Kazuo Hasegawa

  • Yasujirô Shimazu – Watashi no niisan AKA My elder Brother (1934)

    Kazuo Hasegawa has wild friends and hates being compared to his stepbrother, Reikichi Kawamura, who is steady, works hard at his taxicab business, and is amiable. That’s why he left home a year ago. Now he has heard his mother is ill, and wants to come home, but thinks she hates him. That’s nonsense, says Kawamura. Hasegawa agrees to reform. Just then two men come in and want to hire a cab. Everyone has gone home for the evening, so Hasegawa shows his willingness to reform by taking the fare. They drive to a distant house. They ask him to wait. While he does so, Kinuyo Tanaka pops out, begs him to help her escape. He does so. The two men are her step-brother, and the man everyone wants her to marry…. except her, of course.Read More »

  • Tamizo Ishida – Orizo nan henge AKA Seven Changes of a Paper Crane (1941)

    Maya Grohn wrote:
    The story is based on the serial novel by Tsunoda Kikuo, which was published in a magazine called “KING”, the most popular magazine of its time. This type of magazine was deemed too popular for serious literature lovers, who regarded it as beneath them. Once a girl, a long time ago, Maya could not understand it all, but through ageing I have begun to enjoy these thing in a quite different manner.Read More »

  • Osamu Fushimizu – Shina no yoru aka China Night (1940)

    Peter High wrote:
    Fushimizu Osamu’s immensely successful China Nights works the rich metaphorical possibilities afforded by the commonplace image of China as a disreputable “woman” in need of redemption. As early as 1911, popular historian Yamaji Aizan had characterized the nation as “not a powerless country like a single woman, but an infelicitous one like a prostitute.” Although it’s discretely muted, the film’s first scene introduces Ri Koran’s character as something perilously close to a “fallen woman”.Read More »

  • Kon Ichikawa – Yukinojô henge AKA An Actor’s Revenge [+Extras] (1963)

    Master Director Kon Ichikawa’s 1963 classic is considered by many to be one of the finest films ever made in Japan.Kasuo Hasegawa stars as Yukinojo, a talented kabuki actor who specializes in playing female roles (women were not allowed on the stage during the period of the film). But his success on the stage is but a means to an end; his true goal is to visit vengeance upon the three ruthless and powerful men who destroyed his family’s business and drove his parents to commit suicide.Yukinojo’s vengeance will be carefully scripted, and skillfully acted. But the price of admission will be high indeed.Read More »

  • Teinosuke Kinugasa – Jigokumon aka The Gate of Hell (1953)

    In 1159, during an attempted coup, one of the court’s ladies in waiting disguises herself as the lord’s wife, and a loyal samurai conveys her from the city. This diversion allows the royal family to escape. After the coup fails, the samurai asks his lord to let him marry the woman as his reward. The lord grants the request and then discovers she is already married to one of the ruling family’s lieges. The samurai clings to his desire, importuning her to leave her husband, then challenging the husband to release her. Although the husband stays calm and she stays faithful, the samurai remains intemperate and stubborn, with tragic consequences.Read More »

  • Teinosuke Kinugasa – Yukinojo henge AKA An Actor’s Revenge (1935)

    Here is the 1935/1936 original version of “An Actor’s Revenge”, which was hugely popular at that time and a high point in Kazuo Hasegawa’s career. In fact, he even chose to remake this film as his 300th film work, helmed by Kon Ichikawa.

    The original film has 3 parts and runs 310 mins long, released. However, like most pre-1945 jidaigeki, it has been seized and re-edited by GHQ during the occupation era. And now, only this truncated version which runs only 97 mins exists.Read More »

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