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Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003) - Several Prompts

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  • Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003) - Several Prompts

    1. There are seemingly obvious cases of meaning being lost via literal translation between languages (the extensive directions given in Japanese by the commercial director translated into brief notes in English by the translator). Are there, however, other examples of loss in the process of communication? What is the film saying about that presumed loss?

    2. How does the film characterize Tokyo and the people that live there? How might it represent in ways the larger world, perhaps only more condensed and extreme? What seems to animate and motivate the people in that world? Does this depiction of the world in Lost in Translation illuminate our actual world?

    3. What characterizes the disposition of Bob and Charlotte toward the world in which they find themselves? How does that disposition extend also to their spouses?

    4. What is it that Bob and Charlotte share that brings them together for those few days? Are they attracted to each other for the same reasons?

    5. Why do Bob and Charlotte, despite becoming emotionally intimate, never become physically intimate. Is it just the disparity in age between them and/or the fact that each of them are married, or does the film's thinking concerning the nature of desire and enjoyment require that possibility, which seems increasingly likely as the film proceeds, nevertheless remain unrealized?

    6. The ending of the film at least suggests a kind of resolution--Bob catches up with Charlotte in the street after an awkward and clumsy parting at the hotel, he says something inaudible to her and they both say "ok" and part with a smile. Given that they seem resigned to never seeing each other again, what kind of resolution is possible here? What perspective does it suggest they adopt toward their time together in Tokyo?

    7. What do you imagine Bob says to Charlotte in the penultimate scene? Can you come up with what he might have said under the circumstances that would lead to their less fraught parting? Why does the film create this mystery for its audience? Is it in any way testing its viewers as to how well they have received the larger message of the film regarding desire, enjoyment, and excess? (Note how advertising--the engine of the excessive consumerist society the film depicts--relies on creating a sense of mystery that promises an excess of enjoyment).
    Last edited by Steven Brence; 07-13-2015, 02:05 PM. Reason: Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola, 2003
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