By: Shelby Halliman
Recently, in my film festivals class, we watched Sophia Coppola’s second feature film, Lost in Translation. During our discussion, my professor brought light to the argument that some people believed that Lost in Translation undermines the cultural significance that is celebrated in Japanese society. I think otherwise.
Official Poster for Lost in Translation.
Upon listening to this argument, it dawned on me that the people who are in favor of this argument may only take the film at face value, meaning that they do not look past what is shown to them in this film. While searching for what other people said about the film, I came across an article that was particularly interesting because this thought could be applied to many different films aside from this one. The article argues that the characters in the film are actually exhibiting qualities of people who are actually experiencing the idea of culture shock. It goes on to underline the presence of different cultures and practices as being prevalent aspect of society.
“It is not only a process of recognition of the elements that differ in the culture that seems strange, but also of learning and adaptation that should start before the direct contact with that same culture”.-Sandro Cantante
Link to the article is below:
Continuing the argument made in the article, the first phase of culture shock is recognition. Coppola illustrates the characters portrayed in the film in a very interesting light. They are curious and adventurous characters. While they are exploring Japan, both characters had a willingness to learn about the culture and partake in a means of cultural expression that also allows them to learn more about themselves. I believe there are a lot of films that are mistaken to portray signs of cultural appropriations. This is a very interesting and complex argument because people have to be able to admit that they may have little knowledge when attempting to immerse themselves in another culture. It is okay to not understand; however, especially in this film, I believe people striving to adapt and learn about culture really says a lot about their character.