Our next film in Season 4 is 1931’s JIROKICHI THE RAT, the second in our chronological journey through a century of martial arts films. Sam’s a little luke-warm to start with, but is won round in the end — via discussions of cinematic archetypes, innovative camera techniques, and what it means to be a samurai.
The next film we take on is the directorial debut of an auteur we featured on the podcast last year, Akira Kurosawa: SANSHIRO SUGATA (1943). Watch it through the BFI Player/Amazon, here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sanshiro-Sugata-Denjiro-Okochi/dp/B07116L3MQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1548627698&sr=8-2&keywords=sanshiro+sugata
This Week’s Media
IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE (2016): Ti West, Ethan Hawke, Taissa Farmiga
LES MISERABLES (2018): Tom Shankland, Adeel Akhtar, David Oyelowo
RONIN (1998): John Frankenheimer, Robert De Niro, Jean Reno
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981): John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef
RASHOMON (1950): Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyō
BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969): George Roy Hill, Paul Newman, Robert Redford
First, we should link to an explanation of so-called ‘tendency’ films, for which the director (Daisuke Itō) was famous at the time: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tendency_film. This is a good book on the various changes in Japanese cinema around the time that OROCHI and JIROKICHI THE RAT were made, and the cultural aftermath of these: books.google.co.uk/books/about/A_Hundred_Years_of_Japanese_Film.html?id=s7-_Gon5-a0C&redir_esc=y. On the innovative use of camera movement in films, this is a good article: www.filmcomment.com/article/game-changers-camera-movement. Finally, this is an engaging piece about the idea of ‘the hero’s journey’, which Rob mentions this week (but which, actually, is a trope these films seem to undercut!): venngage.com/blog/heros-journey.