Hiroshi Shimizu

Hiroshi Shimizu – Arigatô-san AKA Mr. Thank You (1936)

Based on a short story by Nobel Prize-winning author Kawabata Yasunari, this lighthearted road film follows the rolling wheels of a country bus manned by a driver who says “thank you” to everyone he encounters. “Mr. Thank You” drives into various humorous and telling episodes with different passenger and travelers as he rumbles his way through the mountainous countryside. Arigatau-san highlights common Shimizu motifs of location shooting, constant movement, and heartwarming sentiments, while at the same time subtly addressing real-world worries like Depression-era woes and the condition of Korean laborers. Read More »

Hiroshi Shimizu – Nobuko (1940)

Synopsis:
Renowned actress/singer Takamine Mieko stars as titular heroine Nobuko, a spirited young teacher working in a conservative school. Based on a novel by Shishi Bunroku, the film follows her experiences as she challenges the school with her liberal thinking and teaching methods. Read More »

Hiroshi Shimizu – Nanatsu no umi: Kohen Teiso-hen AKA Seven Seas: Frigidity Chapter (1932)

“Seven Seas, the first of Shimizu’s great silent films of the 30s, was scripted by Kogo Noda, Ozu’s close associate, from a novel by Itsuma Maki (a pen name of the noted writer, Umitaro Hasegawa). The film is a lengthy work interweaving characters from different backgrounds and social strata in a narrative centered around the experiences of its heroine, Yumie Sone. Over two hours long, Seven Seas was released theatrically in two parts, with the first part entitled “Virginity Chapter” coming out in December 1931, while the second part, “Frigidity Chapter,” followed in March 1932. Read More »

Hiroshi Shimizu – Nanatsu no umi: Zempen Shojo-hen AKA Seven Seas: Virginity Chapter (1931)

“Seven Seas, the first of Shimizu’s great silent films of the 30s, was scripted by Kogo Noda, Ozu’s close associate, from a novel by Itsuma Maki (a pen name of the noted writer, Umitaro Hasegawa). The film is a lengthy work interweaving characters from different backgrounds and social strata in a narrative centered around the experiences of its heroine, Yumie Sone. Over two hours long, Seven Seas was released theatrically in two parts, with the first part entitled “Virginity Chapter” coming out in December 1931, while the second part, “Frigidity Chapter,” followed in March 1932. Near the beginning of the narrative, at a garden party given by the wealthy Yagibashi family in Tokyo, Yumie meets Takehiko, the Yagibashis’ playboy son and the brother of Yumie’s fiancé, Yuzuru. Yumie, a young middle-class woman, lives with her ailing father, a retired ministry official, an older sister, and a younger sister still a child (played by a very young Hideko Takamine). Read More »

Hiroshi Shimizu – Kanzashi aka Ornamental Hairpin (1941)


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Synopsis
Based on an Ibuse Masuji short story, this delightful escapist drama is set at a hot spring resort providing sanctuary to people of vastly different backgrounds and personalities bounded by one thing: their common desire to not leave. The resort’s patrons include a Tokyo woman (Tanaka Kinuyo) with a mysterious past who develops a brief relationship with a wounded soldier (Ryu Chishu). A comedic piece filmed and set during wartime Japan, Kanzashi makes a statement with its lightness. Read More »

Hiroshi Shimizu – Hanagata senshu aka A Star Athlete (1937)

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Quote:
From acquarello at Strictly Film School Blog: Hiroshi Shimizu’s government-pressured, militarism-era film A Star Athlete is a breezy, refreshingly lighthearted, and subtly subversive slice-of-life comedy that centers on an all-day student march in formation and armed combat drills through the rural countryside for military training exercises. Shimizu demonstrates his deceptively facile adeptness and virtuoso camerawork through a series of extraordinarily choreographed plan sequence shots: a track-and-field race around the campus track between the school’s start athlete Seki (Shuji Sano) and his constantly spurring – and sparring – team mate (Chishu Ryu); an extended dolly sequence of the students’ march as bemused villagers and flirtatious, love-struck young women alternately respectfully step aside, playfully trail, obliviously obstruct, and amorously chase the dashing students in uniform; a mock battlefield charge assault through muddy fields as a guilt-ridden motley crew of travelers on the road scramble to flee from the students in a mistaken belief of being chased in retribution for their petty transgressions during their brief stay in the village. Read More »

Hiroshi Shimizu – Hachi no su no kodomotachi AKA Children of the Beehive (1948)

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The movie focuses on the plight of ten war orphans hailing from different cities across Japan. With nowhere to go, they scavenge around train stations, scratching out an existence by means of black market work for a one-legged tramp whilst avoiding being picked up by the police for vagrancy. Soon however, they find a more inspiring role model in the figure of a nameless soldier just repatriated after the war. An orphan himself, the soldier also has no home to return to, and so sets out across the country with the kids in tow in search of work before settling on the goal of leading them to the orphanage where he himself grew up. Read More »