Tokyo has several different levels of reality.
You can find anything you can imagine there and at the same time get a new surprise at every corner. This film portrays that amazing city through rock ‘n roll music. The Japanese love and understand rock, a kind of music and a way of life they discovered during the American occupation, after World War II.
Even if japanese society still preaches uniformity and order, there is an important underground world, where people live more freely. And where you can meet amazing people.
Like these 4 rock bands : Guitar Wolf, 3 good looking guys wearing black leather and sunglasses, a singer/guitar player with a devilish presence, a garage rock that is among the most intense and loudest ever heard and surprisingly- a contract with a big record company ; The 5678s, rock-a-billy queens with a wild 50s elegance who conquered the world with a memorable scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill ; the Jet Boys, led by an extreme, crazy, borderless and exhibitionnist singer/guitar player ; Nine, young guys who believe in success by music - when I first met them, they played in front of Shinjuku station as if it was the last concert of their lives.
The movie shows their music, but also their way of living, their style-totally faithfull to rock ‘n roll- and their wanderings all around the incredible city that is Tokyo.
The very first time I set foot in Tokyo, I fell in love with the city and decided I needed to live there. One year later, I left everything I had in Paris and was living in Nishi-Ogikubo, west of Tokyo, in a Japanese family home. It was the first time the kids had seen and talked to a foreigner, and the youngest would run around the house screaming my name and laughing.
After a couple of months, I was able to find a place to live by myself so I could examine night and day every detail of this incredible city. At that moment I understood that there are several different Tokyos sharing the same geographical and temporal location.
I quickly made choices, and one of them was to enter the rock ‘n roll dimension. I went to absurd clubs, crazy concerts and started meeting very intense people. For a long time, I was so blown away by everything I was living that I could not even think about filming.
But, for personal reasons, I decided to return to Paris, and I couldn’t stand the idea of leaving Tokyo without getting a video imprint of what the city had offered me. So I decided to make this portrait of Tokyo through the underground rock world, one of the places I used to live in. From that moment on, everything happened very quickly. I knew who I wanted to film, I knew where I wanted to put my camera, I knew which attitudes and energy I wanted to capture. And even though I already knew how nice the Japanese can be, I was surprised by the kindness and the openess the artists gave me.
With this film, I hope you will feel the strangeness of the city, the generosity of the people, the energy, talent and intensity of these rock stars.
ROCK 'N ROLL!!!!!!
Since 2006, ROCK 'N TOKYO has been shown at (main screenings):
Rock this town (Pau, França), Kinotayo (Paris), Let’s Rock!Expo (SP), Les Nuits Sonores (Lyon), Music Mondays @ Alamo Ritz (Austin), MIS -Virada Cultural 2009 (SP), Adelaide/Sydney/Melbourne (Austrália), Festival No Ar Coquetel Molotov (Recife), Don’t Knock the Rock (Los Angeles), ReelHeart International Film Festival (Toronto – prêmio por Melhor Documentário sobre Música), Filmer La Musique (Paris), Mediawave Film and Music Festival (Hungria), Cine Subsonic (Montpellier), Les Voutes (Paris), Zagrebdox Int Documentary Film Festival (Croácia), R Eject Film Festival (Rotterdam), Les Inattendus (Lyon), Indie SP (SP), Leeds Int Film Festival (Leeds), Indie Film Festival (Belo Horizonte), East Village City Film Festival (NY), Kansai International Film Festival (Osaka), Memphis Int Film Festival (Memphis), Shiny Objects (Sacramento-CA), San Francisco Int Film Festival (San Francisco)