Tokyo Noise

People expecting a brisk, tube-style overview of contempo Nippon culture may be confounded by "Tokyo Noise." But there's plenty here for those who want to go deeper into the dissonance between Japan's intense dynamism and its contemplative side. Good for art-minded fests, with pubcasting berths the next place to sound off.

With:
With: Nobuyushi Araki, Mayuko Hino.

People expecting a brisk, tube-style overview of contempo Nippon culture may be confounded by “Tokyo Noise.” But there’s plenty here for those who want to go deeper into the dissonance between Japan’s intense dynamism and its contemplative side. Good for art-minded fests, with pubcasting berths the next place to sound off.

Offbeat docu fixes on just a handful of artists and thinkers who hold forth on what’s unique about one of the world’s great cities. Swedish helmers, never seen or heard, talk to a priest, a psychiatrist, a computer game specialist and others about such subjects as sushi robotics, urban noise pollution and retro-style love hotels. Most interesting contrast is between one elf-like hipster photog who’s into an orgy of “happening” scenes and a pic-snapping amateur who has devoted his life to taking iconic images of Mount Fuji in all seasons. Both approaches, doc suggests, shade into kitsch but contain elemental truths about Japanese character. Helmers divided up smoothly handled tech chores, with hypnotic score by Johan Soderberg and Zbigniew Karkowski alternating cleverly with screeches and rumblings from onscreen noise musician Mayuko Hino.

Tokyo Noise

Sweden

Production: A Chron Film/Crystal Eye (Stockholm) production, in association with the Swedish Film Institute. Produced by Per Fosgren. Directed, written by Kristian Petri, Jan Roed, Johan Soderberg.

Crew: Camera (color-DV), Roed, Lucia Kangur-Roed, Ippo Pohjola; editor, Soderberg; music, Soderberg, Zbigniew Karkowski; sound (Dolby), Per Fosgren. Reviewed at Seattle Film Festival, June 10, 2002. Japanese dialogue. Running time: 81 MIN.

With: With: Nobuyushi Araki, Mayuko Hino.

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