Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Kaihin no joo

[Una regina sulla spiaggia / Queen on the Shore]. (Shochiku, JP 1927). D: Kiyohiko Ushihara; SC: Tadashi Kobayashi; DP: Bunjiro Mizutani; cast: Denmei Suzuki (Toshio Ishikawa), ? [actual credit on print] (Kinue Ishikawa), Haruo Takeda (Masayoshi Imada), Yoshie Kashiwa (Mihoko Imada), Atsushi Watanabe (Sangoro Yamaguchi), Dekao Yoko (the brave Yokichi), Shoichi Kofujita (drowning boy); fragment, condensed version, 35mm, 298 m., 14' (18 fps); from: National Film Center, Tokyo. English subtitles on the print. Viewed at Teatro Verdi, Pordenone (GCM) with e-subtitles in Italian and Mie Yanashita on the grand piano, 5 Oct 2010

Alexander Jacoby & Johan Nordström in the GCM Catalogue: "This condensation is all that remains of what was once a feature length Ushihara comedy. The extant print is nevertheless fresh and engaging. Fascinating location shooting in and around Kamakura captures the look of 1920s Japan, and Ushihara’s directorial talent is shown in the stylish tracking shots along the beach and through the city streets. The film is also notable for the appearance of Denmei Suzuki in drag. Although he felt that Ushihara’s talent was somewhat wasted on directing so lightweight a film, Kinema Junpo reviewer Fuyuhiko Kitagawa declared that “as a comedy action picture, it is unquestionably entertaining”. ALEXANDER JACOBY & JOHAN NORDSTRÖM."

Print from a battered and water-damaged source. This condensation is an example of light entertainment with the investigative reporter in drag recovering the cooked books of the fraudulent businessman, producing a scoop for his newspaper with first page headline material. And he gets the girl as one of his rewards.

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