Sinking the Unsinkable (1944)

The title and the year of its production suggests a maritime war film glorifying the sinking of an enemy ship. It turns out, it is a propaganda film to motivate factory workers to improve their productivity (or to work overtime). The product of the interest in the film happened to be a tornado, which (supposedly) sunk the Prince of Wales in December 1941.

Run, Yasubei, Run

Here is another Masahiro Makino film clip. The clip is the last climax of CHIKEMURI TAKADANOBABA (1937). This was one of the two blockbusters of 1937 New Year Season, and amazingly, both of them were directed by Makino. The story is about Yasubei (Tsumasaburo Bando) and his uncle Kayano. Yasubei is a Samurai but a very lazy drunkard. He always tries to avoid his uncle, Kayano, who wants Yasube to go straight.  However, one day, Kayano had a feud with one of other Samurais, and was forced to have a duel. But it turned out to be 2 to 20 …

Jazz Operetta in Edo

The year was 1939. The entry into the grim era. But for the New Year Film Fest, Nikkatsu released “Oshidori Utagassen“, one of the most delightful Japanese musicals ever. It was directed by Masahiro Makino in about 10 days. In fact the star of the film Chiezo Kataoka was ill at the time, so his screen time is minimum (shooting was only 2 hours long, it was said), and the rest of the film was filled with the most delightful examples of cinema making ….