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February 02, 2008

Schoolgirl Musical

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

It seems that Koreans love the "schoolgirl" thing -- skirts, haircuts, uniforms, adorable knock-knees -- as much as the Japanese do. Or is the following clip simply referencing the Japanese fetish? Gosh, but it can be hard to know what's authentically "meant" these days ...

"Dasepo Naughty Girls" -- Could be the movie of the year. Ain't It Cool News' Quint caught it at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and has this to say: "I don’t know what the fuck DASEPO NAUGHTY GIRLS is, but I do know that I love it." That's a rave!

Here's the movie's trailer.



posted by Michael at February 2, 2008


The world is definitely going to hell in a handbasket. Where do you find these things?

Somehow it reminds me of this. Shortly after Myrna died, I had bottomed out completely, and I was trying to find a way just to fill up time. I was contacted (how I don't even remember) by this Japanese woman who sang at a HoJo's somewhere out in suburban NJ. I don't even remember exactly where. She intimated that I would be welcome to sit in on her act.

So, I went. At the time, I'd do just about anything to distract myself for a moment.

So, she was indeed doing what she advertised as a jazz lounge gig at the HoJo's. Her backup band was two Filipino guys dressed in those flowery tropical shirts, each of them playing some sort of cheap electronic keyboard. They did dance routines as they played. They were actually faking playing the keyboards, which had been pre-programmed. This gave them great latitude in their dance steps, but lent an even greater degree of unreality to the proceedings. They didn't even bother to disguise the fakery, and often danced in front of the keyboards they were supposedly playing.

The girl singer could barely speak English. In fact, the only understandable English she could speak was the lyrics to songs. Nor was she really a jazz singer, except in that bizarre way that Asians sometimes define the genre. She sang some of the more recognizable standards, but her style was kitchy Madonna overlaid with the sort of Miss America Pageant spectacular that is beloved through Asia.

The act was surreal... right out of a John Waters movie. The Japanese girl wore the complete Suzi Wong outfit. Her entire audience that night was other similarly lonely men who had been lured to the HoJo's with promises to play with the band, or (apparently) with promises of a date after the gig.

The girl still sends me flyers for her gigs, and still calls from time to time to ask if I want to play... I'm not sure what she wants to play.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on February 3, 2008 1:44 PM

Western pop culture just keeps on embracing and absorbing nutty Asian influences, doesn't it? Manga, anime, action films ... Don't know for sure but maybe the prominence of bondage in today's popular culture has something to do with the Japanese ....

Anyway, fwiw, the Koreans for some reason seem to be in the lead these days -- Korean cinema has been the world's hot one for the last few years. And the young filmmakers who I know think stuff like "Old Boy" and "Dasepo Naughty Girls" are ultra hot and inspiring.

I wonder if it's because it's all so stylized -- it's camp, but they dont' seem to mean it as camp. (An Asian-American friend of mine jokes about Asians as being "irony-free.") And that seems to appeal to kids who grew up in a kind of post-camp (yet exaggerated anyway) kind of culture. Life is a great big musical number!

Anyway, it seems to me a safe prediction that we'll be seeing the impact of stuff like the clip I posted in American popular culture any day now ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on February 4, 2008 10:53 AM


I haven't commented here before, and I've been a regular reader for only a few months, but thanks for introducing me and many others to this movie. I wanted to share a link to the whole thing with English subtitles.

Posted by: Smolken on February 7, 2008 11:09 AM

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