Films

Tokyo Idols

Tokyo Idols

Synopsis

Director

One of the biggest phenomenon of the contemporary Japanese pop culture are idols (or aidoru in native Japanese) – cute-dressing teenage girl singers or girl music groups performing decibel blasting J-Pop song and dance numbers. Grown out of the 1970s domestic music scene, by the present day the pop culture strand has evolved into a multi-billion industry that at its pinnacle features internationally known supergroups such as AKB48, Perfume and Babymetal whilst cultivating annually hundreds of wish-to-be-star girls at its lowest ranks. And fans there are plenty, usually middle aged, single male for both superstars and newcomers, with the die-hard otaku’s spending thousands of euros each month to support their idols by purchasing concerts tickets, merchandise and attending dedicated meetings with the artists they idolize.

The intimate yet critical exploration by acclaimed Japanese female documentarist Kyoko Miyake, throws away the cute and glittery surface of the idol culture taking the viewer to the journey into the everyday of it. The film centers on a 19 year idol Rio Hiraagi and her struggles to elevate her career under an artist name RioRio, and the hopes and dreams of her biggest fan, a 43 year old Koji Yoshida who is managing her die-hard fan group RioRio Boys of single middle aged men giving their mental and quite literally physical best to support her endeavors. By following Rio’s journey Miyake carefully unfolds the critical question what drives present day Japanese girls already at early teenage years to commit to the high stress – distant goals – and short career laden idol industry, and equally what glues the attraction of Japanese grown up men to the naive fantasy world of their (musical) heroines.

Sten Saluveer

Kyoko Miyake

studied history at Tokyo University and then moved to Britain to research the history of witchcraft at Oxford. Her film „Brakeless“ won a Peabody Award after airing on PBS and BBC. Her first film, „My Atomic Aunt“, was supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, BBC, WDR, and NHK, and it was recently broadcast on PBS. Her short „Hackney Lullabies“ won the Berlin Today Award at the 2011 Berlinale and screened at the BFI London and Sydney Film Festivals. „Tokyo Idols“ is Miyake’s second full-length documentary.

Filmography

  • My Atomic Aunt (2013, doc)
  • Tokyo Idols (2017, doc)

Schedule

18.11.2017
20:00 - 21:30
Tallinn, 
Coca-Cola Plaza
Hall 8
Subtitles: ENG
Screening code: 020505
Sold out
23.11.2017
19:30 - 21:00
Tallinn, 
Coca-Cola Plaza
Hall 4
Subtitles: ENG
Screening code: 070306
Sold out
24.11.2017
17:00 - 18:30
Tartu, 
Cinamon
Hall 4
Subtitles: ENG
Screening code: 081801
Sold out
Screenings with guests might end later than expected.

Programme

Unrevealed Snapshots: Films of Contemporary Japanese Female Directors

Film info

Countries: Canada, United Kingdom, Japan
Year: 2017
Duration: 90 minutes
Language: Japanese
Director: Kyoko Miyake
Producers: Felix Matschke, Kyoko Miyake, Bob Moore
Writer: Kyoko Miyake
DOP: Van Royko
Montage: Anna Price
Composer: David Drury
Production: BBC Four
Festivals: Sundance, Edinburgh, Sarajevo, Melbourne

Synopsis

Director

One of the biggest phenomenon of the contemporary Japanese pop culture are idols (or aidoru in native Japanese) – cute-dressing teenage girl singers or girl music groups performing decibel blasting J-Pop song and dance numbers. Grown out of the 1970s domestic music scene, by the present day the pop culture strand has evolved into a multi-billion industry that at its pinnacle features internationally known supergroups such as AKB48, Perfume and Babymetal whilst cultivating annually hundreds of wish-to-be-star girls at its lowest ranks. And fans there are plenty, usually middle aged, single male for both superstars and newcomers, with the die-hard otaku’s spending thousands of euros each month to support their idols by purchasing concerts tickets, merchandise and attending dedicated meetings with the artists they idolize.

The intimate yet critical exploration by acclaimed Japanese female documentarist Kyoko Miyake, throws away the cute and glittery surface of the idol culture taking the viewer to the journey into the everyday of it. The film centers on a 19 year idol Rio Hiraagi and her struggles to elevate her career under an artist name RioRio, and the hopes and dreams of her biggest fan, a 43 year old Koji Yoshida who is managing her die-hard fan group RioRio Boys of single middle aged men giving their mental and quite literally physical best to support her endeavors. By following Rio’s journey Miyake carefully unfolds the critical question what drives present day Japanese girls already at early teenage years to commit to the high stress – distant goals – and short career laden idol industry, and equally what glues the attraction of Japanese grown up men to the naive fantasy world of their (musical) heroines.

Sten Saluveer

Kyoko Miyake

studied history at Tokyo University and then moved to Britain to research the history of witchcraft at Oxford. Her film „Brakeless“ won a Peabody Award after airing on PBS and BBC. Her first film, „My Atomic Aunt“, was supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, BBC, WDR, and NHK, and it was recently broadcast on PBS. Her short „Hackney Lullabies“ won the Berlin Today Award at the 2011 Berlinale and screened at the BFI London and Sydney Film Festivals. „Tokyo Idols“ is Miyake’s second full-length documentary.

Filmography

  • My Atomic Aunt (2013, doc)
  • Tokyo Idols (2017, doc)