Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ryuhei Kitamura directs Nirvana-inspired martial arts video for pianist ELEW

by Chris MaGee

Okay, here is my advice to musicians out there. Niravana's groundbreaking grunge single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" has been mangled more than it ever needed to be. There are some songs that lend themselves to covers and then there are songs that definitely don't, and Kurt Cobain's roaring song about teen angst is one of them. If you've heard the covers of it by Tori Amos, Patti Smith and (gasp!) Paul Anka you'll know exactly what I mean.

Why do I bring this up on the J-Film Pow-Wow? Well, because a new cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" has been recorded by jazz-fusion pianist ELEW on his latest album "RockJazz Vol. 1" and for the video ELEW's utterly over-the-top rendition his label enlisted none other than "Versus" director Ryuhei Kitamura. It's a perfect fit for a less than perfect cover. Kitamura manages to match ELEW's scenery-chewing performance with hot Japanese women, martial arts, a metal dog sculpture and ELEW dressed up like a two-bit yakuza... all things that Cobain must have been thinking of when he wrote "Teen Spirit", right?

Check out the insanity below. Thanks to Sci-Fi Japan for hurting our eyes and ears.

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