Translation of scene with the whiskey ad director:

**After rewatching the film, it struck me that I had not properly introduced the racist aspects of cultural mis-communication. While I think Lost in Translation is an excellent film, few of the Japanese characters are humanized, Bob and others make no attempt to actually understand what most people are saying, and many of his jokes have a racist undercurrent. Bob's behavior is only possible because of his Americanness, where cultural miscommunication in a foreign country rarely risks his personal safety, legal status, or other important dimension of our humanity. Here is one opinion piece that denounces the film on this basis: and here is one that's a bit more complex in its analysis: Do you think we can find a middle-ground that doesn't simply minimize the ugliness of the film's more racist moments?

Three ways to characterize the film:
Ethnocentric – Many jokes are funny only from an American perspective.
Exoticism – The Japanese people featured in the film were mostly exaggerated stereotypes rather than "normal" people.
Elitism – The narrative places Bob and Charlotte as 'in the know' while everyone else are bumbling fools.

Popular press material:
"Sleepless in Tokyo," which deals with the theme of alienation:
"Tokyo Drifters," writeup & interview:
"Heartbreak Hotels":
"The Coppola Smart Mob":
"Prisoner of Japan":
"Bill at his best":
"Along Comes Another Coppola":
"Lost in Translation":
"Lost in Translation":
Sofia Coppola interview:
Interview of Coppola and Murray (Click on "Full Text PDF" in the left menu):

More academic material:
An academic writeup:
Full academic article:
Short comparative academic piece:
A book (both a source for good reading, but a bibliography to raid):