UW Japan Studies Program is sponsoring The Legend of the Stardust Brothers at the Seattle International Film Festival and invites you to check out the full film guide for times and locations of all films! Tickets are available on the SIFF website.
The Legend of the Stardust Brothers
Japan | 1985 | 100 minutes | Macoto Tezuka
Rocky Horror meets A Hard Day’s Night in this lost gem of 1980s Japanese cinema, a bonkers musical biopic of the titular, fictional new wave duo that turns the screen into a live-action glitter rock manga.
Meet the Stardust Brothers, a 1980s Japanese pop duo manufactured by a shady music mogul when he brings together two wannabe stars—punk rock rebel Kan and new-wave crooner Shingo—and transforms them into a girl-friendly, silver-jumpsuited, synth-pop sensation. Along with their appointed #1 fan, who herself dreams of a music career, the duo rockets to stardom, only to discover that, as the lyrics of one of their insanely catchy songs makes clear, “Once you reach No. 1, you just go down.” Directed by 22-year-old film-school prodigy Macoto Tezka, the son of iconic manga artist Osamu Tezuka (creator of “Astro Boy”), this retrofuturist madcap musical is based on an imagined soundtrack album by musician Haruo Chicada. Using films like PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW as inspiration, the pair gathers an eclectic cast of young comedians, musicians, manga artists, and even professional wrestlers to craft an over-the-top pop-cinema smörgåsbord of impressive set pieces, DIY design, animated asides, and rock-and-roll hallucinations featuring mutants, zombies, robots, and more. Recently rediscovered and restored, THE LEGEND OF THE STARDUST BROTHERS is finally ready for discovery outside of Japan and destined to become the cult classic it always deserved to be. — Clinton McClung