Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Remembering that time Kirsten Dunst made a video for “Turning Japanese”

Screenshot: YouTube

It’s hard to compete with events in a week that includes Easter Sunday, 4/20, High-Five Day, and Record Store Day, but it’s after 5 p.m. on Friday, so here we are: Eight years ago, Kirsten Dunst made a video of “Turning Japanese,” the unlikely 1980 hit by one-hit wonders The Vapors.

Dangerous Minds recalls that the video was directed by Charlie’s Angels director McG and produced by “prolific Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami, whose signature ‘superflat‘ style involves heavy use of turbo-sexualized images of women dressed up as little girls and women with exaggerated cleavage.” Dunst does her part in a bright blue wig and schoolgirl skirt as she cavorts through various Tokyo intersections. But the video would be a whole lot better if Dunst had picked a key that worked: She combines two octaves here, but she’s straining on the high notes and gets lost in the deeper ones.


The video was part of a 2009 exhibition called Pop Life: Art In A Material World that ran at London’s Tate Modern in 2009. Its colorful pop art sensibilities are certainly interesting, and you have to commend Dunst for committing to a bit. But you might prefer the 1980 original video, which is a bit more minimalist, but has much better vocals. Happy weekend, everybody!

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