Bleach-blonde wannabe rocker Wendy (Carrie Hamilton) is disillusioned with her life in New York City. After receiving a postcard from Japan saying “wish you were here,” she spontaneously hops on a plane to Tokyo with dreams of making it big as a singer. Quickly finding herself broke and a fish out of water, she moves into a youth hostel for gaijin (foreigners) and takes up work as a hostess at a karaoke bar. Just when she’s at her breaking point, she meets Hiro (Diamond Yukai), a rock ‘n’ roller whose band is looking for their big break. They form a romantic and musical connection and Hiro convinces Wendy to become their lead singer. Through a combination of hustle and luck, they stumble into their 15 minutes of fame, but Wendy soon comes to realize that being a gaijin rocker may be nothing more than a passing fad. An underseen gem of ‘80s American independent cinema by Fran Rubel Kuzui (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Tokyo Pop takes us on a breezy tour through bubble era Tokyo, replete with knowing nods to the city’s vibrant pop culture.

TOKYO POP is a love letter to the vibrant underground Tokyo rock scene in the ’80s with cameos by metal band X Japan and original songs by various local bands (Red Warriors, Kotogawa Rin…)

The new 4K restoration was funded by Dolly Parton and Carol Burnett through IndieCollect’s Jane Fonda Fund for Women Directors.
Original Opening Title Artwork by Keith Haring. Stills by rock and roll photographer Bob Gruen

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