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Western Tokyo Movies

Updated April 19, 2010

As part of Movie City Tokyo, FilmInFocus looks at a list of 10 diverse movies shot in Japan’s capital by Western filmmakers.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: Tokyo Joe (1949)
Slide 3: House of Bamboo (1955)
Slide 4: My Geisha (1962)
Slide 5: You Only Live Twice (1967)
Slide 6: The Yakuza (1974)
Slide 7: Sans Soleil (1982)
Slide 8: The Toxic Avenger Part II (1989)
Slide 9: Flirt (1995)
Slide 10: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Slide 11: Tokyo! (2008)
Slide 1: Introduction

Slide 1: Introduction

When we first chose Tokyo as a destination for FilmInFocus’ Movie City series, we thought of Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola’s brilliant depiction of the city from a Western outsider’s point of view. In the film, Tokyo is seen as a somewhat confusing and alienating place to American visitors Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray. So, taking the example of Lost in Translation, we decided to look at other films shot in Tokyo by U.S. or European directors which view the city with fresh eyes. Some titles – such as The Bad News Bears Go to Japan or Jackass: The Movie – didn’t quite make the final list of 10, but the films represented here are nevertheless diverse and fascinating in their differences. They range from a Humphrey Bogart movie from the 1940s to a Hollywood franchise threequel from the 2000s, from a pseudo-documentary film essay by erudite French filmmaker Chris Marker to one of the Toxic Avenger movies from Lloyd Kaufman’s Troma outfit.