(Muteki, Minoru Murata, Japan 1934, 125 min., 35mm, Japanese intertitles w/subtitles)
Silent Tuesdays. Chiyokichi, a young man, hates Cooper, an American who looks down on the Japanese. Chiyokichi picks Cooper’s pocket and is caught. He is brought to Cooper’s house and becomes his slave, and a riveting tale of passion, hatred, and revenge unfolds.
Minoru Murata played a crucial role in Japanese film history in the 1920s; his ability to build emotional atmospheres in purely visual terms can be fully appreciated in this masterwork of the late silent era. Based on a novel by Jiro Osaragi, the film evokes the strange atmosphere of 1870s Yokohama, with its mixture of Japanese and Western cultures. Murata’s goal was to reconstruct the world of Western literature and theatre via the motion picture, and his efforts played an important part in modernizing cinema style in Japan in the early 1920s.
Live piano by Philip C. Carli.
Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.