Friday, February 13, 2009

Masatoshi Nagase and his "Coney Island Jellyfish"

by Chris MaGee

Here's another of those "I never knew they sang!" moments that come up a lot in Japanese film. Many of you will be familiar with actor Masatoshi Nagase, the star of such films as "Electric Dragon 80,000V" and "The Hidden Blade", but how many of you knew that at one point he also had a music career in Japan. I'll be honest and say that I didn't, but on a wander through YouTube I discovered this video for his song "Coney Island Jellyfish" from his 1993 album of the same name (above right). It's a pretty cool little piece of work, well at least if you think of it as a short film as opposed to a music video because, at least to me, the music is pretty damn weak. The visuals on the other hand come courtesy of Cinque Lee, younger brother of director Spike Lee, and Nagase's co-star in Jim Jarmusch's 1989 art house Americana film "Mystery Train". Watch as Nagase , playing a street preacher, gets more than he bargains for after he tries to minister to a woman he spies... spending a bit of quality time with herself. Watch, but don't listen too hard.

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