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Analysis of "Lost In Translation"

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  • Analysis of "Lost In Translation"

    When I woke up this morning, I found that my brain was
    analyzing the movie Lost in Translation, and I have specific questions for Michael on it... but let me think....

    Ok firstly, I like the movie a lot. I see it as a "slice of life" movie. I would say it could be a true story. I think it a breath of fresh air because movies and fiction tend to exaggerate life. There isn't that much exaggeration in that movie from what I can tell.

    Would a young girl like Scarlett Johannson be attracted to a significantly older man like Bill Murray? Possibly. 1. She was an intelligent girl, 2. He has a charming personality, and 3. he was a celebrity, and we all know how people treat celebrities. ( I don't think she initially knew he was a celebrity though.) And such attractions DO happen in real life.

    Here's something that I would like a comment from Mike on...

    Scarlett's character has a degree in philosophy, but there is never any dialogue about philosophy. There is no quotes from Aristotle, Descartes, or Nietzche. No "Know thyself" or anything.
    Do you think that's a flaw in the script, Michael?
    Or do you think it wasn't necessary?
    I recall you saying that you like the movie.

    I can't think of a reason of not having actuall philosophy 101 thrown in there other than, you can't get too intellectual in a movie or "the people" won't get it.

    When I last had jury duty and was sitting in juror lounge, I overheard two people talking about LostInTrnsltn and the guy said, "I didn't get it."
    I thought: What kind of life do you live that "you don't get it?" :roll:
    \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
    Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

  • #2
    I hope you can recall the movie enough to comment on it, MM.
    \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
    Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

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    • #3
      "When I last had jury duty and was sitting in juror lounge, I overheard two people talking about LostInTrnsltn and the guy said, "I didn't get it."
      I thought: What kind of life do you live that "you don't get it?" "

      Not defending this guy - who knows, it could be as simple as him being an idiot - but I know that when the uproar about "American Beauty" was at its peak, I watched the movie and "got it" in the sense that I understood the imagery, understood the symbolism, but in terms of connecting, it didn't resonate with me. I "didn't get it". Now, I have not seen "Lost In Translation", and have no burning desire to do so (although I will see it eventually), so my comment may be off-base, but...

      Comment


      • #4
        I'll have a degree in philosophy this time next year, and as much as I like it, trust me, neither me nor any of my friends on the course run around quoting...

        Comment


        • #5
          I went to UCSD were a lot of medical school hopefuls go to.
          There was one girl I knew who wanted to go on to med school.
          Her major... Philosophy.

          Why do most people who choose philosophy, choose philosophy, Paul?
          Or maybe you can speak for yourself?
          Just curious that's all.
          I only took one philosophy class.
          Why didn't I take more? Blame it on Mr. Pidgeon (SD Mesa College, 1990)!
          \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
          Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

          Comment


          • #6
            I've always been interested in it, I don't know, just one of those things I guess.

            Interesting thing of note though, you are the second person I've talked to who's been put off philiosophy by a lecturer, and both in America. Maybe philosophy lecturers there have a problem :)

            Comment


            • #7
              If I may...

              Like English or Rhetoric, Philosophy is intended to make one look at every day ideas in new ways. Critical theory, the techniques of debate, and epistemology are all intended as analysis of the most basic structures that guide our society and the ideas which we apply to our lives. A lot of people have enormous trouble bending their minds around to a point where they have sort of "vacated the premises" enough to see things another way. And that's the whole point - to exercise those brain dendrites and gain insight into the viewpoint of others.

              Of course you will still have your own opinions of things - that's what makes the whole thing seem a little like mental masturbation. But in my view, it is actually far more helpful than that - you learn how to "think." Not automatically, not based on preconceptions - but for real. Logically, insightfully, and precisely.

              Not unlike a good dose of acid - these courses of study will reveal the real foolishness that we engage in ALL THE TIME. They pull back the curtains of reality so that you can see the underlying principles at work. Sometimes those principles are utterly vacuous, or useful in only specialized ways. I figure it pays to notice those things.

              FWIW, you don't need a school to help you through any of these disciplines; but lacking a school you will need a very curious mind and a lot of self-control.

              Just my two bits...

