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All that glitters…

June 30, 2009

So a couple of days ago I watched Lost in Translation. I like the movie – although not sure how blasphemous as a student of Japanese, it is to watch and enjoy. In general, I just like Sofia Copolla things, yet can also see why she has gathered many dis-likers. Her style is consistent; dreamy, lonely; her method nay identical; shots through windows, close-close ups of blank faces switching to wide frame; and her  love of 80s tunes blatant. I’ll admit there are some films I feel are much stronger than others – The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation being those ones.

One of her first shorts, Lick the Star, is pretty neat, but I only watch Marie Antoinette for the frosting, to be honest (’tis truly a vain and vapid girl’s night in, eye-candy kind of film).:

Oh, yeah, and she loves including dialogue (can you call it that?) of people talking…well, crap (see alien story moment for details). Having watched certain ‘making of’ documentaries, I can safely say that monotonous tones are fashioned on her own style of speaking. Very casual, bordering on mundane….Despite all this, I watched Lost in Translation and freaking liked it.

So in short, the whole thing is an awfully guilty pleasure.

Anyway: Lost in Translation!

Several moments I loved: the “Charlie Brown” art party – with rotating lights projected on the walls and white decorum. Was wondering if there’s anywhere in Tokyo like this? There must be! I would have loved to have been there with an amazing camera and a set of awesome party-fiend friends; dressing up and drinking cocktails, speaking Japanese and taking crrrazy photos. And following the art party, the karaoke scene…(for the record, my mother passed down to me a love of “Brass in Pocket”, prior to any BillMurraycrush inspiring movies)…it reminded me of Marie Antoinette, and how pale pink, candyfloss hair is surely the best ever:

Working the pixie pink-rinse brigade look!

..and its 20th century counterpart

..and its 20th century counterpart

Obviously there were all the comedy pieces; “LIP MY STOCKINGS!”, Bill’s numerous photoshoots plus the meeting of Scarlett and the movie star blonde which was entertaining in a sly, snarky way.

More importantly, the film got me thinking about things I want to do in Tokyo specific (not Japan yet – that list can wait till I actually arrive/know how much free time will be had!). It might be a silly old list but this is what came to mind:

  1. Stay out late in Tokyo for the hell of it (aka, miss the last train back to my dorm), and do whatever. Wander about, drink some (more), steal an ojisan‘s tie from around his head – where it ought to be during earlier hours of the morning.
  2. Attempt either to head north (Hokkaido)/south (Okinawa), or both. I grudgingly accept that, given the country’s geography, this are achievable as realistic goals, only to a certain degree. For instance, it never occured to me previously that getting to the Ryukyuu islands might be a little bit of a long journey. We shall see.
  3. Visit a maid cafe for the banter (as the Scottish saying goes; ie, ‘to do something for the banter’ = for the lols/laughs/or, as a friend of mine delightfully says, “shits and giggles”. Hrm). Surely if I was a man this would be for entirely different motives, but as a straight chica, it might just be a wee bittie funny. What would the customers look like? It’s twisted curiosity.
  4. On that note, visit a “garcon” “butler” cafe. These are cafes catering for the laydees – staff are all male, uniform wearing, eye candy who may also serve you yummy drinks and sweets. This one is clearly a no-brainer. Cameras WILL be taken.
  5. Go to a shrine (with perhaps goal 6.), properly at New Years. I don’t just want to be gimmicky and get a photo op with the temples – although I cannot WAIT to find those red torii (I believe they are in..Shinjuku somewhere?). I would also like to join in on that cultural event of visiting the shrine at New Years, along with all the whistles and bells, so to speak. Well, the clapping, bell-ringing and fortune receiving!
  6. Buy a proper kimono and wear it like a proper wannabe, damnit. They are geniunely gorgeous, yet oh-so expensive…despite that, it’s Japan, probably one of the few places one can get away with trotting about in a full blown kimono with obi, geta, and hopefully a gorgeous parasol. I’d like to get one in deep purple, maybe with red highlights, and a (faux or vintage) fur sash/neck collar…ooo, I get all geekily giddy just thinking about it (and not all the zeros attached to their price tags…).
  7. Stay in a pod hotel and/or love hotel. Did you know some have THEMED rooms?
  8. Do all night drunken karaoke, preferably in central Tokyo. This, I believe, is also a compulsory cultural event for all new schoolers/old schoolers/any schoolers.
  9. GET PURIKURA TAKEN. I love them! They will doubtlessly be a faux-pas, if not already, then by my arrival. But by my heel, I care not! Observing the reels of soft-lighting, kitsch square joy, this is something I look foward to wasting valuable study hours on!
  10. Go to a matsuri with hanabi (fireworks) and stalls; go to some big Tokyo park for drunken hana-mi and night picnic; do the whole shebang of activities for Tanabata. And have a different yukata/geta (or zori)/tabi for each. Yeah. So not happening.

OK, so I cheated a little bit at the end there…but there you have it. My first list of ten essential things-to-do-at-some-point.

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