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Lost in Translation and Kill Bill

AT FIRST GLANCE, Sofia Coppola’s melancholy love story Lost in Translation and Quentin Tarantino’s brazen splatterfest Kill Bill: Vol. 1 don’t seem to have much in common beyond their similarly lavish Oscar campaigns. But then a peculiar set of coincidences begins to emerge. Both are set in a dreamlike, poppalette Tokyo, the action in both pivots on the marital troubles of a female protagonist, and the films each sport a key scene in which the heroine rides along a hospital corridor in a wheelchair. Even some of the finer points are identical, like both films’ featuring a minor Japanese character nicknamed Charlie Brown. The chain of happenstance starts to look like the “eerie” coincidences connecting the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. (You know, Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy, Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln . . .) But while these young, talented

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