplay.


I dont want to do another movie review, I just want to share what LIT has confirmed for me, that being a traveller is the best that a human being can be. When your travelling the propensity for having LIT moments increases tenfold. When you travel you meet up with other travellers that are searching for LIT moments. When you stay at home and do the daily grind, going to the same old places, school , work, shops, your chances of having a LIT moment are vastly reduced. 

I have often wondered about friends that have taken off traveling by themselves? It seemed obsurd to me! Now I know why they are taking off, leaving everyone else behind, cause they know the chances of having many LIT moments is only a plane flight away. 

I was watching a game show once that had a fellow on that called himself a traveler. He said that he had been to 17 different countries around the world and he was the happiest person I have ever seen and he was only 21. Imagine how many LIT moments this guy has had. 

So when people ask me what I want to be when I finally grow up, I reply 

Lost In Boston

Iíve traveled extensively in five continents and Tokyo is unique in terms of the isolation that one experiences as a foreign traveler. In Europe things are only marginally different than the U.S. Same for Australia and Latin America. Even in China, India or other parts of Asia a smile is a smile and body language is the same or similar to body language in U.S. culture. As different as China or India are from the U.S. you can find common elements, overlap, connections. 

In Japan body language is different. Customs are different. Social values and fundamental systems like the family are different. As a westerner I look different. Iím a foot taller than anyone else on the subway. My hair isnít jet black. Iím isolated by my physical differences with those around me. I donít speak the language. And I canít even make eye contact and share a smile or a nod with someone like I can in almost any other country. The contact with Japanese is formal and not entirely understood by the westerner. The ritual of giving gifts is captured perfectly when Bob arrives at the hotel jet-lagged and is greeted by the same contingent of people who will pick him up the next morning. The exchange between Bob and the translator during the photo shoot captures the sense you have that more is going on than you understand. As a westerner in Japan you're left feeling a joke is being played on you and you're the only one not getting it. 

Iíve traveled to maybe fifty countries and Tokyo is unique in terms of the isolation and remoteness I feel when traveling there. You arrive jet-lagged and spend the sleepless nights sitting on the window ledge at the hotel looking out at the skyline with its flashing red lights. You flip through the channels on the television and watch the bizarre talk shows or recognize a western movie thatís been dubbed in Japanese. You find yourself starring at other westerners in the hotel restaurant or bar, looking to make some connection. The film has all these elements. 

Japan provided the perfect setting for the film. The perfect backdrop for two people, both isolated in their marriages, to meet and connect. The film wouldnít have worked for me if shot anywhere else. 

I also think Coppola is paying homage to Tokyo in the film, not mocking it as some have suggested. Just as Woody Allenís Manhattan will always make me think of New York in black and white with Gershwinís Rhapsody in Blue playing in the background, I will also picture Tokyo at night with Girls by Death in Vegas playing in the background. A stunning film.


I regret having been completely ineffectual in trying to get other people to see Lost in Translation. I have seen it five times, but I am still speechless when asked, "What's it about?" Uh, well, it's about loneliness, it's about a connection between two people that has a chance beginning and a necessary ending, it's about being isolated in an alien culture -- look, it's just a great movie, so go see it! 

But that isn't convincing anyone. I've seen it five times, and I inevitably hear someone say as we walk out that it was "boring." Well, that is a legitimate point of view, if you have certain expectations when you go to the movies. To me, Lost in Translation is a great movie. It's about Bob Harris, an action film star in the autumn of his career, a role written especially for and played brilliantly by Bill Murray. He is in the very alien culture of Japan to pose in advertising for Suntory whiskey. It's about Charlotte (whose last name we don't learn), recently graduated with a degree in philosophy, who has tagged along with her husband of two years on his business trip to Tokyo. She is wonderfully played by Scarlett Johansson. The movie establishes Bob and Charlotte's isolation, intelligence, and discomfort with themselves and their place in the world, before bringing them together. They enjoy a friendship which could but never does become an adulterous affair, and which ends after a week. 

It is a movie about two people who feel isolated and out of place, struggling to capture a few consecutive hours of happiness. I think that similar people are the audience for this movie. "Ordinary" moviegoers have probably found it boring. I found it to be very beautiful. 

The movie opens with a view of Charlotte on the bed of her room in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo. She is probably reading, but all we see is her hips and thighs, and she is dressed only in a t-shirt and sheer pink panties. This sets up our expectations for a sexual component to the friendship. 

