Tokyo’s underground music scene is famous worldwide but few, if any, documentaries have attempted to provide a window into the always creative and eclectic scene there. The documentary provides some well balanced insight into what it’s all about via performance footage, artist interviews, music videos, and beautiful and interesting footage of Tokyo.
Visually and audibly, Live from Tokyo is artistically beautiful, and as eclectic and artistic as the artists that are covered. The team of Lewis Rapkin, Eric J. Mintz, and Ian Sotzing did an excellent job in perfectly blending in all the different kinds of footage into a solid presentation. A strong point about the approach of Live from Tokyo is the fact that the filmmakers make it a point to present a non-biased look into the Japanese underground instead of presenting it in the stereotypical Western view of “the Orient” or Japan. Viewers get to see what makes these artists, including Westerners involved in the scene, tick via interviews covering various topics such as the influence of the internet, Western influence, how artists connect in Tokyo, and putting their unique stamp on the music they create.
Music genre-wise, most of the featured bands are of the indie/indie pop variety with a sprinkle of more straight ahead rock, dance, and experimental genres. Even if they may not end up as your new favorite bands, one thing can be said…they are pretty damn interesting.
You could take a trip to Tokyo but would have a hard time witnessing all the different bands and scenery covered here. Live from Tokyo is a beautiful glimpse into the endless well of creativity that Tokyo has to offer. (MVD Visual/Good Charamel Records)