Based in part on the life of the rakugo artist Beikyo Katsura the 2nd (1860-1904), Song of the Devil is a story about the pursuit for ultimate artistry. This film is based on the novel by Yoshikazu Fujimoto, a screenwriter-turned-novelist who was an apprentice to Yuzo Kawashima. The leading roles of Bakyo and Rokyu are performed by actual rakugo artists.
Bakyo is a talented but unsuccessful rakugo artist. The very successful Rokyu wants to take Bakyo under his wings, but Bakyo refuses, claiming that Rokyu’s rakugo is compromised by the elements of kabuki. But Bakyo changes his mind and determines to learn (or steal) Rokyu’s craft and makes it his own.
Bakyo is obsessive in copying every detail of Rokyu’s performance, even Rokyu’s lifestyle. One night while Bakyo is watching Rokyu perform, Bakyo’s pregnant wife has an accident at home and dies in agony. Bakyo emerges from the shock by creating a rakugo story in which he impersonates a female psychic who will eat anything offered by the audience, even horse shit. The show is a wild success but Bakyo gets struck by smallpox. His totally disfigured face becomes yet another rakugo story…
1.43GB | 1h 33m | 720×540 | mkv