The story of one man’s mission to keep the subculture alive and kicking in Japan
London-based director James Partridge talks about his latest film, a profile of Japanese rockabilly bright light Johnny Jeana:
“One of Tokyo’s last Rockabillies, Johnny Jeana keeps ’50s Americana alive in the heart of the city. In this film, we delve into Japan’s Rockabilly culture and Johnny’s dreams of superstardom.
“I met Johnny in London as he meandered through throngs of tourists, impossible to ignore. He was dressed head-to-toe in black leather with an impressively groomed quiff, bare-chested despite the biting cold and strutting like the lovechild of James Dean and Elvis.
“I had to follow this guy to Tokyo to find out more. When making the film, I wanted to create an honest depiction of Johnny’s devotion and immersion into Rockabilly style—a subculture totally removed from his generation and the current digital age. His style is a personal rebellion against societal norms and the film celebrates the determination of an individual with one great passion.”