The ScreenAnarchy curated Tokyo Drifters: 100 Years Of Nikkatsu
screening series leaves the criminal fare behind at the TIFF Bell Lightbox this Saturday with a rare screening of hugely acclaimed classic comedy The Sun In The Last Days Of The Shogunate
, screening on 35mm from a freshly restored print. Voted the fifth best Japanese film of all time by the prestigious Kinema Junpo magazine the film features a script co-written by a young Shohei Imamura along with his mentor, the overlooked-in-the-west master, Kawashima Yuzo who also directs.
Though Nikkatsu was and is best known for its crime and action films,
the studio's output was far more diverse, as attested to by this riotous
comedy from director Yuzo Kawashima, which was voted the fifth best
Japanese film of all time in a 1999 poll of critics by the prestigious
film magazine Kinema Junpo. Co-scripted by Kawashima and his
protégé Shohei Imamura (soon to become one of the most celebrated
directors of the Japanese New Wave) along with Keiichi Tanakat, Sun is
set at the dawn of the Meiji Restoration in the late 1800s. When crafty
commoner Saheji (played by comedian Frankie Sakai) racks up a huge bill
at a brothel, he is forced to stay in the house to work off his debt,
where he becomes cheerfully embroiled in sleazy schemes, revolutionary
intrigue and star-crossed love affairs, using his quick wit to always
stay one step ahead. Hearkening back to the burlesque rakugo comedy tradition, Sun
is both raucously funny and darkly satirical in its portrait of a Japan
dominated by greed, corruption, lust and general idiocy.
In town and want to see it for free? We've got two pairs of tickets to give away. All you need to do is email me here and name the other film by Kawashima included in the series
. Winners will be notified tomorrow. Find complete series details and order tickets here!
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