Samsung Galaxy Mobile + Air’s “Alone in Kyoto”

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Lost in Translation

Charlotte: So, what are you doing here? Bob: Uh, a couple of things. Taking a break from my wife, forgetting my son's birthday. And, uh, getting paid two million dollars to endorse a whiskey when I could be doing a play somewhere. Charlotte: Oh. Bob: But the good news is, the whiskey works.

I was watching the great soulless beast tonight (AKA, the television) and I saw the latest commercial for Samsung’s Galaxy phone version whatever. The phone seemed a bit of a throwback, with a “smart pen” that looked a lot like a stylus circa PalmIII-early-two-thousand-something. With the future of mobile phones being smaller and more awesome (can you say “flexible AMOLED display“?), this seems like a step in the wrong direction. But I digress…

The song on the Samsung commercial was Air’s “Alone in Kyoto,” which also happens to have been in the movie Lost in Translation with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. The scenes that accompany this song are my favorite…everything you’d hope to encounter (the mundane, the spiritual, the ultimately disappointing) while on a journey beyond your native land.

Sofia Coppola did an amazing job of conveying the sense of elation and excitement that one hopes to find while traveling, juxtaposed by the internal suffocation and emotional disconnection of the characters. Too close is close enough but also not far enough away. It is enchanting and depressing and leaves me feeling lonely every time I watch it (these are also the very things I love about it).

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a copy of the current commercial featuring the song by Air. For now you’ll just have to believe me.

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4 responses »

  1. I’ve seen the commercial and can affirm your claim; I believe! I found it odd to use a not new song for a new gadget. Especially one so (let’s reach for this one) mellifluous and not so attention-grabbing. Though I suppose you and I noticed it, and here we are shamelessly advertising for them in a way, so they win.

    Also, that movie is fantastic, as are most Sofia Coppola films and accompanying Air (AIR?) soundtracks.

  2. As soon as I heard the song in the commercial, I recognized it from Lost In Translation, and that’s one of my favorite pieces in the film! Nice to know I wasn’t losing my mind.

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