Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kirsten Dunst, McG and Takashi Murakami are all Turning Japanese

by Chris MaGee

It was a while back that news broke of sightings of Hollywood actress Kirsten Dunst running around Akihabara dressed in a blue wig and colourful maid gear. At that time no one really knew what was up; was the "Virgin Suicides" and "Spiderman" star filming a music video (possibly with "Terminator: Salvation" director McG), or had she just had a minor nervous breakdown while in Japan and ended up stumbling through Tokyo. Basically I took it as just a paparazzi sighting and left it unreported. Now, CNN Asia has stepped in to clear up this confusion and turn it into a full-fledged news item.

It turns out that the 27-year-old Dunst was indeed in the Akihabara district of Tokyo accompanied by McG (a.k.a Joseph McGinty Nichol) and they were sent there by none other than artist, entrepreneur and founder of the otaku-inspired Super Flat style, Takashi Murakami. The pair were commissioned by the artist (above left) to work on a 4-minute short film entitled "Akihabara Majokko Princess" that features Dunst dolled up in rainbow Goth-Loli style and singing The Vapors 1980 New wave hit "Turning Japanese". The film is part an art exhibit called "Pop Life" that will be running at the Tate Modern in London.

Murakami isn't a stranger to the moving image as he's produced animated films for Luois Vuitton and music videos for rapper Kanye West, but this (to my knowledge) is the first time he's been involved in producing a live-action film, albeit one that is firmly grounded in his manga/anime/otaku aesthetic. "Pop Life" opened on October 1st and will be running at the Tate Modern until January 17th, 2010.

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