Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sumimasen, nihongo wakaramasen

Tokyo Streets (2007)

Not a movie per se, the DVD Tokyo Streets is more like video wallpaper for any Japan-o-phile: something to have on in the background at a party, or on the overhead TV at a hipster bar. Tokyo Streets is a little too fashion-centric for my tastes, but there’s some really cool stuff, too.

It may be just street life, but that sort of thing always fascinates me. I hope I’m wrong, but unless you’re a big fan of the Frederick Wiseman-style of documentary (no narration), I get the feeling that the viewers who might enjoy this most are those who’ve actually been to Tokyo.

Forget it Jake, it’s Tokyo.

BTW, there’s no reason for this DVD to be rated NC-17; it’s a PG at best.

A photo album: Tokyo (unless otherwise noted), Summer 2006.

What the fuck? This is TOKYO, not Berlin. I’m in this town less than an hour and my brain’s already fried. This was in a tiny alley off Shibuya. A place troubled, I'm sure, by waking nightmares...

Graffiti translation courtesy of my cousin: it’s a haiku:

The lost child Crying, crying, but still Catching the fire-flies

(Speaking of fried brains and waking nightmares: Some trippin' during Godzilla Vs. the Smog Monster: an inadvertant psychedelic classic! No lie.)

Cuteness and CCTV: your fun will be closely monitored for any anti-fun infractions.

A noodle-eating dragon: "Keep 'em comin', bub! I sunk a freighter this morning and that always gives me a powerful hunger!" (Osaka)

Candidates: They have all karaoked to Alice Cooper’s "Elected" in anticipation of their certain victories. (Kyoto)

Scary candidate: “The Lone Wolf” (Kyoto) (Dig the stickers holding up the poster!)

“Look into his eyes—he will restore the Chrysanthemum Throne to its former glory!” (Kyoto)

The incubation chambers are waiting. Now the humans need to be inseminated...

Vending machines and flying houses—paradise, I tells ya, paradise!

Friendly and bilingual!

Mr. Pac-Man got himself some hairplugs and eye surgery and opened a love hotel in Shibuya. Don't worry, he's on good terms with the Yakuza...

Froggie, I love you! Mwah! (Kyoto)

Smoggo's lesson of the day:
Sumimasen, nihongo wakaramasen: “I’m very sorry, but I do not speak Japanese.”
This is probably the most important phrase a traveler there should know.

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