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Misguided in Translation - Accretions

Fata Morgana
2003-10-18 20:34
Misguided in Translation
Public
Was it just me, or was Lost in Translation just plain obnoxious? There was no character development for any of the Asian characters - they remained obsequious caricatures who were always objects of frustration or derision, and were so stupid they couldn't get their L's and R's straight. I'm also thoroughly sick of the "young pretty girl finds ugly, crotchety old man irresistible" shtick. And what's with that "philosophy degree from Yale" nonsense? She was angsty and immature, and certainly didn't have her own values sorted out - how the hell could she have earned a degree in philosophy from Yale, if she's that clueless? Finally, in several parts of the movie the message seemed to be "forward or sexually explicit is bad, restrained - even to the point of misery - is good," which I didn't like. The exotic dancers and "fantasy massage woman" (as I think she was listed in the credits) were viewed with complete disgust, while the main characters, who wouldn't say a peep to their spouses about how unhappy they were in their relationships, were made to look like long-suffering martyrs. (Also, why does the wife always have to be a nagging bitch?)

My two (perhaps overly-indignant) cents. :~)
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nikita
hukuma
2003-10-18 21:17 (UTC)
(no subject)
Actually, all of the supporting characters in that movie, Asian or not, were very one-dimensional. But the Yale thing bothered me more; Scarlett Johansson looked and acted as if she was just out of high school as opposed to just graduated Yale. (I guess it helps that the actress is actually 18.) Though I think I enjoyed the movie on the whole more than you did.
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jillB
jilflirt
2003-10-19 01:06 (UTC)
another thought
*I* got a phil/rel. degree from Yale, and look how misguided and lost I've been!
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2003-10-19 22:41 (UTC)
Re: another thought
Nah, you're much more intelligent and focused than the main character, I think. :~)
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jillB
jilflirt
2003-10-19 23:46 (UTC)
(no subject)
Thanks! But you should have seen me when I first graduated!
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(Anonymous)
2003-11-05 05:50 (UTC)
thanks...
i haven't seen this film yet. unfortunately or not (depending on how you look at it) i live abroad now so we don't have ready access to the many films released in the USA. but, this film has bothered me, not only in the lack of critical discussion about it (all the fawning press over sophia coppola's "artistry") but also in the heated stamping out of any dissenting voices who might actually think this film is self-gratuitous and possibly to some degree racist. dyske suematsu has an interesting commentary (http://www.dyske.com/default.asp?view_id=788) on this if you're interested in reading further.
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2003-11-06 17:50 (UTC)
Re: thanks...
Wow, thanks for the link. Both articles (the one you linked to and the one linked from there) were very interesting. For me, the culture and gender slurs were distracting and annoying enough that I had great difficulty seeing beyond them. (And that bum shot at the beginning *did* seem gratuitous, as well as other random shots such as the one of some random golfer teeing off with Mount Fuji in the background ... :~))
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