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February 03, 2004



So you like souji suru? ha!!

re the SMH article - yeah i read that - v interesting, and good to see a different perspective of it too. Wonder if anyone's written a Maori perspective on Whale Rider (Director Niki Caro is a pakeha, not Maori)? Or any other films looking into other cultures?


while i'll not contest the views expressed by kiku day in that article, one does have to wonder if ms. coppola is portraying the westerners is a negative light? The perspective could be interpreted as one of ignorant westerners stumbling and bumbling their way through the new, alien culture while trying to retain a modicum of diplomacy. of course failure lurks at every turn.

i actually did enjoy the film as it stirred memories of a week spent in tokyo and the wonderful people i met; a trip which served as perhaps the single most positive affirmation i've had of the human race.

of course ms. coppola uses another culture as the comedic foil to the 'straight' roles played by johanssen and murray, and that in and of itself is either racist or xenophobic: that determination is up to the audience. she walks a fine line with this film.

kiku day is one hundred percent in saying that the japanese characters have no voice throughout the film, but the story is of two americans adrift in tokyo. speaking as one who has been adrift in tokyo, i never felt the sense of disconnect that the two characters felt. nor did i possess the neurosis and/or problems with which both characters dealt. i never felt alienated or 'lost' (as the title indicates). meeting and sharing time with three lovely strangers (who took time out of their lives to show around some strange gai jin) only made me feel more connected to people in general.

what would be interesting to do would be to compare lost in translation to jim jarmusch's mystery train which features the story of two japanese kids traveling to memphis seeking the heart of rock n roll and encountering the strange doings of the american south. in some ways it's the exact reverse (as far as cultural concerns go) of lost in translation.


Ooh, I have to read that article! You know, I saw that movie and loved it. There were a few moments that were kind of painful (i.e., ugly American stuff), but I thought it was very honest and truthful, and I appreciated that. Okay, now I'm going to read the article!


Okay, I read it. All I can say is, touchy touchy! I think Kiku Day is a little paranoid. I'm Japanese American, so I feel I can see both sides of the situation. I did not feel as though the Japanese were blatantly made fun of or looked down upon. Some of the frustrations at the lack of communication were brought up, but not in a disrespectful manner. Well, whatever, it's just a movie, and the soundtrack is good!


Yeah, I thought that she seemed like she has a little chip on her shoulder. I personally don't want to see a world where we can't explore different cultures from different perspectives - where everything has to be totally 'politically correct'. How boring. I haven't seen the movie, but I am looking forward to seeing it soon!!

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