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Showing posts from February, 2016

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #128: Lost in Translation

Being in a country where you don’t speak the language and most people don’t speak your language is a rather unique experience, which Sofia Coppola perfectly captured in her comedy/drama Lost in Translation (2003). Setting the movie in Japan greatly increases the feeling of isolation the two main characters feel, since at times Japanese culture almost feels like something from another world when compared to western culture. Then again with Donald Trump running for President of the United States this year Japan is starting to look pretty tame as compared to how the world was in 2003.
I have not had the chance to travel to Japan, but I spent a good chunk of my teenage years in South America where I had to slowly learn Spanish for everyday use. While watching Lost in Translation I could somewhat identify with the situation of Bob Harris (Bill Murray), an American adrift in Tokyo. The first time you are in a country with a different culture, language, and time zone, there is a lot of adjust…

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #132: Pan's Labyrinth

Some directors try to excel in all genres while others feel very much at home in a particular genre, which is fine especially if that director is Guillermo del Toro. The Mexican writer and director has made action movies, moody dramas, and horror films, yet all of these films could be classified in a way as works of fantasy. His masterpiece, so far, is Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) in which a young girl’s imagination and embrace of the fantastic triumphs over the rigidity of fascism. It is a dark and bloody tale for sure, but also one filled with beautiful images and a commanding performance from its young lead.
The movie was released in the fall of 2006 when I was studying at the University of Sherbrooke and unfortunately this was another case when the movie was only available dubbed in French. I always prefer watching movies in their original language, otherwise I feel like I have only paid for half the performances, and I could have perfectly understood the original Spanish track having sp…