About the film
Lost in Translation is a 2003 American film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. Her second feature film, after The Virgin Suicides (1999), it stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. The film revolves around an aging actor named Bob Harris (Murray) and a recent college graduate named Charlotte (Johansson) who develop a rapport after a chance meeting in a Tokyo hotel. The movie explores themes of loneliness, insomnia, existential ennui, and culture shock against the backdrop of a modern Japanese city.
Lost in Translation was a major critical success and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Bill Murray, and Best Director for Sofia Coppola; Coppola won for Best Original Screenplay. Scarlett Johansson won a BAFTA award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The film was also a commercial success, grossing almost $120 million from a budget of only $4 million.
About the music
The film’s soundtrack, supervised by Brian Reitzell, was released on September 9, 2003 by Emperor Norton Records. It contains five songs by Kevin Shields, including one from his group My Bloody Valentine. Allmusic gave the soundtrack four out of five stars, saying “Coppola’s impressionistic romance Lost in Translation features an equally impressionistic and romantic soundtrack that plays almost as big a role in the film as Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson do.” Agathi Glezakos, an academic writing a review of Lost in Translation shortly after its release, wrote that the music in the film’s karaoke scene constitutes a common “language” that allows Bob and Charlotte to connect with some of the Japanese people amidst their alienation. In that scene, the rendition of the Pretenders‘ “Brass in Pocket” was selected to showcase a lively side of Charlotte, and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” was chosen to establish that Bob is from a different generation. Both Coppola and Murray finally selected Roxy Music‘s “More Than This” during the shoot itself because they liked the band and thought the lyrics fit the story.
1 – Intro/Tokyo (Yellow Generation) 00:00
2 – City Girl (Kevin Shields) 0:35
3 – Fantino (Sébastien Tellier) 4:23
4 – Tommib (Squarepusher) 7:35
5 – Girls (Death in Vegas) 8:59
6 – Goodbye (Kevin Shields) 13:23
7 – Too Young (Phoenix) 15:56
8 – Kaze Wo Atsumete (Happy End) 19:14
9 – On the Subway (Brian Reitzell et Roger J. Manning Jr) 23:21
10 – Ikebana (Kevin Shields) 24:32
11 – Sometimes (My Bloody Valentine) 26:10
12 – Alone in Kyoto (Air) 31:30
13 – Shibuya (Brian Reitzell et Roger J. Manning Jr) 36:18
14 – Are You Awake? (Kevin Shields) 39:44
15 – Just Like Honey (The Jesus and Mary Chain) 41:20
16 – More than This (Bill Murray) 44:26
17 – JAPANESE BONUS TRACK: 50 Floors Up (Brian Reitzell et Roger J. Manning Jr) 46:04