Review: ‘Flashback Memories’

Director Tetsuaki Matsue's raucously psychedelic experience deserves cult-film status, although its all-important third dimension stands to limit adequate exhibition.

The propulsive tunes of didgeridoo-playing Japanese musician Goma and his Jungle Rhythm Section are at the fore of the 3D concert pic “Flashback Memories.” But behind the hornblower and his cohorts — literally — lies the docu story, projected on a 2D screen, of how Goma suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, leaving him with partial memory loss — and, evidently, with no shortage of artistic inspiration. Director Tetsuaki Matsue’s raucously psychedelic experience deserves cult-film status, although its all-important third dimension stands to limit adequate exhibition. Tech-savvy rock-doc fests will positively flip for it, though.

Despite the historical footage of its backdrop, “Flashback Memories” works as an exhilarating ode to living in the moment, with the resilient Goma — accompanied by three drummers — blasting out one of the coolest and most danceable concert-film soundtracks since “Stop Making Sense.” Though Goma’s first-person account of his accident appears in printed text in the forefront of the 3D frame, his didgeridoo protrudes even further, sometimes hilariously. Three-dimensional imaging is of the highest quality, while the recording of Goma’s trance-inducing tunes is simply awesome. Other tech credits rock.

Flashback Memories

Japan

Production

A Space Shower Networks production. Produced by Junji Takane. Directed by Tetsuaki Matsue.

Crew

Camera (color, HD, 3D), Tomonori Watanabe; editor, Daisuke Imai; sound, Shigeharu Nakauchi; animation, Kenji Iwaisawa. Reviewed at Tokyo Film Festival (competing), Oct. 23, 2012. Running time: 73 MIN.

With

Goma, Kosuke Tsuji, Kenta Tajika, Kyoichi Shiino.

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