Bob Harris's isolation is shown as he reaches the hotel, where he is greeted by representatives from Suntory. One of them speaks English and introduces the others, who present gifts and business cards, and then bid him a goodnight. He is then presented with a fax from his wife, Lydia, whose understanding of his forgetting his son's birthday only underscores the fact that he did forget. Their communications throughout the movie are not encouraging: Lydia seems sarcastic and scolding, more putting up with Bob than loving him. 

We see Charlotte in the middle of the night, watching her husband John sleep and listening to his snoring. She is seated in the window, looking down at the lights of the city. During the day, while John is at work, Charlotte takes the train to visit a temple and expressionlessly watches the monks as they hold a ceremony. Back at the hotel, she phones a friend in America. Not quite holding back her tears, she tells her friend, "I don't know who I married" -- but her friend isn't listening and merely wishes her a nice stay in Japan. 

Bob and Charlotte orbit for a while before they actually meet. They exchange glances in the elevator, and laugh at the singer in the hotel bar from across a distance. When they finally meet in the bar one night, they exchange quips and bemoan how they cannot sleep. They continue in their isolation until they finally meet at night outside the hotel pool, she exiting and he entering. They can find few words, but stand in front of each other, feeling a connection they don't want to let go. Charlotte's husband is now out of town for a few days, and she invites Bob to join her and some Japanese friends that night. 

Next, we see Charlotte as Bob raps rhythmically on her door. She is finally excited and animated, and hurries to let him in. He appears in a orange camouflage t-shirt, about which she has to observe, "You really are having a midlife crisis." "I was afraid of that," he admits, and goes to her bathroom to turn it inside out. She waits outside the bathroom, looking in and looking away and looking back, curious and expectant. 

The spend the long night with Charlotte's friend Charlie Brown and his friends, going to clubs, running through the streets, singing karaoke. This night does not involve deep conversations, but Bob and Charlotte do begin to orbit each other more closely. They spend time with each other and with other members of the party. 

As the night wears on, they sing karaoke. This is strictly silly at first: Charlie Brown sings "God Save the Queen" and Bob sings Elvis Costello's "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding." Then an interesting undertone develops. Charlotte, now in a pink wig, sings the Pretenders's "Brass in Pocket," her eyes on Bob: 

Gonna use my arms, gonna use my legs 
Gonna use my style, gonna use my side-step 
Gonna use my fingers, gonna use my, my, my, my 'magination 
'Cause I gonna make you see 
There's nobody else here -- no one like me 
I'm special, so special 
I gotta have some of your attention -- give it to me! 

Later, Bob sings Roxy Music's "More Than This," and turns to Charlotte for the chorus. She coyly looks away, but looks back slowly and with intensity. "More than this, you know there's nothing / More than this, tell me one thing more than this / Ooh, there's nothing..." The movie stops the song there, but the song itself continues: 

It was fun for a while, there was no way of knowin' 
Like a dream in the night, who could say where we're goin' 

The night ends with Bob carrying a sleeping Charlotte in his arms. He makes his way past the empty breakfast trays in the hall to her room, opens the door, enters, and lays her on her bed. He pulls the covers over her, and looks at her, waiting. She looks at him, smiles, and curls up for sleep, eyes closed. 

Bob makes a resigned face, stands, and leaves. Back in his room, he calls his wife. They have a strained conversation and he remarks as he hangs up, "That was a stupid idea." 

Having formed a connection within the safety of a crowd, the next day they spend just with each other. 

That night, Charlotte's friends asked her to meet them at a club, and she invites Bob. He arrives before Charlotte and finds that it is a strip club. Bob obviously would rather be anywhere else, and when Charlotte arrives, they leave. They return to their hotel and wind up in Bob's room, watching television and drinking Suntory whiskey. Charlotte, on the floor leaning against the bed, and Bob, on the bed, discuss when they first saw each other. Bob remembers her from the elevator; Charlotte from the hotel bar, where he looked "dashing. I loved your mascara." 

Later, they are both on the bed. Charlotte says, "Let's never come here again because it would never be as much fun." "Whatever you say," agrees Bob. "You're the boss." The TV off, they talk as sleep slowly takes them. Charlotte questions Bob about life and marriage, and he counsels, "The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you." Before they sleep, Charlotte says, "John thinks I'm so snotty." Bob laughs, and puts his hand on her foot. "You're not hopeless." 

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are completely natural in their roles and in interacting with each other. There is nothing in the movie to make one question that it's a long eavesdropping on two real lives which have intersected. Their body language and timing as they talk, tentatively or intimately, are perfect. 

Bob gets another call from his wife, and it is clear that they don't even want to speak to each other. What happens next is a surprise, and it is not really explained or dealt with, although it is useful to illustrate a point. Bob, sleepless, is in the bar again. The hotel singer sits next to him, orders champagne, and looks over at him, and coos, "Hi." The next morning, Bob awakes in his room, and realizes that he's slept with the singer. She passes the bed, singing, and he cringes. 

