Tag Archives: Shûji Sano

Yûzô Kawashima – Tonkatsu taisho AKA The Pork Cutlet General (1952)

Yusaku, whose nickname is “Tonkatsu Taisho” (General Pork Cutlet), is a popular young children’s doctor. Mayumi, a female doctor of another hospital, plans to expand her clinic with the advice of a lawyer named Oguro by destroying small houses. Oguro, however, plans to take advantage of Mayumi’s plan and build a cabaret instead. Read More »

Keisuke Kinoshita – Ojôsan kanpai AKA Here’s to the Young Lady AKA Here’s to the Girls (1949)

Sentimental egalitarianism in a love story that crosses class barriers. A lower-class entrepreneur on his way up is proposed a match wth a lovely girl of an aristocratic family. He soon learns her household is bankrupt and hoping he will bail them out, and he feels he has none of the refined culture this girl enjoys. But in the end the girl herself realizes she is really in love with this boorish but charmingly frank and devoted young man… Read More »

Yasujirô Ozu – Kaze no naka no mendori AKA A Hen in the Wind (1948)

A man returns from World War II to find his desperate wife had resorted to one night of prostitution to pay for their son’s hospital bills. Read More »

Heinosuke Gosho – Ôsaka no yado AKA An Inn at Osaka (1954)

Mr. Mito (Shuji Sano), a Tokyo businessman, is demoted and sent to Osaka. There, he finds lodging in the titular inn, and makes the acquaintance of many of the town’s citizens. Notable among them are the maids at the inn, a hard-drinking geisha, and a mysterious woman Mito encounters at the mailbox. In Japan, director Gosho’s name is synonymous with melancholy and finding laughter through tears; An Inn at Osaka bears up that reputation. The struggle to stay afloat in life, especially financially, is a running theme of the film, as all of the characters struggle with looming poverty and gnawing loneliness, but it all ends with a kind of quiet triumph. Read More »

Yasujirô Ozu – Chichi ariki AKA There Was a Father (1942)

Yasujiro Ozu’s frequent leading man Chishu Ryu is riveting as Shuhei, a widowed high school teacher who finds that the more he tries to do what is best for his son’s future, the more they are separated. Though primarily a delicately wrought story of parental love, There Was a Father offers themes of sacrifice that were deemed appropriately patriotic by Japanese censors at the time of its release during World War II, making it a uniquely political film in Ozu’s body of work. Read More »

Keisuke Kinoshita – Karumen kokyo ni kaeru AKA Carmen Comes Home [+extras] (1951)

A light-heartedly humorous take on post-war female emancipation, Carmen Comes Home is a fairly typical offering from Shochiku, a studio renowned at the time for its conservative output specialising predominantly in comedies and domestic dramas based firmly within the framework of the traditional Japanese family structure. Produced at a time when the company’s fortunes were still riding high, to celebrate their 30th anniversary studio head Shiro Kido (himself the subject of a retrospective at the Nederlands Filmmuseum in 1994) allowed director Keisuke Kinoshita to direct this light and breezy comedy drama in Fujicolor, and thus Japan’s first ever colour motion picture came to be made. Read More »

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


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 »