The film screening will be accompanied with a specially-commissioned live score performance by Mark Chua and Lam Li Shuen.
Director: Yasujirō Ozu
Runtime: 100 minutes
Language: Silent with Japanese intertitles and English subtitles
Made at the height of popularity of Hollywood gangster movies, such as The Public Enemy (1931) and Scarface (1932), Dragnet Girl was Yasujirō Ozu’s uncharacteristic foray into the crime genre. A young Kinuyo Tanaka plays Tokiko, a typist in Yokohama, who plots to steal from her employer, with her boyfriend Joji, a washed-up boxer and lowly crook.
The film is an early example of Tanaka’s rise to stardom in the 1930s at only 24 years old. It was an era that saw her take on a diverse range of roles typical of the shifting sensibilities of contemporary Japanese society. Rapid industrialisation gave greater opportunities for young women to work in the cities, away from their families in rural areas, contributing to the archetype of the emancipated modan gāru (modern girls) or moga, who adopted liberal attitudes and looks. Film studios such as Shochiku (to which Tanaka was contracted to) were quick to appeal to urbanised women audiences by creating female roles that were more in step with the times.
About the Musicians
Mark Chua and Lam Li Shuen are Singaporean filmmakers and musicians whose image and sound works explore the possibilities in conceptual narrativity. The duo has created music for films, released recordings under their sound project ARE, and presented sound work and performances at art spaces and independent venues such as Yeo Workshop (Singapore), The National Museum of Singapore, Drill Hall Gallery (Australia), and FIGYA (Japan). Most recently they recorded and released the album Never Seen The Roof, a concept album created as a soundtrack to an art exhibition “Only Losers Left Alive”.
Retrospective: Kinuyo Tanaka is held in conjunction with Japanese Film Festival Singapore, and has been made possible with the generous support of the Japan Foundation.
For the full Retrospective: Kinuyo Tanaka programme, please visit here.
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