Toronto Silent Film Festival: The Films of Mikio Naruse

Programme 3 of the TSFF-The films of Master Director Mikio Naruse-Apart From You 1933 & Flunky, Work Hard! 1933.

“In the West Mikio Naruse is the least well known of the big four directors of Japan's golden age of cinema. Yasujiro Ozu, Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi have all become touch points for their meticulous style and/ or their heroic narratives. Naruse is probably best known, like Mizoguchi, for his "women's films", often cautionary tales of women in Japanese society, but in his early silent works Naruse was a much more diverse and dynamic filmmaker. I hope that the double bill of 'Flunky, Work Hard!' And 'Apart From You' will introduce audiences to the Naruse who wasn't afraid to laugh, to experiment, and to shift his eye beyond the plight of Japanese women in early 20th century to all members of society."-programmer Chris MaGee

Apart From You 1933 A clash of generations confronting a changing world contrasts the life an aging geisha, Kikue, working to support her rebellious teenage son who is ashamed of her profession, with the youthful Terugiko, a woman who harbours deep bitterness toward her family for pushing her into a profession she considers humiliating. As with all Naruse films, the camera movement and expressive editing follow closely the development of the relationships between these three giving it balance and maturity.

Preceded by: Flunky, Work Hard! Naruse’s earliest extant film is the rare work by the director not to center around female characters. It is a charming, breezy short concerning an insurance salesman and his scrappy son, whose constant fights with the other boys put his father’s livelihood in jeopardy.

The programme will be introduced by Chris MaGee

Live accompaniment by Tania Gill

Tickets: Eventbrite or at the door. Festival passes & Day Passes also available. TSFF runs April 14-16.

This programme is co-presented by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

and supported by a grant from the Japan Foundation (Toronto)