A special addition to the Powell Street Festival Society’s Kibatsu Cinema series, co-presented here with the DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Live From Tokyo takes us out of the realm of Japanese narrative cinema and into the live music venues that house the mild melodies of the Tenniscoats, the visually constructed, technologically progressive sounds of Optrum, and the peculiar Muzenji Monk. Director Lewis Rapkin minimizes commentary and emphasizes the mellow, aggressive or curious soundscapes — often beautifully merged with real and imagined visual renderings of the megalopolis — that make up the independent music scene in Tokyo, a scene that thrives in and is dependent upon the city’s inimitable live houses. Colour, HDCAM, in Japanese with English subtitles, 79 mins.
This film will be of particular interest to music fans because Live From Tokyo shows a rare glimpse at the unique Tokyo Independent Music Scene. There will be a tour of NextMusicFromTokyo at the Biltmore on October 18, the tour director Steve Tanaka will be in attendance at this film’s screening on May 28.