Bakuon Film Festival 2009: Kichijoji, Tokyo, Japan

The Bakuon Film Festival began over the weekend. The premise of this festival is simple and evident from the 12-foot high speakers stacked on both sides of the screen: Maximum Audio Blast! I had the good fortune of seeing David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” last night and was not disappointed. I had never thought of Lynch as a musician, but after last night’s showing, it was his role as “sound designer” that really took precedence over the visuals of the film. He has stated before that his films are meant to be seen on a big screen and I would add, with a crisp and able sound system. The sub-atomic bass that he mixes into so many scenes was really brought out last night’s screening and was equal to any “noise” show that I have attended.

On the other hand, Tarantino’s soundtrack selection, as is often praised (even by himself when he said, “I have one of the best soundtrack collections in America.”), was warm beyond belief. The lapdance scene’s version of The Coaster’s “Down in Mexico” was a vinyl version of the song, as opposed to the CD version (an updated version), which is included on the DVD and the soundtrack. We all know vinyl sounds good, but coupled with Tarantino’s sharp cinematography (credited as writer/director and Director of Photography), this movie, too, took on a new life. Oh, yes, the cars were damn loud.

I couldn’t stay for Dario Argento’s cut of “Zombi,” but hopefully can catch it this week. If you are in or near Kichijoji, make your way to the Baus Theater and check out the Bakuon Film Festival. No previews. Huge audio. The 2am presentation of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” definitely seems worth checking out.

The official website: Bakuon Film Festival

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