Daily Archives: June 17, 2016

Friday Evening Videos: “Turning Japanese” (Kisten Dunst edition)

I wasn’t going to post a music video this week because… well, what would be the point, you know? It’s been a hell of a week, with the tragic Pulse nightclub shootings followed by the same damn gun-control debate we have every time there’s a mass shooting — and isn’t that a pathetic horror story in itself, that these things are so bloody commonplace the after-argument has become boring? — and that poor little kid getting hauled off by an alligator, and all the political bullshit and the generally toxic atmosphere that prevails on social media these days. I’ve been struggling lately anyhow with that recurring feeling of ennui I get every so often, like I’m running in place, constantly active but never really getting anywhere. I’m tired, in a way that’s difficult to explain. Not just physical fatigue, but something inside… emotional, spiritual, I don’t know. And then you add in all that other stuff… Under those conditions, why bother with my stupid little music-video thing? It’s not like anyone really cares, right?

But then a friend posted something today on my Facebook wall, and it’s so silly and charming and sexy and dorky and just plain weird that I couldn’t help but smile, in spite of all the gunge I’ve been feeling. And I think I really need to pass it along, because maybe it’ll do the same for someone else out there who also needs a little sexy silly weirdness after this long, long week…

Yes, that is the actress Kirsten Dunst in a blue wig flouncing around Tokyo’s famously nerdy Akihabara district while singing a an old chestnut from the Awesome ’80s. If this clip seems familiar to my three Loyal Readers, it’s likely because I’ve posted it before, about six years ago. Here’s what I wrote about it back then:

I’ve found in my online wanderings that Kirsten is something of a binary proposition: people seem to either really like her or they really do not. Her detractors tend to become especially fixated on her uneven teeth, for some reason. Personally, I think she’s adorable, teeth and all. Not conventionally pretty, perhaps, but she’s got something that works for me. I especially like that sultry eyebrow-lifting thing she does sometimes — you can see it in this video at about the 2:37 mark. Is that TMI? Probably… [The video I posted six years ago — which is now dead — must’ve had slightly different timing, because there is no eyebrow thing at 2:37 in this version. Alas.]

Anyhow, as you saw in the opening title card, this video was directed by McG, the guy responsible for [Terminator: Salvation] as well as those two Charlie’s Angels movies a few years ago; the producer, Takashi Murakami, is a Japanese artist who works in a variety of media. My understanding is that the video was played on an endless loop at the entrance to Murakami’s recent “Pop Life” exhibition at the Tate Modern in London. [My understanding was correct. Details about this project and the art exhibition here.]

Now, you may wonder what the heck a mid-list starlet in a blue wig singing a 30-year-old one-hit-wonder has to do with an art exhibition. I’ve read that it supposedly articulates the cliche’d Japan of Western imagination, i.e., Murakami’s notion of Anglo-American stereotypes about his native country’s pop culture. Or some damn thing. The really important point is that it gives us an excuse to see Kirsten Dunst in a blue wig and a really short skirt singing one of the most terminally catchy tunes of the ’80s, The Vapors’ “Turning Japanese.” Which is really not about masturbation, as the old urban legend we all heard in middle school claimed. At least, The Vapors say it’s not about that, and they oughta know, right?

Damn, she’s got long legs… and there’s that eyebrow thing again…

I still think she’s adorable. And I’d like to go to Japan. For whatever those two factoids are worth…

 

 

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