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Genre: Comedy

Duration: 95 Minutes

The Legend of the Stardust Brothers

The Way of the Sword: From boom to bust: Japanese cinema in the 1980s

 Hosted by Ryan Ferguson

Japan was the envy of the world in the 1980s, as the second-largest economy on the planet, Japan became the hub of the global dream. Status and style became the de rigueur stand-ins for culture, and a nationwide party that began in the 60s was hurtling towards its inevitable crash of the early 90s. Under the surface, Japanese filmmakers’ sensitivity to growing angst and isolation of those in a society consumed by surface found their new iconoclast in punk. An often overlooked decade in the history of Japanese cinema that culminated in the cinematic revelations of Akira and Tetsuo, the Iron Man, the films in this program represent a few of the key steps on the path from boom to bust.

Ryan Ferguson

Ryan Ferguson is a film programmer and musician based in Hamilton, ON. He was the lead programmer of the AGH Film Festival between 2014 and 2021 and is the former Curator of Film at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Ryan currently programs the theatrical and special event film screenings at The Westdale. Japanese historical and contemporary cinema is Ryan’s primary area of interest, and ‘The Way of the Sword’ is part of a series of film programs he is developing to provide more exposure to the lesser seen corners of Japanese Cinema.

The Legend of the Stardust Brothers (1985, Japan) 

Music, Comedy

Japanese with English subtitles   

Directed by  Makoto Tezuka

In 1985, Macoto Tezka (son of the great manga artist Osamu Tezuka) met musician and TV
personality Haruo Chicada who had made a soundtrack to a movie which didn’t actually exist: The Legend of the Stardust Brothers. At the time Macoto was just 22 years old, a film-student with many short experimental films under his belt, but yet to make a feature-debut and of course had the pressure of the TEZUKA name. With Chicada as producer, Tezka then adapted this “fake soundtrack” into the real movie story of “The Stardust Brothers”.

With inspiration from “Phantom of the Paradise”and “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, Tezuka assembled a cast of some of Japan’s most famous musicians of the time, including such greatsas Kiyohiko Ozaki, ISSAY, Sunplaza Nakano and Hiroshi Takano, alongside many famous names in Manga such as Monkey Punch (Lupin the 3rd), Shinji Nagashima (Hanaichi Monme), Yosuke Takahashi (Mugen Shinsi) and even many upcoming film directors of the time such as Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Tokyo Sonata) and Daihachi Yoshida (The Kirishima Thing). The resulting film “The Legend of the Stardust Brothers”is the exact definition of a cult film.

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