Dir: Yasujiro Ozu
Japan 1930, 96 mins
The festival opens with this delicious Tokyo spin on a classic gangster tale, following small-time hood Kenji (aka Ken the Knife) and his doomed attempts at going straight. Although known for the minimalism of his later work Ozu had grown up devouring Hollywood movies, and you can see their influence here in the cars, the guns, and the femme fatale complete with Louise Brooks bob.
Kenji’s underworld adventures will tonight be accompanied not only by live music, but also live narration courtesy of actress Tomoko Komura. Walking in the footsteps of the benshi, Komura will not only comment on the action but also voice the characters’ dialogue and provide the occasional sound effect. The specially composed score is by Japanese music specialist Clive Bell and renowned improviser Sylvia Hallett, who deploy electronics alongside traditional instruments including the shakuhachi bamboo flute and the khene Asian mouth organ.
This event is presented in partnership with Jewellery Quarter BID.