by Kyoko Miyake
“IDOLS” has fast become a phenomenon in Japan as girl bands and pop music permeate Japanese life. TOKYO IDOLS - an eye-opening film gets at the heart of a cultural phenomenon driven by an obsession with young female sexuality and internet popularity.
This ever growing phenom is told through Rio, a bona fide "Tokyo Idol" who takes us on her journey toward fame. Now meet her “brothers”: a group of adult middle aged male super fans (ages 35 - 50) who devote their lives to following her—in the virtual world and in real life. Once considered to be on the fringes of society, the "brothers" who gave up salaried jobs to pursue an interest in female idol culture have since blown up and have now become mainstream via the internet, illuminating the growing disconnect between
men and women in hypermodern societies.
With her provocative look into the Japanese pop music industry and its focus on traditional
beauty ideals, filmmaker Kyoko Miyake confronts the nature of gender power dynamics at work. As the female idols become younger and younger, Miyake offers a critique on the veil of internet fame and the new terms of engagement that are now playing out IRL around the globe.
Country: United Kingdom/Canada
Runtime: 88 mins
Directors of photography:
Rio Rio Brothers
Ryoka Oshima Fans
"It's not a movie so much about idol culture as for it, with Miyake trying to knock idol culture back into reality."
- Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com
"A lively inquiry that reveals more contradictions than consensus."
- Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter
"Tokyo Idols is a fascinating look behind the curtain of the idol phenomenon in Japan. For all its faults, it works as an intriguing character study, giving its viewers a unique opportunity to observe this craze that has been sweeping over Asia."
-Ty Cooper, HeyUGuys
"This eye-opening documentary looks at the idol industry - with its seemingly endless supply of squeaky, cutesy, Manga-styled schoolgirl pop stars - and its principle consumers, predominantly adult males."
- Wendy Ide, Screen International
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