DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
image

Life Is Short: Nikkatsu Studios at 100

Sunday, September 23, 2012
5:00 p.m. Made to Order Cloth
Daisuke Ito (Japan, 1931)

Live Music/Judith Rosenberg on Piano


(Oatsurae Jirokichi goshi, a.k.a. The Chivalrous Robber Jirokichi, a.k.a. Jirokichi the Burglar). Daisuke Ito's revolutionary use of the moving camera for swordfights, his command of montage, and his propensity for serious drama delicately balanced by comic interludes make this perhaps the finest silent Japanese period-film to have survived in approximately original form. Nezumi Kozo Jirokichi (Denjiro Okochi, an actor whose popularity was rivaled only by Tsumasaburo Bando), a late Edo-period burglar immortalized as a folk hero who stole from the homes of wealthy samurai to aid the poor, was the subject of numerous films starting as early as 1911. Ito develops a sophisticated plot that places the thief between two women, a sultry woman of the world who sacrifices herself to help him escape, and an innocent young girl who falls in love with him when he saves her from being sold as a geisha. Naoe Fushimi's seductive performance as Jirokichi's lover provides a rare opportunity to see one of Japan's few vamps. Her sister, Nobuko, plays the innocent young girl.

—Lisa Spalding

• Written by Ito, based on a story by Eiji Yoshikawa. Photographed by Hiromitsu Karasawa. With Denjiro Okochi, Naoe Fushimi, Nobuko Fushimi. (79 mins, Silent with Japanese intertitles and English subtitles, 35mm, From National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, permission Nikkatsu)

Preceded by
Jiraiya the Ninja
Goketsu Jiraija, Shozo Makino (Japan, 1921)

One of the earliest examples of Japanese cinema, this fragment from a long-lost work was directed by Shozo Makino, the “father of Japanese film.” (21 mins, Silent with Japanese intertitles and English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, From National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, permission Nikkatsu)

Total running time: 100 mins