Paul 11/13/03

One of the central motifs of this movie that I'm not sure you're paying enough attention to, which is a shame because it's very important and relevant for you, is the main characters' ironic detachment from their environment. They think that they possess a level of awareness that no one else has, which allows them to notice and privately laugh at everything around them. At the same time, they suspect that everyone else is in on some joke at their expense that they don't want to find out about. Consider SJ's bemused expression when she looks at the loser on the back of the self help tapes she finds herself listening to. She wants to make fun of him, but she's listening to the tapes and there's no one else there. This is where killing god gets you. Nowhere.

Anyway, that's the Evelyn Waugh thing for you. No miscalculation; you're not supposed to laugh at NCD with SJ on that one, you're supposed to feel sorry for SJ, who is lost.

CB 11/13/03

That may be true for Bill Murray's character, but not Scarlett Johansson's. I don't think she conveys much awareness. Whether she was supposed to per the script or not, I just don't see it on the screen. As to the Evelyn Waugh thing, you're the second person to mention that. I think you are right that we are made to sympathize with Giovanni Ribisi's point that she needs to stop being such a hater. Clearly, we now see her as excessively harsh and side with NCD and GR on this one. But two points. One, there's just no way NCD would ever know about Evelyn Waugh, period, so it's kind of a gaff in the script. Two, what on Earth would this sudden shift in POV have to do with the rest of the film? How is it connected to the rest of the film? It's not, that's how. The film doesn't develop this point any further. By the end, we're back right where we started with starry eyed oogling for our inter-generational non-couple as they have their final little tender moment. What does the last part of the film have to do with any of these so-called 'deeper' meanings, which you are so ready to project?

Paul 11/13/03

My basic objection to what you're writing, and to what I'm writing about it, is that I'm not sure what you're trying to acheive. Do you want to prove that LiT is not a great movie? Fine. I don't care. Go argue with the ________ at cinemarati about that. Do you want to explain why you don't like it? OK, and I'll explain why I like it, but then I'm not sure we can keep arguing about it; we'll have to agree to disagree, which is for sucks. I think it comes down to, if we want to argue about it, we have to argue about what we read into it, and thus ultimately about the meaning of life. And leave SC out of it.

It seems like you want to prove that LiT is not a great movie. I feel that what you're writing is meant to be part of some great debate in the film criticism world over the place of LiT in the canon, and that your primary audience is other film critics, mainly those who adore LiT. Well, fine, good luck, but I don't really give a crap about that. I still liked it.

That made it sound like I think I'm pretty cool for not caring about other peoples' opinions, which is not the case. I care plenty about other people's opinions. It's that I feel like you're addressing the good/bad question, while I'm only interested in the liked it/didn't like it question.

CB 11/17/03

He's wrong.

CB 8/17/04

I haven't heard from Paul in over 3 months. Haven't talked about this movie since the above comments.

CB 1/10/10

Paul is so smart. I wish he were here now.

Lost In Translation      Movies      Home