Lost in Translation / Her

Finding a common theme between two films and running with it in a video essay is, well, a common theme in video essays. This particular effort finds a lot of visual symmetry in Sofie Coppola’s Lost in Translation (2003) and Spike Jonze’s Her (2013).


Although a decade separates these films, they appear to have a lot of shared sensitivities. Granted, it is not always that hard to find similar shots in differing movies, certainly not when they are of such standard situations as people sitting on beds or generic shots of city skylines. But there’s more here than just those superficial similarities, and supercutter Jorge Luengo Ruiz has picked up on that.


These movies are permeated with a sense of loneliness, the feeling of being ill at ease in an increasingly virtual and virtueless modernity. This video essay brings out that thematic thread by its deft editing (the unhurried rhythm underscores the monotony and ennui) and a fitting choice of music. The specific form of this audiovisual montage tells us just as much about the connection between these movies, as do the visually similar shots. (In passing, it also shows that a similar theme and feelings can be tackled in wildly differing color palettes).