“Fame is the spur”, wrote blind poet John Milton, “…to scorn delight and live laborious days.” These days, fame is a burr, a pricking, prickling thing, an aspirational Aspergers as inspirational as intestinal gas.
BIG IN JAPAN is a competent if not complimentary documentary on the complementary psychosis of instant celebrity. Dave Jones and his film making mates venture to Japan – where The Ventures were bigger than the Beatles in 1964- to like, share and go viral in their pursuit of the infernal question, What is Fame?
The Daveness of Dave makes him a subject of objectifaction as he creates the characters Mr.Jones-su and Onigiri Man in an attempt to become the biggest twat in the twitter-verse. He enrols with the Bayside Talent Agency and has a modicum of success in Japanese commercials.
Embarking on this barking mad odyssey, Dave and the crew engage with three non Japanese people who have made a mark in the land of the rising sun.
There’s Bob “The Beast” Sapp, an African American mountain of a man who wrestles and winks, bares his pecs and his pearlies, and appears to make non stop appearances around the country.
There’s neophyte Nipponophile nymphet, Canadian Kelsey Parnigoni who made an incredible first step in her improbable dream of becoming a famous Jpop idol, school girl dressed women singing popcorn pop with a fan base of salivating salary men.
And there’s Australian ex-pat, Rick Magarey, Adelaide born taking Japan by storm as Ladybeard, a cross dressing, high kicking man doll – the hirsute of pappiness.
BIG IN JAPAN is a striking study of the euphoria and anxiety, the fatigue and exhaustion that comes with the search for stardom in the saturated social media world. Cute is the new crass, a crude and semi nude fawn-ography, fifteen minutes of lame fame based on Show us your tweets.
In the end, BIG IN JAPAN shows one can be big when one finds the freedom to be ordinary.
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