amy merrickliving in

living in: lost in translation

by amym

Sofia Coppola’s second film Lost in Translation begs for a warm night and some takeout sushi. Set in a fancy Tokyo hotel, Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray dance a delicate waltz of isolation in an overwhelming city until they find each other. The intensity of Japanese culture shock forms a unlikely bond between them, and running around the city with a newly met stranger sounds like the best way to spend a summer.        –Amy Merrick

1. Nash table lamp, $49; 2. Tokyo City Guide, $2; 3. Cosabella sheer undies, $28; 4. Sake set, $31; 5. Passport cover, $15; 6. Daniel Green slippers, $30; 7. Paper daisies, $1.50; 8. Fine lines pillow, $25; 9. Foundry table, $129; 10. Totes bubble umbrella, $20.

The full post continues after the jump…

The minimal, modern interiors feel like a real vacation from reality these days. Piles of fluffy hotel towels and hotel slippers, sake sets and simple tables- I’m sold. Instead of forking over some serious cash on airfare to Asia, let’s all bring the hotel home. Mr. Murry included.

1. Zebra wallpaper, $68; 2. Tea ball, $2.50; 3. Monty task lamp, $495; 4. Akiko Graham plate, $29; 5. Terra dining table, $499; 6. Suntory whiskey, $45; 7. Wrapped chopsticks, $1.25; 8. Rhonda Zeilenga, $28; 9. Horn bottle opener, $9; 10. Leather briefcase, $395.

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  • One of my favorite movies of all time. This is an awesome round-up — makes me want to go home and watch the movie on this rainy oregon morning! :)

  • ah, yes. nice job finding those undies. (oh my!) but surely they are one of the first images that come to mind when thinking of lost in translation.

  • This is such a beautiful movie. I used to watch it all of the time, but I haven’t seen it in so long. Time to pull it out again. Great soundtrack, too!

  • This is a great movie, but I wonder if whoever wrote this post has actually seen it…

    “Running around the city with a newly met stranger sounds like the best way to spend a summer”? The two characters are deeply unhappy and lost in their lives, and, yes, they find and understand one another, but’s not exactly a light-hearted summer romance movie. It is, however, beautiful made and totally worthy of a “living in” feature.

  • Dang… I was so hoping you were going to include that awesome stuffed owl Bill Murray gives her in the hospital. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent trying to find one!

    Regardless, great post. I love this film.

  • Love this! I’ve been looking for paper flower mobiles similar to the ones she hangs in her hotel room for years. Any ideas?

  • The cherry blossom mobile is like a ghost…. I’ve been looking for it since the movie came out, I even went to Sakura Festival IN Japan and couldn’t find anything like it. If you find it let me know (c:
    This really is a great movie with beautiful imagery. Good job!

  • The 1990s Tokyo guidebook is an odd choice, especially when there are so many great current independent guides to Japan. A round-up of independent travel books/zines would be nice feature sometime.

  • Watched this over the past weekend :) One of my all time favorites! And I was totally thinking “design sponge” should do a living in for this movie.

  • the sakura [cherry blossom] fake flowers are not exactly mobiles but that is such a good idea we can make such!

    I did not get this film at all so appreciate everyone’s comments. I have a friend who saw it as they could not sleep! I think it is further than that. Anyway, San Francisco’s Japan Town NihonMachi has shops that sell these and perhaps online please look at J List.com. maybe this will help.

    Also, when you are a non Jpnse in Japan , it is easy to bond with another and go around, even with a Jpnse. so not so strange.

  • This is a favourite of mine; I just watched it again with friends last week!

    These 2 actors are such an unlikely pairing, and the romance is so sweet and touching….I was very surprised at my reaction to them finding each other. I always cry at the end!

    The music is amazing, the cinematic shots are stunning and sensitive…and the strange details of the environment makes you feel as if you are living in a dream. I mean, the jazz singer all in red in that womb-like bar at the top of the hotel?? Fantastic….

    Thanks for this one – I’ve been living this movie in my mind for a week now and I shall spend another thanks to this little reminder. Compai!


  • gorgeous film with gorgeous style!!! such a fantastic way to look at home design, the use of film as inspiration has got my imagination running riot!! i managed to find a leather topped foundry table at a store in london called camerich so i am now determind to push this look further. so looking forward to your next blog post! thank you!

    Ros x

  • A friend and I were wondering recently why clear bubble umbrellas never really caught on in the US, even after Lost in Translation. In Japan every other person on the street carries a clear umbrella when it rains. And it’s so practical too, when you think about it!

  • oh, one of my all-time faves…sofia coppola’s quite amazing and captured many of the emotions that i felt while living in japan as a single girl way back when…not a fan of animal prints, but am savin’ up for a pair of those sheer pink bloomers ;)…umm, time to throw that one in the player…thank you!

  • One of my all-time fave movies…loved Scarlett’s hotel room there with the cherry blossom mobiles…and this is one movie wherein Scarlett wasn’t “Hollywood-ized” yet. :)

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