Tokyo Roar
June 1, 2015 3:58 PM   Subscribe

 
I am upset, because this is awesome cinematography and editing. I'm upset because I live in Tokyo and think why don't I do something like this???

Thanks for the link.
posted by zardoz at 4:33 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Quite beautiful, it provokes the mind.
posted by Doleful Creature at 4:41 PM on June 1, 2015


That seems so much more exotic than the Tokyo I live in (er, well, Kawasaki, so "live near"). But I guess I get it, because when I go back to the US, I find that Houston "saturates the senses".
posted by Bugbread at 4:57 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, seriously, where did he find all that fog? Fog and hail are the two weather-related things I miss about Houston.
posted by Bugbread at 4:59 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the cable car in the fog is the Hakone Ropeway. The pirate boat and shrine on nearby Lake Ashi are also featured.
posted by pmdboi at 5:20 PM on June 1, 2015


In the comments, the filmmaker mentions filming a lake scene in Nikko (an hour north of Tokyo).

I live in Tokyo, and this does remind me of a typical day. Or at least a typical day when I have visitors in town.
posted by Umami Dearest at 5:36 PM on June 1, 2015


Having been to Tokyo recently and seen Robot Restaurant, I am now insanely jealous of this person's camera. (And his cinematography, and his ability to get random Japanese people to be in his video without it getting weird. But Robot Restaurant specifically made me think his camera was amazing.)
posted by chrominance at 6:01 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Tokyo is very mysterious and exotic!
posted by Nevin at 6:18 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


To be honest I was a disappointed in the lake and cable-car scenes. It would be like making a video about New York City called New York City Roar, with ultra-touristy Manhattan scenes interspersed with people skiing in Vermont.
posted by Umami Dearest at 6:23 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


guys didn't you get that memo about how Japan consists entirely of Tokyo, and Tokyo consists entirely of Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Harajuku
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:27 PM on June 1, 2015


Yeah, a little cheating on the 'Tokyo' there. I guess if you divide the country into broad categories as Tokyo/Kansai/Hirosima etc., then Hakone could qualify.

I miss the Daisos and HACs so crammed full of stuff even the staircases have shelves (1:56). I'd forgotten about that. And the high-rise shopping malls with only enough room to walk in a track around the escalator, then next floor.
posted by ctmf at 6:55 PM on June 1, 2015


Damn it. I thought two trips to Japan in two years was indulgent, but now I need to visit again.
posted by robcorr at 7:51 PM on June 1, 2015


Eh, if I had a nickel for every "San Francisco" thing that also includes Oakland or Napa or Santa Cruz or Yosemite (!)...

I liked the interspersion of mundane and not-quite-everyday moments, and I thought the combination of music and spoken poetry was interesting. I've seen a lot of these Japan videos (shut up) and this one is different. There are some great shots.
posted by wintersweet at 8:25 PM on June 1, 2015


I went to Tokyo last year, including Robot Restaurant. And a couple of days up in Nikko. This video feels like it's designed to crap on my holiday photos. I like it.
posted by dumbland at 9:25 PM on June 1, 2015


To be fair, Japan is a remarkably photogenic country overall. I can step out onto my balcony and just photograph masterpiece after masterpiece, though this may be partially because I'm at the northern tip of Kyoto right near Mt. Hiei.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:48 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Brandon Li's website
posted by I-baLL at 6:04 AM on June 2, 2015


Virtually all of the Tokyo scenes are so familiar to me as to be, well, mundane. Except the Robot Restaurant, which I have never been to.

With so many shots featuring outside-of-Tokyo locales, I have to wonder why the filmmaker chose to title his work Tokyo Roar, though.

My feeling is that this would be ideal for a *Visit Japan!* TV commercial ... It displays exactly the sort of modern-day Japonisme (predictable, facile, formulaic and ultimately banal) for the medium of travel advertising.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:46 AM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Virtually all of the Tokyo scenes are so familiar to me as to be, well, mundane. Except the Robot Restaurant, which I have never been to.

Given that many others (including me) find these images breathtaking, might you perhaps just be desensitized by familiarity?

My feeling is that this would be ideal for a *Visit Japan!* TV commercial ... It displays exactly the sort of modern-day Japonisme (predictable, facile, formulaic and ultimately banal) for the medium of travel advertising.

