Alec Soth's Lost in Translation • Magnum Photos

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Alec Soth’s Lost in Translation

On assignment for 'New York Times Voyages' Alec Soth lived in his Tokyo hotel for five days in order to recreate his own version of Sofia Coppola's seminal film

Alec Soth

Alec Soth JAPAN. Tokyo. 2015. A self-portrait of Alec Soth in his hotel room at the Park Hyatt Hotel, where Lost in Translation was filmed. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos

“I love the movie Lost in Translation, so I decided I would stay in the Park Hyatt Tokyo, where the film was made, and not leave for five nights. Instead, I would bring the city to me, finding people online — through Craigslist and other sites.”

Alec Soth JAPAN. Tokyo. 2015. Park Hyatt Hotel is where Lost in Translation was filmed. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth JAPAN. Tokyo. 2015. Insect sushi prepared by Uchiyama Shoichi, a private chef and ecologist. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth JAPAN. Tokyo. 2015. Room service card with dinner for tomorrow's weather. Park Hyatt Hotel is where Lost in Translation was filmed. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth JAPAN. Tokyo. 2015. Park Hyatt Hotel is where Lost in Translation was filmed. Rental Girlfriend. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos

“I brought in singers, a sushi chef, teachers and others. I probably learned as much as if I had gone out and visited temples and wandered the streets.”

Alec Soth JAPAN. Tokyo. 2015. Park Hyatt Hotel is where Lost in Translation was filmed. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth JAPAN. Tokyo. 2015. Sari, a rental D.J., dancer and singer. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth JAPAN. Tokyo. 2015. Alec Soth in a robe and slippers provided by the Park Hyatt Hotel, where Lost in Translation was filmed. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth JAPAN. Tokyo. 2015. Singer from the Ganguro Cafe, part of the Ganguro fashion revival. Park Hyatt Hotel is where Lost in Translation was filmed. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos

“Normally, I have a wariness of photographing in other cultures, but I felt as though I could get away with it here because I’m not even pretending to enter the city.

I was totally lost in translation, presented with this fabulous surface of things that I don’t entirely understand.”

Alec Soth JAPAN. Tokyo. 2015. Park Hyatt Hotel is where Lost in Translation was filmed. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos

Alec Soth for New York Times Voyages

TEARSHEET. "Lost In Translation", The New York Times Magazine, Voyages. 2015.
TEARSHEET. "Lost In Translation", The New York Times Magazine, Voyages. 2015.