A couple attempts lately to capture the spirit of a city as seen through the eyes of a non-native. First off, check the new trailer for Tokyo! via Scout Mag.

Tokyo! is a series of three short films from directors Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Bong Joon Ho. Unlike with the recent Paris, J’taime and New York, I Love You projects, Tokyo! seems to promise something more fully realized than a few whimsical snapshots.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1qzGPOXjQk

And judging from the quick shot of Gondry’s contribution (a woman turning into a chair) and the fact that one of the films is a monster-movie-ish scenario and yet isn’t directed by Ho, the Korean director of monster-movie The Host, this project should have more than a few surprises up its sleeve.

In a similar vein, Tokyo’s CLASKA hotel reached out to designers from the U.K. last year to participate in a poster project in which each designer produced one design reflecting their perspective on the city. Wallpaper* Magazine recently put up a slideshow from the project, showing some behind-the-scenes images of the creative and production process that seem to say as much about the spirit of Tokyo as the posters themselves.

Wallpaper* reports that the ultimate goal behind the project, which is being turned into a book that will sell in both Tokyo and the U.K., is to introduce some of these U.K. design firms and individuals to the Tokyo populace at the same time as it will serve as guidebook for creatives coming through the city. In a way, this seems also to be the goal of a film project like Tokyo!. Taken together, these two projects move past Lost in Translation’s overwhelming feeling of alienation in the city to help outside eyes see and understand Tokyo not in terms of its restaurants, bars and shopping districts, but as an idea, a feeling, a chord.

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