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I'll Sleep When I'm DeadIll Sleep When Im Dead sm (2016)

So much success.  So much sadness.  This short (82 minutes) bio-documentary by Netflix debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival.  It tells two stories, really, the main one of which is about Steve Aoki (born 1977).  In the world of EDM (electronic dance music), he's a certified phenom, a "force of nature," and one of the most famous DJs in the world.  He recently did 300 shows around the globe in a single year.  All that was after he founded the record label Dim Mak. It turns out that the apple didn't fall far from the tree, and that's the second story.  Steve's father was Rocky Aoki (1938–2008), who came to the United States as a hall of fame wrestler for the Japanese Olympic team, founded the restaurant chain Benihana, raced power boats, won the backgammon world championship, and piloted hot air balloons from Japan to North America.  Can you say "adrenaline junkie?"  Rocky had seven children in three marriages, and even sued four of them for trying to take over his restaurants.  And big surprise, Rocky was an absentee husband and father.  By his own description, Steve both feared and idolized his father, and has spent his life trying to earn his love and gain his approval.   The movie reminded me of a dark joke by a friend, that behind every great man there's a trail of human wreckage.  But give credit where it's due — the son is trying to live honestly in the long, dark shadow of his father's legacy.

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