If you could see any classic film on the big screen subtitled...

Aaron Gerow gerowaaron at sbcglobal.net
Thu Apr 8 22:46:22 EDT 2004

I hope "classic" does not necessarily mean "art film classic." Here's 
some recognized masterpieces on the entertainment side that have never 
really been seen much abroad:

To put in a vote for another Yamanaka Sadao, there's Tange Sazen yowa: 
Hyakumanryo no tsubo, one of the great Japanese comedies. The film will 
be released on DVD in Japan next month with some recently discovered 
scenes added, all in preparation for a remake that is supposed to come 
out this summer.

For another classic comedy--and a director too often ignored 
abroad--there's Kawashima Yuzo's brilliant _Bakumatsu taiyoden_, though 
I have a soft spot in my heart for his _Kashima ari_, too.

A current cult favorite is _Oshidori utagassen_, a simply wonderful 
1930s samurai musical directed by the master of rhythm, Makino Masahiro 
(Shimura Takashi sings!!!!). His film _Ketto Takadanobaba_, co-directed 
with Inagaki Hiroshi, is also a masterpiece of entertainment cinema.

Itami Mansaku's _Akanishi Kakita_ also deserves some attention abroad.

I also love the full-blown 1960s color musical _Kimi mo shusse ga 
dekiru_ and Shishido Jo's own favorite film, _Koruto wa ore no 

One dramatic masterpiece that deserves subtitling is Inagaki's original 
wartime _Muho Matsu no issho_.  A really good DVD could fill in the 
scenes cut out by first Japanese and then American censors with photos 
and actor's readings.

There's so much more--films by Shimizu Hiroshi, Kato Tai, Saito Koichi, 
Yamatoya Atsushi, etc. etc.--and more work that needs to be done.

Aaron Gerow
Film Studies and East Asian Languages and Literatures
Yale University

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