Charlotte knocks on the door, and he jumps to it, disheveled. "Have a rough night?" she inquires, and asks him to lunch. "Do you want to come?" "Yeah, but I can't right now." The singer starts singing. Charlotte tries to hold her expression as she says, "Yeah, I guess you're busy, huh?," but she lets her hurt show just before she leaves. 

They do meet for lunch. Charlotte keeps her face under control as she picks at Bob: "Well, she is closer to your age," and remarks that maybe the singer liked the movies he was making in the seventies "when you still were making movies." Bob returns, "Wasn't there anyone else there to lavish you with attention?" 

Of course, later they make up, without exchanging many words. Bob is to leave the next morning, and they sit in the bar, holding hands and saying little. Bob says, "I don't want to leave." Charlotte says, "So don't. Stay here with me. We'll start a jazz band." They sadly smile at each other. 

Why does Bob sleep with the singer? I think because he can't sleep with Charlotte. He really can't -- it wouldn't work at all. A younger man would be foolish enough to, but Bob can see that it would be just a stupid thing to do. Bob can screw the singer only because she means nothing to him; Charlotte means a great deal to him, and if and when to sleep with someone you have any regard for is a complicated matter. 

Bob hates what he is doing. He hates doing the Suntory whiskey ads when he "could be doing a play somewhere." He hates talking to his wife, because they don't connect anymore. He hates doing what he feels he has to do, and he hates not doing the things that he wants to do. 

Charlotte is similarly lost, but at a point in her life thirty years earlier than Bob's age. She has married John, but they do not connect and are never at ease with each other. She doesn't have a clue about what she wants to do with her life, or how to do that which she doesn't know what it is to do. 

Bob and Charlotte are both isolated from others, by their intelligence and their cynical yet caring outlook. They would be isolated back home. Being in Tokyo brings it to a breaking point, forcing them to connect. In the United States, they might recognize a commonality between each other, but being in the alien and isolating Japanese city makes their need for a kindred spirit so great that they make contact. Out on the town with Charlotte's friend Charlie Brown, they act fools just to be together. Nothing is more important at that point to them than finding someone much like them. Their great sadness at parting comes half from leaving each other, and half from losing the type of connection which is few and far between. 

Written by johnmonkey on November 15, 2003


Ultimamente tenho me sentido completamente lost in transition (não em translation, como no filme da Sofia Coppola). Transição de uma vida para outra, de um universo para outro. Enquanto isso, eu fujo de tudo e de todos. Por quê? Por que diabos? Por que sou assim?

Aliás, acho que Lost in Transition é um nome bem melhor para este blog. Bico do Corvo nunca teve muito a ver. Pois então, a partir de hoje, o nome será Lost in Transition [Bico do Corvo]. O endereço, no entanto, continuará o mesmo: http://bicodocorvo.blogspot.com.

(translated by Google)
Some curious facts on Meeting and Failures in meeting ( Lost in Translation ) 

In certain of the moment of history, in one of the corridors of Park Hyatt Hotel of Tokyo , the couple John (Giovanni Ribisi) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) meet with Kelly (Anna Faris), typical American actress of action films. The young actress discloses to have if registered in the hotel with the name Evelyn Waugh . Soon later, when Kelly goes even so, Charlotte she shows all its charm when abismada being with the demonstration of ignorance. Waugh was a man, it says -- unresigned -- the husband, John. In fact, Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) was one known romancista English, author of the classic Brideshead Revisited . In Brazil, some of its books had been published by the Company of the Letters and the Globe, as Decline and Fall and Black Malice .

When receiving a fax from the woman in full dawn, Bob Harris (Bill Murray) looks at astonished for the clock in the servant dumb. The hour, 4h20, give origin to an interesting speculation regarding the script of Sofia Coppola. It is that number 420 capsized synonymous marijuana in U.S.A.. according to reviewed High Teamses , the bible of the marijuana users, 420 it exactly came of the schedule 4h20. according to publisher of the magazine, in the decade of 70, a flock of Californian adolescents costumava if to congregate in this schedule to smoke cannabis . Currently, 20 of April (4/20, in English), besides being the anniversary of Adolf Hitler and of the slaughter in Columbine (vide Shots in Columbine , of Michael Moore ), also are a date festejada for apreciadores of the hemp in the whole world. Coming back to the film Lost In Translation , in the party with the Japanese?surfistas, little before the scenes of the karaoke, Bob Harris and Charlotte also smoke marijuana.

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