Which movie is your favourite movie, and why?
It’s a tricky question, isn’t it? While it’s not all that difficult to put together a top 100 list (at least if you’re careless about it like me), the number one position is a different species. It requires at least a minimum level of thinking and consideration, which made me so indecisive that I almost gave up about it.
What eventually saved me was that I realized that it’s not as if we’re building a monument or throwing ourselves into a lifelong marriage. It’s OK to shift preferences, even on a day-to-day basis, depending on your mood and life circumstances.
The day when I sent my contribution to the top 100 movie ballot they’re running over at the Filmspotting forums, Lost in Translation happened to be my number one. Next year when they run this again, it could very well be a different movie.
I’m pretty certain though that it still will have a spot on my top 100 list and in this post I’ll try to explain why, in a brief and completely inadequate manner. I spot a curious connection by the way: the more I love a movie, the harder is it for me to put my thoughts about it into words. Can you ever describe love without killing it?
So bare with me when I give my reasons for falling in love with Lost in Translation
Sometimes in our lives we reach a point when we’re feeling lost, disconnected and utterly lonely. It can happen in your twenties, paralysed at the thought of all the opportunities there are, worrying about making the wrong choices. Or the feeling will come to you as you middle aged stare into the mirror in disbelief, wondering if that old, tired, ugly person really is YOU, and you wonder if this was all there was to it, life, if it’s over now and why the hell didn’t you make more out of it?
Travelling to a strange country, spending times at those in-between-places like hotels and airports, enhances this feeling, which can be for good and for bad. Mostly for good I think, as long as you don’t get stuck in the time-out from your ordinary life.
I’m not sure if I manage to convey this feeling to you properly, but I know that Lost in Translation does it. But while it’s a movie of deep melancholy, there’s also something soothing about it. It’s as if it whispers to me somewhere: yes, we’re just a bunch of small, insecure and lonely people, regardless of how old we are, regardless of the size of our bank account. Life sucks to a certain extent and we’re all lonely wanderers, walking on a path that is our personal, which no one ever can share completely. But it also whispers to me that while we’re lonely, we don’t need to be it all the time. Sometimes we meet people who we recognize on a deeper level – what do they say? – like a thief recognizes another one as they meet on the street. We see their vulnerability and they see ours and while our paths are going in completely different directions, this moment of truth can stay with us, like the bottle of Galadriel to pull out from our memory storage, reminding us that we are not quite as alone as we feel.
At heart the movie is most about Bob and Charlotte of course, about their disconnection to their lives and about the nature of their friendship (oh, how liberating isn’t it that they never get closer to being intimate with each other than just holding a foot!). But I also liked it as a movie about travelling. I bet I would feel just as foreign as them if I ever visited Japan, but also as intrigued. That’s how travelling to far distant countries is. It’s enchanting and fascinating, but at the same time scary as hell and you feel so small and insignificant and it while it exhausts you it also make you sleepless, feeling strangely awake and alive.
I don’t know if this description of why I put Lost in Translation as my number one makes any sense, but I can’t find any way to put it better for the time being.
I love it, not because of a particular reason like the photo, the acting, the script, the music or the editing. I love it because it tells something about being me. And perhaps it makes me feel a little bit less lost.