Some of Yasujiro Ozu's best known films like Tokyo Story, Late Spring and Good Morning are the result of the Japanese film director honing his film-making craft in the 1930's with the gangster film genre.
As part of the BFI's The Ozu Collection, three rare, silent works are presented in this special blu ray boxset, mixing the thrills of western filmmaking with compositions that served as a forerunner to his renowned, mature, post-war style.
All films are presented here with newly commissioned scores by Ed Hughes.
The set includes: Walk Cheerfully (1930, 92 min), That Night’s Wife (1930, 63 min), and Dragnet Girl (1933, 96 min).
WALK CHEERFULLY (Hogaraka ni ayume) Kenji 'the Knife' Koyama, leader of a gang of hooligans, falls for the virtuous Yasue. Will he go straight to win her heart or carry on his life of petty crime? Reminiscent of Sternberg's Underworld with its expressionist lighting, Walk Cheerfully combines international cinematic influences with Ozu's own comic touches.
Japan | 1930 | black and white | silent with English subtitles | DVD9 | 92 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1
THAT NIGHT'S WIFE (Sono yo no tsuma) Young father Shuji turns to crime to pay his daughter's medical bills. Enter Detective Kagawa for a tense night-time stand-off with Shuji's wife, Mayumi. That Night's Wife demonstrates Ozu's masterly handling of drama as the film reaches its emotional climax.
DRAGNET GIRL (Hijosen no onna) By day sweet-faced Tokiko (played by Tanaka Kinuyo [Equinox Flower]) is an ordinary typist but come nightfall she's a fun-loving gangster's moll. When her boyfriend strays, Tokiko is forced to reassess her life. Hugely popular when it was released, Ozu's Dragnet Girl remains one of his most enduring silent films
Japan | 1930 + 1933 | black and white | silent with English subtitles | DVD9 | 63 minutes + 96 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1
- A Straightforward Boy (1929, 13 mins): a kidnapped boy gets the better of the baddies in this surviving fragment of the film, directed by Ozu, which shot Tomio Aoki, its young star, to fame
- Ozu: Emotion and Poetry (2012, 10 mins): extract from Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns' 2010 lecture
- Fully illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essays