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Poster for Tokyo Pop (1988) 4K Restoration
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Tokyo Pop (1988) 4K Restoration

Opens on August 25

Director: Fran Rubel Kuzui Run Time: 99 min. Rating: R Release Year: 1988

Starring: Carrie Hamilton, Diamond Yukai, Masumi Harukawa, Taiji Tonoyama, Tetsurō Tamba

Country: United States, Japan
Language: English and Japanese with English subtitles

About the film:

A forgotten pop culture gem of ‘80s American independent cinema from the director of 1992’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A hit at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, Fran Rubel Kuzui’s Tokyo Pop (1988) is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a new 4K restoration.

After getting a postcard from Japan saying “wish you were here”, a disillusioned New York punk-rocker moves to Tokyo with dreams of making it big as a singer. Quickly finding herself broke and a fish out of water, 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, a rock ‘n’ roller whose band is looking for their big break. They form a romantic and musical connection and Hiro convinces Wendy to become their lead singer. Through a combination of hustle and luck, they stumble into their 15 minutes of fame, but Wendy soon comes to realize that being a gaijin rocker may be nothing more than a passing fad.

About the filmmaker:

Fran Rubel Kuzui is an American film director and producer who crafted two feature films, the pop culture gem Tokyo Pop (1988) and, after she discovered the script by Joss Whedon, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) film, which was the basis for the 1997-2003 television series as well as the 1999-2004 spin-off series Angel. Kazui served as Executive Producer on both series. She received her master’s degree from New York University, and together with partner and husband Kaz Kuzui, she created the Japanese production company Kuzui Enterprises.

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