April 12th, 2004 1:38 AM

I had a great easter dinner with the LeBlanc’s today. Holiday dinners seem to end up being big things at their house, and today was no exception with sixteen people sitting down to eat this afternoon. The food was wonderful, and Mark, Darby, Andrew and I had very pleasant, if somewhat sparse, conversation.

Ben and I met up this evening for a drink at the Loft, where we stumbled upon Birdman on TV. After that, it was some more drinks, some Futurama, a visit to the Lyon’s Den, and a lot of wandering around campus looking for trouble. We stopped by the art studios and talked to some of the art majors who are essentially living out of the studios during these last few days leading up to their senior art show. As for us, trouble seems to have eluded us tonight, but there are certainly makings for some fun times in the near future.

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Two details that also added to the evening were Sealab 2021 following Birdman at the Loft (along with some ridiculous commercials for the new Birdman season starting next Sunday @ 11:30) and the Den playing the Lost in Translation soundtrack, without the benefit of a fast forward scanning button and sitting through 8 minutes of silence to hear Bill Murray croon out “More than This”.

But yes. Trouble is in our future. There is a storm on the horizon. I’d bet dollars to donuts on that. “:)”

Posted by: Benjamin on April 12th, 2004 9:27 AM

That’s it. I must buy the Lost in Translation soundtrack. I wouldn’t do it if it weren’t for you saying that Bill sings.

Posted by: sara on April 12th, 2004 3:39 PM

Yeah, to save you the trouble of finding the song, it’s 11 minutes into Track 15, the last track.

Greg and I were discussing the track and whether or not there could have been another choice… but I think the resolution was that in the end, the right choice was made, regardless of how silly that Japanese man was singing “God Save the Queen”.

Posted by: Benjamin on April 12th, 2004 4:47 PM

Okay, there were a lot of karaoke songs done as silly, i.e. God Save the Queen, What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding, right?

Why did Charlotte (Scarlett) have to do a good job with Brass in Pocket? I mean.. she was very nearly on-key the whole time.. it just makes the rest of us piss-poor karaoke-ers look really bad. sigh

I would have really liked to see her do something that would have been completely embarassing under any other circumstances.. much like me doing Like a Virgin.. but the only embarassing thing about that is how well I do it. grin

Posted by: sara on April 12th, 2004 8:43 PM

I think you might enjoy these, as “suggested” lost in translation readings. I suggest the bottom link first, his is much better writen, though we did arive at rather similar conclussions. Admitedly we did chat about the movie prior.


and here

by the way… I am being a bit facetious


(ps. ordered that okin book the otherday… should be in soon)

Posted by: Anders on April 13th, 2004 1:21 AM

A professor of mine once warned, “never ask rhetorical questions in your papers,” because the reader might have an answer that you don’t want them to have. In a similar vein, I cringe for the author when I read this:

1) as a story about being bored, it has failed to show us that their situation is boring, but only leaves one with the feeling that the characters themselves are simply boring people. 2[a]) it lacks a central conflict and a dramatic focal point. [b] Never does it force us to care what will happen to these hapless wanderers, [c] never does it connect the characters to the viewer

I deny [1] completely, as I felt the characters’ situation was anything but boring. I question whether the movie needs a “central conflict and a dramatic focal point,” [2a] or whether these are merely cliches of a static filmmaking approach. I contest the intention of [2b]; while I didn’t feel forced to care what happened to the characters, I did care. Likewise, [2c] isn’t a matter of being forced to connect with the characters, but I felt a deep connection, having felt before what I was seeing on the screen.

I’ve read some quite good critiques of Lost in Translation, but a lot of the complaints come from people who simply didn’t like the movie on a personal level, and conflate their experience with the movie necessarily lacking quality. To them, I say, “Bah.”

Posted by: kasei on April 13th, 2004 1:46 AM

I feel stupider for having read those criticisms of the film. Reducing the film to people “being bored” or saying it’s a struggle of the upper class just wasn’t paying attention. Until I read those comments that Anders linked too, the only complaint I heard about was that the characters should have gotten it over with and fucked. This still remains, and sadly, the most astute criticism of the film I have come across because it touches upon, ever so slightly, the idea of the tension that develops between two characters, entirely alone and alienated in Japan, by simply trying to connect. Strangers in a strange land, if you will (to use a cliche that isn’t “dollars to donuts” :p ). Forcing the audience to care about the characters is downright fascist. If one didn’t care for the characters, that’s understandable, but to expect art to force itself on the audience is truly the mark of an unimaginitive and boring person. But since that criticism comes from one who places economics on such a lofty pedestal, I can’t help but to scoff. “They’re rich, what’s their problem?” The problem is that they are human, thinking feeling people. This fact is the something Marx neglected in his philosophies and why economics doesn’t explain everything in this world. Somethings examine life beyond class to the point of not even acknowledging it, Lost in Translation being one of those things.

Posted by: Benjamin on April 13th, 2004 12:47 PM

ouch… now i’m not sure that’s fair ben. Kasei as usual is poignent in that I have expressed largley my own disagreement with the film, and a weaker part of my arguement. But to dismiss the socio-economic backgrounds of the characters entirely I don’t believe is being fair to the process of either writing or watching a film.

And although it seems unsubstantial my biggest beef with the movie is still that I find that it’s very hard for me to muster up any sympathy for the characters, being that what appears to be their biggist troubles in life is boredom.

Sorry didn’t mean to offend anyone, just what I consider a different look at lost in translation.

Posted by: Anders on April 13th, 2004 5:25 PM

Going back to the pre-critiques and all.. I will express slight embarassment at going to Borders today and standing in the same damn spot with headphones on for 11 minutes waiting to hear Bill croon (again without the benefit of a fast-forward button).

My friend was with me and I wouldn’t have felt quite as stupid if she hadn’t stood there and laughed at me, then went to make her purchases and I was still standing there listening to nothing when she came back to claim me.

However, we both went on about how we both had secret crushes on Bill Murray since Ghostbusters. When we finally got to listen to More Than This, we both sighed profusely and giggled.

Then we went to go buy liquor. grin

Posted by: Sara on April 13th, 2004 6:22 PM

I feel strongly about the film, but I thankfully don’t identify myself by it, so there’s no offense taken.

I think that my whole rant above can be neatly summarized to say that I contend the characters are alienated, not bored.

No one ever stops to point out the socio-economic background of Romeo and/or Juliet, yet these well-to-do brats give the world one of its most compelling and recognizable love stories of all time. Should we be more conscious of socio-economic background or not? It’s never been my style, but it’s another way of looking at things. Nor has being poignant or socially adept ever been my style…

Posted by: Benjamin on April 13th, 2004 6:46 PM

you know you are with good, smart people when the dinner conversation isn’t filled with over-inflated blabber about nothing … the gaps of silence during that easter dinner resonated with my own temperment and spirit … which is to say i think i’ll invite greg, darby, and andrew back for another meal at a small table in my study …

Posted by: mark on April 15th, 2004 6:56 AM