It's less than 4 minutes long. What would have met your standards, exactly?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:00 AM on June 2, 2015


might you perhaps just be desensitized by familiarity?

Sure. Shibuya scramble crossing, the transit system throngs, the jam-packed shelves of the discount drug stores, the anime/porn of Akihabara, all this and more in the video are indeed completely familiar to me after 20 years of living in Tokyo. But… ''desensitized" isn't exactly the word I would use to characterize my impressions of Tokyo. I still love it here, but surely you can imagine why much of it would seem, as I said, mundane. And *mundane* is not an especially negative descriptor, at least, I didn't intend for it to come off as particularly negative.

What would have met your standards, exactly?

Overall, a film that didn't so obviously do that juxtaposition thing of *traditional* and *ultra-modern* that has become one of the tiredest Japan cliches of the past half-century. That is mostly what I mean by "facile" and "formulaic". Tea-ceremony-stillness/cut to/high-energy-neon-lit-throngs-in-Shibuya. Kimono-clad-wedding-at-temple/cut to/robots-and-soft-porn. That's what I'm talking about.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:36 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


leotrotsky: "Given that many others (including me) find these images breathtaking, might you perhaps just be desensitized by familiarity?"

I think it's perhaps the other way around: the cinematography is excellent. It takes situations which really are mundane in normal life but uses really nice lenses, camera, depth of field, etc. to make those situations look cool.

I couldn't figure out what the video looked like, but Flapjax is right that it feels like a Visit Japan commercial. It actually reminds me a lot of this US tourism ad that plays here a lot.

On the side: do any Japanese people go to that Robot Restaurant? I get the impression it was made for Japanese visitors but the only reason it stays in business is foreign tourism, but that may be my totally wrong interpretation. Folks who have been: were there many Japanese customers, or was it mostly foreigners?
posted by Bugbread at 7:40 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also I'm going to go on the record here to reëstablish my insistence that West Japan is Best Japan. Partially this is cultural. Mainly this is because, when spending a week visiting Tokyo from Kyoto, we were struck by just how much of what Tokyo considers remarkable and exciting parts of the area (single-family houses! covered shopping arcades! an old historical town!) are basically just normal in Kansai.

And don't even get me started on Akihabara. Osaka's Denden Town, as it turned out, is what I was remarkably disappointed to find out that Akihabara isn't.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:38 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'll give you "West Japan is Most Scenic Japan". Dunno about "Best". But, yeah, stuff that is remarkable and exciting varies from place to place. I'm sure there's stuff in West Japan that people are all excited about which is, for a Kanto resident, completely ordinary. That's how the world works.

Like, coming from Houston, I found the immensely packed cityscape of Tokyo really remarkable. But for my wife, that was basically just normal. And she found the fact that there were cows! On the side of the road! In a major city! in Houston really remarkable, which for me was basically just normal.

Also, man, Akihabara. If only there were sediment buildup, that would be a place for archaeologists. It's basically porn and porn games now. When I first came to Tokyo it was the place to go for computer parts. When I first came to Japan (before Tokyo), it was the place to go for electronics (super-tiny walkmans, etc.). And talking to some old hands, when they came it was the place to go for hi-fi audio equipment. And, I believe, before that it was electronics components (wires, switches, indicator lights, etc.) It's hard to think of a place that has undergone so many changes in a short period of time.
posted by Bugbread at 4:10 PM on June 2, 2015


I'm not at all sure why Richard Burton (was it Richard Burton?) reciting A D Hope's Tiger has anything to do with that particular selection of clips about Tokyo. A stretch, I call it.
posted by glasseyes at 5:58 PM on June 2, 2015


Yeah, Akihabara was a huge disappointment when I first visited it a few years back. Porno, chain stores, and a straight-up shopping mall. It basically felt like any other part of the city, just with more porn.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:55 PM on June 2, 2015


It was pretty cool back in the mid-90s. Lots of "Holy shit, look at this gadget!! Can you believe this?!" stuff. Those days are long, long passed.
posted by Bugbread at 9:40 PM on June 2, 2015


I just got off a plane back from Tokyo a couple hours ago, and I noticed a couple things about his video. First was that a lot of it seems to have been filmed in spring, and a cooler part of spring, but sweltering 30 degree days are also "saturating" in their own way. The other thing is there's way more robot fighting in his Tokyo than mine.
posted by Metro Gnome at 10:29 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


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