Films & Architecture: "Lost in Translation"

Films & Architecture: "Lost in Translation"

The second film by Sofia Coppola was acclaimed by the critics, and with fair reasons. It shows in a subtle but deep way the contrasts between Japanese and American cultures, utilizing the amazing city of Tokyo as a background for this.

Characters are immerse in a quite different environment, which atmosphere is shown through the scenes where they interact with the foreign surroundings. This atmospheres are represented in a way beyond the typical approach of other films, trying somehow to really understand how this spaces are perceived.

As always, we wait for your comments about the movie and specifically about this culture shock concept and architecture.


Original Title: Lost in Translation Year: 2003 Runtime: 105 min. Country: United States, Japan Director: Sofía Coppola Writer: Sofía Coppola Soundtrack: Brian Reitzell Cinematography: Lance Acord Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris, Akiko Takeshita, Ryuichiro Baba, Catherine Lambert


Bob Harris (Murray), an aging American movie star, arrives in Tokyo to film an advertisement for Suntory whisky, for which he will receive $2 million. Charlotte (Johansson), a young recent college graduate, is left behind in her hotel room by her husband, John (Ribisi), a celebrity photographer on assignment in Tokyo. Charlotte is unsure of her future with him, as she believes he takes more interest in his celebrity models, most notably a young and popular American actress named Kelly (Faris), than he does in her. At the same time, Bob’s own 25-year marriage is tired and lacking in romance as he goes through a midlife crisis.

One night, after a long photo shoot, Bob retreats to the hotel bar. Charlotte, sitting at a table with John and friends, notices Bob and has a waiter bring him a bowl of snacks from her table. Later, Bob and Charlotte have brief encounters each night at the hotel bar, until Charlotte invites Bob to meet up with some local friends of hers. Bob accepts and arrives later at her hotel room dressed in clothes that appear to be designed for a younger generation. Meanwhile, the two begin a friendship and bond through their adventures in Tokyo together while experiencing the differences between Japanese and American culture, and between their own generations.

On the penultimate night of his stay, Bob attracts the attention of the resident vocalist. The next morning, Bob awakens to find the woman in his room, having apparently slept with her. Charlotte arrives at his room to go out for breakfast only to find the woman in his room, leading to conflict and tension over a subsequent lunch. Later that night, during a fire alarm at the hotel, Bob and Charlotte reconcile and express how they will miss each other as they make one more trip back to the hotel bar. On the following morning, Bob is set for his departure back to the United States.


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Cite: Daniel Portilla. "Films & Architecture: "Lost in Translation"" 12 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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