For the umpteenth time I have re-watched Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, a film about the connection between two people out of place in both physically their surroundings and metaphorically in their lives. Bob is the old actor, distanced from his wife and kids and distracted by Charlotte, the undirected youth who’s followed her husband’s photography work across the world to Japan. Their connection forms from their bewilderment of a very much monolinguistic country, which really represents their current wavy-ness with their own relationships and careers, and unsure footing in ‘the walk of life’. It’s a beautiful film and very easy on the eyes, and most of the story is told through facial expressions and body language, and anyone going through a period of uncertainty can take something away from it.
I love the realm of cinema. A good story can grasp you in a way that removes the idea of actors or a fabricated setting, and instead provides some sort of voyeuristic experience where you see how others live their lives, or how you could live your own. A book can fuel the imagination, where as a image can present something instantaneous for you to register and be part of, which is often why most writers/directors do best when pulling from their own personal experiences. We often compare parts of our lives, whether it is romance or death, to that of a movie or literature, but surely those stories told are based on that which someone has already lived through, and maybe that’s why we connect to certain pieces without even trying.
When I originally planned ‘The Housewife‘, the words and images were meant to be an ambiguous attempt at recreating the life of this imaginary, lonely individual. The idea of doing something repetitive and without thought, and escaping such a world within another world we create in our own heads. The illusion of something rebellious, a figurative ‘fuck you’ even if no one sees it but ourselves. I remember people saying to leave out the pink wig (which in a way was my own homage to Lost in Translation), as it didn’t really fit the story. I saw it differently, as a pivotal part of the story, where this character has lost her drive and lust for life, and she instead creates her own character who lives the life she had or wanted to live (not as a pink-wigged Lolita fetish doll, might I add).
It’s a bit of a subtle story and not something I executed to its best potential – blame that on inexperience – but I think loneliness can be subtle anyway. There’s so much mania with all these headlines and “statuses” and opinions thrown at us all the time, and it’s exhausting. Even on my kitchen table now I’ve got letters and newspapers, a phone telling me “someone you follow has posted something – check it out now because you absolutely must NOWWW!!!”, and a distant TV preaching some more scaremongering shit about the world, or cancerous foods. Who is surprised that people have ended up a little more unsociable and a bit more reclusive? We mostly connect through something that we interact with through our fingers, and hardly ever with our senses.
People seem startled when things happen too fast or out of the blue, and it is said to be playing like a film, but maybe these are things we should just go with. Embrace it! I don’t think the idea of romance should be lost because of the instantaneousness of modern dating, nor should our communications with friends be left to text and emails. I know it’s a re-occurring in films that characters never use their mobile phones, which I’d say is a lesson we could learn from. Unless of course you are being chased through the woods with a chainsaw.
See the full shoot here. Thank you to those involved.