A fairytale with a twist of realism is one way to describe Sofia Coppola's "bittersweet, beautiful, and immaculate" Lost In Translation. It's also a neat summation of her experiences in making the film. Eventually winning her an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, this is a brilliantly conceived and beautifully shot film that mostly wowed the critics but split moviegoers. Apparently many Bill Murray fans were utterly bewildered by the whole affair - it may feature Bill on a golf course, but Caddyshack it ain't.
The Guerilla Filmmaker's Guide
Lost On Location is a surprisingly revealing and funny video diary tailing Sofia Coppola through the jerky roller coaster ride of moviemaking in Japan. The handheld camerawork comes courtesy of Sofia's ex-hubby Spike Jonze, and for budding filmmakers he provides a comprehensive education in shooting on a shoestring.
Take notes as a sanguine Sofia hits the Tokyo streets with her intrepid and unlicensed (!) camera crew. To get shots of city vistas, Sofia buys multiple lattes at a high-rise Starbucks while her cameraman furtively fiddles with his focus at a panel window. Eventually though, the crew gets "kicked out" of a restaurant when wily waiters cotton on to their game. Thank goodness Bill Murray is on hand to divert attention with silly dancing. And when things get really heavy, he impresses with the ability to intimidate the locals in their native tongue. These are things they don't teach you at film school.
How Do You Say Schtick In Japanese?
A ten-minute Conversation With Bill Murray And Sofia Coppola is less edifying. Director and star offer quiet reflection on the film they've just made, but this seems like inadequate compensation for the lack of any audio commentaries. Five deleted scenes offer better insight into the film's improvised style. Among them you can catch Bill Murray doing his inimitable comedy schtick, and the Morning After Karaoke scene nicely captures a moment of whimsy as Scarlett Johansson wakes up to a flashback of the previous night's events.
Best Hit Him Now
Winning the prize for quirkiest DVD bonus is Matthew's Best Hit TV - in effect, an extended scene in which Bill Murray, as Bob, appears as a guest on a Japanese chat show. Matthew is a psychedelic - and quite possibly psychotic - cross between Graham Norton and Timmy Mallet. Consequently, you may wish to show Matthew your own 'Best Hit' with aforementioned mallet after five minutes of this featurette. It's fun for about a minute, and then it's just scary.