With the recent 11th hour defections of Adrian Fernandez
and Bobby Rahal to the IRL/Honda money train, I couldn't help but sense
the underlying parallels to last year's surprise hit film, "Lost In
In this brilliantly crafted and critically acclaimed film, the main
protagonist played by Bill Murray is a 50 something Hollywood "leading
man" whose career is clearly on the skids. In order to maintain his
current life style, he accepts a $2 Million fee to appear as the
spokesman for a Suntory whiskey commercial. In it, the tuxedo clad
Murray raises a glass in toast and says something to the effect, "it's
Suntory time". Easy money trading on your "past fame and glory."
As the film opens, a bleary-eyed and severely jet-lagged Murray is seen
in his high tech luxurious room at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo's glitzy
Shinjuku district. Unable to adjust to the time warp, he is alternately
tossing and turning in bed, pacing the floor and making trips to the
elegant bar/lounge until he is called for the commercial filming.
When he begins to receive a flurry of phone calls and faxes from his
wife about "what color should we have for the new rug in the den", an
intense process of self-examination and introspection about the meaning
and quality of his life ensues. Whether peering into his bathroom mirror
or hovering over a drink in the bar he begins to seriously question all
of the basic assumptions of his personal and professional life.
He realizes that he is not gaining any satisfaction in his
life. NONE. He accepts the painful realization that his $2 Million fee
is really demeaning; that he is really prostituting himself for
pecuniary gain; that his marriage has long since had any real emotional
connection or meaning, and its only sustenance is for the sake of his
children; that his career no longer involves real creativity or
challenges. He is simply going through the motions on all fronts.
It is at this point during one of his many visits to the bar that he
meets the lead female protagonist Charlotte, a mid 20 something
neglected wife of a glamour/rock photographer. There is an immediate
emotional and intellectual connection between the two as well as an
underlying sensual tension. The two, out of mutual boredom and
loneliness begin to explore the many attractions of the 24 hour neon lit
strange and frenzied life of Shinjuku. They find a mutual emotional
intimacy and share similar perceptions of the issues that they both face
in their personal and professional lives.
And thus begins this amorphous undefined film that has no beginning and
no ending, but leaves the audience intrigued, perplexed and "DEMANDING"
either an ending, or at least that the couple (a la most formula films)
consummate the "physical" and have the obligatory "Climax" so to speak.
What has this got to do with IRL at Motegi? For that you
would have to ask Adrian Fernandez, Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti and
Robert Clarke. Self introspection may very well be too much to
expect for people whose
only motivation in life appear to be the continuing pursuit for self
indulgence and material gratification . Perhaps within the next 12
months when Honda and Toyota question their "motivations" for continuing
participation in the IRL, "Self Introspection" may be imposed on
Andretti, Fernandez and Rahal, for clearly, they are Lost in
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