Yasuzo Masumura

Yasuzô Masumura – Rikugun Nakano gakko AKA Nakano Spy School (1966)

How a young second lieutenant becomes your basic Bond is the subject of this spy-vs.-spy noir set in 1938 at the start of the Sino-Japanese War. Jiro (Raizo Ichikawa) leaves his fiancée for a mysterious military assignment — he and a few good men are to be trained as special agents at the newly established Nakano Spy School, based on the British model. (The girlfriend, meanwhile, becomes involved in the machinations of the British themselves.) A True Fiction-style narrative offers both lessons in spying (bring your notepad, and a sense of humor) and the lessons of spying: for all its worldly ideals, and even without uniforms, the Spy School is a microcosm of a closed society. Read More »

Yasuzô Masumura – Kono ko no nanatsu no oiwai ni AKA For My Daughter’s 7th Birthday (1982)

The film is Yasuzo Masumura’s last feature film, based on Mio Saito’s novel which wons him a Seishi Yokomizo Award, shot by Setsuo Kobayashi, principle cinematographers of such Kon Ichikawa & Yasuzo Masumura classics as Fires on the Plain, An Actor’s Revenge, Being Two Isn’t Easy, Ten Dark Women, A Wife Confesses, Red Angel, Blind Beast, Manji, Black Express… (Indeed I think he’s responsible for the look (for example, the tight framing & deep focus) of these films). The film also boasts a fabulous cast, including Tetsuro Tamba, who seems uncredited. Read More »

Yasuzô Masumura – Danryu AKA Warm Current [+Extra] (1957)

Remake of Yoshimura Kozaburo’s 1939 film of the same title, originally adapted from a novel by Kishida Kunio. Together with scenarist Shirasaka Yoshio, Masumura re-imagines a traditional melodrama as a fast-paced comedy of manners. Includes a cameo appearance by the singer Miwa Akihiro.

The story revolves around a young man appointed to rescue a troubled hospital, and who must choose between two women, a dedicated nurse or a spoiled rich girl. Read More »

Yasuzô Masumura – Kono ko no nanatsu no oiwai ni AKA For My Daughter’s 7th Birthday (1982)

The film is Yasuzo Masumura’s last feature film, based on Mio Saito’s novel which wons him a Seishi Yokomizo Award, shot by Setsuo Kobayashi, principle cinematographers of such Kon Ichikawa & Yasuzo Masumura classics as Fires on the Plain, An Actor’s Revenge, Being Two Isn’t Easy, Ten Dark Women, A Wife Confesses, Red Angel, Blind Beast, Manji, Black Express… (Indeed I think he’s responsible for the look (for example, the tight framing & deep focus) of these films). The film also boasts a fabulous cast, including Tetsuro Tamba, who seems uncredited. Read More »

Yasuzô Masumura – Eden no sono AKA The Garden of Eden (1980)

Synopsis:
A young pick-pocket meets a sheltered teenage girl at an art museum while trying to lift her wallet. He falls in love with her and lures her to deserted strip of beach where he pretends his stolen motorbike has broken down and they are stranded. An unlikely romance follows. Read More »

Yasuzo Masumura – Kuro no chôtokkyu (1964)

Quote:
Basically the plot revolves around an endebted entreprenor who sell his fields to a business-man who plan to build an car-factory. Instead of this factory, the fields will prove to be used for the Shinkansen line. Then, the endebted entreprenor will seek back the business-man for get much more money he deserved in this real trade.

Another not-so subtle critic of capitalism, but some good dark thriller moments and a great&painful strangulation sequence! Read More »

Yasuzô Masumura – Kuro no tesuto kaa AKA Black Test Car (1962)

Synopsis:
Two car manufacturers spy on each other to try to find out details and prices of a new sports car each is about to launch.

Review:
Yasuzo Masumura’s 1962 spy thriller Black Test Car pits rival agencies against each other in an escalating game of theft, deceit, and sabotage. And no, the title isn’t a mistranslation. The movie opens with the Tiger corporation suffering through a disastrous test run for its latest sports-car model, the Pioneer. Read More »