              Comment


              • #8
                The precise title of the course I took
                was Philosophy (whatever number), Intro. to Reality.
                The teacher himself didn't turn me off really.
                The reason was, as I posted before, I felt I understood
                a small proportion of what he was saying, and I didn't find
                the reading easy either. I guessed that I understood 35%.
                I can't say with confidence though.
                I'm the kind of guy who usually has good understanding of
                the material in classes and most of the time gets good grades
                and all that shit. The philosophy course made me feel very
                ambiguous about what I was learning. I didn't know if I was doing
                good or bad. It was interesting enough to keep me though. Also
                it was during summer so the time was truncated, and I took
                it for no grade-- credit or no credit.
                I agree with krunky. I think the best thing that anyone
                can get out of school is the ability to think critically.
                I have no doubt that I got some of it from that class.
                That was the first class that taught me how fear is a major
                factor in driving behavior. That knowledge has helped me
                understand human nature better, and preventing me from
                becoming violent in volatile situations. I take pride
                in being able to control my temper. It makes me feel as
                though I am civilized and that's what separates us from
                the rest of the animal kingdom.
                ok that sounds good , so I'll just stop now ;)
                \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by krunky
                  Not unlike a good dose of acid - these courses of study will reveal the real foolishness that we engage in ALL THE TIME. They pull back the curtains of reality so that you can see the underlying principles at work.
                  Originally posted by Jerico
                  The precise title of the course I took
                  was Philosophy (whatever number), Intro. to Reality.
                  The teacher himself didn't turn me off really.
                  The reason was, as I posted before, I felt I understood
                  a small proportion of what he was saying, and I didn't find
                  the reading easy either. I guessed that I understood 35%.
                  I can't say with confidence though.
                  I'm the kind of guy who usually has good understanding of
                  the material in classes and most of the time gets good grades
                  and all that shit. The philosophy course made me feel very
                  ambiguous about what I was learning. I didn't know if I was doing
                  good or bad. It was interesting enough to keep me though. Also
                  it was during summer so the time was truncated, and I took
                  it for no grade-- credit or no credit.
                  I agree with krunky. I think the best thing that anyone
                  can get out of school is the ability to think critically.
                  I have no doubt that I got some of it from that class.
                  That was the first class that taught me how fear is a major
                  factor in driving behavior. That knowledge has helped me
                  understand human nature better, and preventing me from
                  becoming violent in volatile situations. I take pride
                  in being able to control my temper. It makes me feel as
                  though I am civilized and that's what separates us from
                  the rest of the animal kingdom.
                  ok that sounds good , so I'll just stop now ;)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jerico
                    I agree with krunky. I think the best thing that anyone
                    can get out of school is the ability to think critically.
                    I have no doubt that I got some of it from that class.
                    This is what I hope that everyone gets from their education, especially from a traditional liberal arts education. However, I'm starting to see people disconnect from their total education, concentrating instead on one class at a time, usually one grade at a time. Students are beginning to mistakenly think that the only comprehensive measure of their education is their GPA.

                    People are most successful, both academically and in life, when they learn to ask questions and learn how to find the answers. I know and respect many people who are brave enough to learn these skills outside of the ivory tower, but my experience puts me primarily with people who have learned to think in school. Those are the people who have usually taken their four, five, or six years in college and tried to make the total experience collectively meaningful. However, many simply don't do it, and some simply don't want to do it. There are few things more sad than a student who graduates with honors, but cannot think on their own.

                    Summer school needs to start soon, or my cynicism will run rampant :) [/i]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Much of my fiction was deliberately designed to have readers ask their own questions (rather than present my own particular POV). This is why it's hard for me to tell a reader what the Cornelius books, for instance, are all about. They are all about what questions the reader asks and what answers they find.

                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                      The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                      The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        They say there are more questions than answers and multiple sides to every story but will mankind ever reach a state of mind which is free from his current religous, political and materialistic madness before it consumes him and snuffs him out?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Much of my fiction was deliberately designed to have readers ask their own questions (rather than present my own particular POV). This is why it's hard for me to tell a reader what the Cornelius books, for instance, are all about. They are all about what questions the reader asks and what answers they find.
                          I love that about your fiction and I think that may have also been the purpose in Lost in Translation. Philosophy was the teaching of several famous "philosophers", but they didn't invent it. Scarlet's character in the movie seemed philosophical, but that may have been just who she was, she had no need to quote someone else when she was perfectly comfortable with her own philosophies.

                          I think the movie was intended to spark up different ideas in the minds of those who viewed it thus producing various opinions that probably fall short of the true, and possibly personal, message (hence the title). I loved the story and the way it played out. While Scarlet was just beginning a life with her husband, Bill Murray was at the other end. Bill saw in her what he may have once been before life had him fully in its grip, a freedom she may have been on the edge of losing. Both of them though were at a crossroads of sorts and I think recognized that "lost" feeling in one another and were attempting to "translate" that emotion, as it pertained to themselves, from the other. Thus, "losing themselves in the translation" and not necessarily the more traditional meaning of the phrase "lost in translation."

                          Just a thought, I'm sure one of many inspired by this film.

                          Laters!

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