Beshi Tellings

| 17/12/2022

In the 1920s, the real stars of Japanese cinema were not so much the actors on the big screen, but rather the 'benshi': the seasoned voice actors who told the story live in front of the screen as well as interpreting the dialogues of the silent film. This unique piece of film history is brought back to life, thanks to the renowned benshi Ichirō Kataoka, who is accompanied this time by two musicians.

This month's programme: 

  • Tōkyō kōshinkyoku (Tokyo March) 
    1929, Mizoguchi Kenji, excerpt: 30 min.
    An excerpt of a classic love story that transcends class divisions amid Tokyo's bustling modernisation.
  • Jūjiro (Crossways) 
    1928, Kinogusa Teinosuke, 74 min.
    Out of obsession with a courtesan, a young man attacks a rival and goes blind. A fake doctor approaches his sister who will do anything to give her brother back his sight. 

The screening will be introduced by Prof Dr Jan Schmidt (KULeuven).

Currently, the expo 'Japan's Book Donation to the University of Louvain' is on display at the University Library of Leuven. The perfect opportunity for ZED to once again join forces with Japanese studies at KU Leuven: for the fourth time there will be a benshi narration in Cinema ZED, with live music. You will discover unseen archive footage, but also recent films by Oscar winner Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, among others. A special insight from past to present into a fantastic film country.

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