Sunday, January 18, 2004

It is entirely romantic (small 'r') but not a romance. The ease of it does not even defy explication; there's nothing - absolutely nothing - to explain. It's lovely the way every convention is set up to get these two unlikelies into a (ridiculous) clinch that would destroy the dynamic. For example, the ending moves like pure Hollywood Romance (like the end of Crocodile Dundee, the 'grab love before it departs on a train' trope: "Tell him I love him!" "She says she loves you!" "Mick, I love you!"). When he catches her the great clinch is - a hug, a clasp; contact, reach, and rapport, not passion or sex. Because that's not it: the point is an alliance of the lonely and the complexity of a chance bond. The point is: a tentative and trusting connection between time and place. When he whispers into her ear you don't need or even want to know what he says. That moment of privacy and contact in a crush of a city (Tokyo streets a choppy torrent of vehicles and bodies; an irruption of neon, plasma screens, holography). I like the way Murray's eyes convey the full strain of loss and longing, but Johansson's look almost indifferent until the last moment. The charm of their connection and isolation outside of each other is precisely a transfiguration of the lonely. And what makes the lonely beautiful is a kind of quiet fortitude and a strength of mind allied to acute perception, sensitivity, desire, and nerve. The film romances loneliness despite itself; the lonely even feel it - loneliness is romantic.

Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)

posted by oc  # 9:05 AM

citta vecchio

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