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Mon, Aug 21 at 3:40pm, 8:00pm


  • Dir. Fran Kuzui
  • USA/Japan
  • 1988
  • 99 min.
  • NR
  • New 4K DCP Restoration

In English and Japanese with English subtitles

  • Assistive Listening
  • Hearing Loop

Part of Music City Mondays

All Screenings: Pre-recorded introduction from Alan Brewer, composer and producer of the TOKYO POP score

Bleach-blonde rocker Wendy (Carrie Hamilton, Fame) is disillusioned with her life in New York City. After receiving a postcard from Japan saying “wish you were here,” she spontaneously hops on a plane to Tokyo with dreams of making it big as a singer. Quickly finding herself broke and lost in translation, she moves into a youth hostel for gaijin (foreigners) and takes up work as a hostess at a karaoke bar. Just when she’s at her breaking point, she meets Hiro (played by real life Japanese rock star Diamond Yukai, also seen in LOST IN TRANSLATION), a rock ‘n’ roller whose band is looking for their big break. A largely forgotten gem of ‘80s American independent cinema by Fran Rubel Kuzui (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), TOKYO POP takes us on a breezy tour through bubble era Tokyo, replete with tongue-in-cheek nods to the city’s American-influenced pop culture, and — courtesy of  its two young stars — an irresistible verve and charm.

The new 4K restoration was funded by Dolly Parton and Carrie Hamilton’s mother Carol Burnett through IndieCollect’s Jane Fonda Fund for Women Directors.

“You don't have to be a fan of rock music to get a kick out of TOKYO POP, a wedding of American and Japanese youth cultures as seen through a fun-house mirror.” —New York Times

“A sweet, cocky love-and-rock story.” —Molly Haskell, Vogue

See the Official Website