Bank Managers and Mistresses (Part 2)

This is part 2 of the ongoing series. Part 1 is here. In postwar Japanese films, you may find many stories of salarymen engaging in various forms of adultery: from flirting with young female coworkers to secretly building a love nest for his lover. Some films used such setup as a motive for crime, others as comedic interludes. Since bank employees, particularly managers, were considered as successful elites in upper crust milieu, some writers and filmmakers thought such an elite could make a good fall guy. Seicho Matsumoto’s novelette “Kanryu (Cold Current)” depicts a middle aged bank manager trapped in …

Bank Managers and Mistresses (Part 1)

As a heavy locomotive enters a tunnel, smokes of soot fill the screen. The contrast between drab blackness of the engine and overexposed whiteness of snow creates an atmosphere of desolation and isolation. Just looking at this brutal contrast of the heavy machinery and the unforgiving nature, we know we are invited to the world of full of dead ends and boredom.

Maiden Bridge (1936)

Tokyo University Press recently published “Propaganda Films in Colonial Taiwan: Research on Newly Discovered Films (植民地期台湾の映画)“. This is a book plus 2-DVD box set. Texts are academic research articles on propaganda films in Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule (1895 – 1945), particularly during the fifteen year war (1930 – 1945). DVDs contain rare films found in Taiwan in 2005, including entertainment films, animations, and documentaries during this era. Some of them are, as I understand, only existing copies of the particular titles. “Maiden Bridge” is one of the entertainment films included in the DVD.