Chicago premiere! Film Series : Stranger Than Fiction 2018

Tokyo Idols

2017, Kyoko Miyake, Canada/UK/Japan, 90 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, Jan 12th 6:00pm
  • Thu, Jan 18th 6:00pm

“Peers into a strange niche in Japanese culture.” — Jason Anderson, Point of View Magazine

This documentary takes an inside look at the uniquely Japanese cult surrounding young female J-pop stars known as “idols,” a phenomenon sustained largely by scores of middle-aged men. The girls — bouncy, cute, some underage — energetically belt out saccharine rock anthems in tightly choreographed routines, while their aging male fans dance and sing along with frenzied fervor, spending freely on overpriced merchandise and ritualized “handshake” events with tame but distinctly erotic undertones. Director Miyake focuses on mega-star teen diva RioRio, who is at a turning point, admitting at age nineteen that she’s almost too old for fan tastes. On the flip side, the film examines the cult of the idols’ fans, consisting of lonely single men whose fetishized fixation on these barely legal girls has nurtured a billion-dollar industry. In Japanese with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)

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