seen @ Landmark Loews Jersey Theater, Jersey City, NJ
Greetings from Tokyo!
Amazing city - just amazing. My sister and her husband went here on their honeymoon - in fact, they went all over Japan. I remember seeing the pictures. They didn't go to as many of the cool places in the city as I thought they would; they stuck mostly to the country. Not me, though. I've been going all over the town. Strange thing though...
...the buildings all have this flimsy, impermanent quality to them. It almost feels like walking through a model set.
But I'm sure that's just my imagination.
Anyway, check this out: I went to this awesome outdoor concert! I've heard J-pop bands like Shonen Knife and Puffy Amiyumi before and I was expecting something along those lines, but you won't believe the kinda show this was! This is gonna sound completely crazy, but I swear - this all really happened!
The opening act was this totally un-PC dance troupe. They were in blackface, man!
They were from some place called Infant Island. Couldn't find it on my map, but maybe my map's out of date. With a name like that, I'm surprised they weren't wearing diapers!
They wore loincloths and danced around to drums and dudes beating rocks together. The drumming was cool and all, but this faux-primitive schtick was kinda pissing me off, so I spent the rest of their set at the bar, pounding one sake after another. The video monitors were showing Astro Boy episodes. (Why would anyone design a robot with a machine gun that comes out of his ass?)
Then came the next act, and check this out - it was Pink Lady!
Remember them from that absolutely god-awful variety show from the 80s, Pink Lady and Jeff? Well, to be honest, I never saw it, but I've read about it and seen YouTube clips, and frankly, how it even made it on the air is mind-boggling to me.
Anyway, they're not with Jeff anymore; they're with some dude named Nelson, who doubles as their manager or something. They got this great act where they descend onto the stage in a carriage that "floats" from the rear. I was talking to this reporter named Zen who told me that Nelson keeps them locked in a cage between gigs. Do you suppose that's some kinda sexual fetish?
Then came the headliner - and here's where it gets totally insane.
He called himself Mothra. He didn't sing or play any instruments. All he did was this weird, herky-jerky, up-and-down kinda dance. Up and down, up and down, that's all he did, like he was dry-humping or something - and man, the kids went crazy for it! I mean, they were screaming, yelling, running around - it was a total panic, man!
That must've got somebody hot under the collar, because the cops bum-rushed the show and tried to get Mothra off the stage, but dig - he wouldn't stop! He just kept on doing his dance, and everybody in the audience started doing it too!
Mothra crawled off the stage and led a rave through the streets of Tokyo! I mean, he was tearing it up!
They brought in the army and the air force but he wouldn't be stopped!
He led the rave to Tokyo Tower, and I think he must've wanted to do some kind of Eddie Vedder-like stage dive, because he tried climbing the Tower. He only ended up breaking it. You know how rock stars are - always wrecking things!
Then, check this out - he whipped out this silly string and started wrapping himself up in it.
The army still kept trying to destroy him but they couldn't - and by now the rave had grown to include millions, all doing that crazy Mothra dance!
Suddenly, he popped out of the cocoon he made for himself - and he had wings, man!
I dunno how he did it, but he just grew himself a pair of wings and flew off into the sky!
And that was the end of the rave. And that was the end of the concert.
I read later on that he went to play a gig in New Kirk City. They say he blew the crowd away there!
Having a groovy time,
* * * * *
[Okay, breaking character to add a couple of things. First, the Loews played a subtitled version of Mothra, which, I have to admit, disappointed me. As anyone who watched these kind of movies on TV growing up knows, the best way to watch them is when they're badly dubbed! Still, it was alright. This was, after all, the first time I had seen an old-school kaiju flick on the big screen, so maybe bad dubbing should be for when it's on TV.
Also, in the lobby and throughout the theater, there was an art display of works by local minority high school students. The work was raw, but there was certainly a great deal of potential on display. I certainly saw reflections of myself at the same age. According to the program, a few of the artists had been accepted to prestigious art colleges around the country. So this was really nice to see.]
Look for more posts in this series throughout the summer.
Fun, creative post! I envy you getting to see MOTHRA on the big screen. Myself, I'd prefer the subtitled original language version; even as a kid growing up in the 70s, I disliked the terrible dubbing these films received. However, I can see where you're coming from.ReplyDelete
Seeing it this way was a bit more thrilling, but I have to admit, the miniature sets seemed even more obvious on a big screen. But I can live with it.ReplyDelete
Way cool! Loved it Rich! Thanks for joining the cinematic world tour!ReplyDelete
Thank you. This is definitely an idea I can have fun with.ReplyDelete
Rich, I’m mesmerized by your completely original approach to travel via celluloid (although, technically not celluloid at this point, but you get the idea). I cannot imagine a more "70s schlock" inspired tour, which proves if you look hard enough you can find one to encompass all your childhood memories. I don’t know where I was at the time, perhaps I gave up television for Lent, but “Pink Lady and Jeff” is not a show or a title I remember (surprising I grew up so “well-adjusted”). I’ve always wanted to visit Japan, now I can say, “See Tokyo, spin a cocoon and fly away”.ReplyDelete
I've learned that on the interwebs, one can never be too sure how obscure one's obligatory pop culture references are. Still, glad you liked everything else.ReplyDelete
Hi Rich, I think I owe you an apology. I re-read my previous comment, and I apologize because my words "sound" tinged with condescension. I wasn't trying to be ironic (and certainly not bitchy), but I'm afraid that is how it sounds. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I was impressed enough with your review that when I saw TCM had "Mothra" scheduled, I recorded and watched it for the very first time. I've never been a fan of the series of Japanese monster films, but I'll need to reconsider if they are all this good. I agree with you regarding the dubbing, too. I found the subtitles distracting and difficult to read most of the time. Thanks for introducing me to a really fun film.ReplyDelete
Wow, I honestly did not think you sounded condescending at all. It's all good; don't worry about it. And I'm definitely glad my post made you wanna see the movie!ReplyDelete