In preparation for my upcoming trip to Japan I’ve been rewatching some of my favorite movies and shows. One such movie is my all time favorite: Lost in Translation. It’s a tale of two people from different point of their lives both “lost” metaphorically and physically in the confusing and wonderful city of Tokyo.
The late, great Roger Ebert nailed the film perfectly in his review and it’s worth a read if you haven’t done so. Ebert, however, fails to capture what specifically draws me to the film. As one who loves to travel the movie reminds me exactly what it is I love about traveling – the awe and wonderment of being in a place where you have no bearings or sense of direction.
I love the opening scene where Bill is taking the taxi to the hotel and Sophia gives us great passing shots of all the wonderful and confusing neon signs along the way. I love that the big scene with the director is not subtitled – so that way you are just as lost as Bill. I love all the little nuances in the film that show just how focused the Japanese are to perfection. This is shown perfectly whenever the taxi pulls into the hotel and the doorman is there to direct it precisely in place.
One of my favorite scenes is when Scarlett stumbles into the ikebana class and is shown, without speaking, how to arrange the flowers. Art is great because it doesn’t need translation from one language to another and I feel this scene captures that aspect pefectly.
Lost in Translation is a wonderful film. I’m lucky and excited to be traveling to Japan this summer to check out some of my favorite scenes in person. I can’t wait to wonder the streets looking at pachinko halls, arcades and look at the dinosaur at Shibuya Crossing. There are so many great little tidbits about this film that its worth a second watch if you haven’t so far.