Japan Society NY's new film series Japan Sings! The Japanese Musical Film continues tomorrow evening with Singing Lovebirds, a period musical in black and white.
A tie-up with the Teichiku record company starring jazz singers Dick Mine and Tomiko Hattori alongside singer-actress Haruyo Ichikawa and sword film superstar Chiezo Kataoka. This love quadrangle between a masterless samurai and three eligible suitors was marketed with the tagline "a rare operetta in which jazz bursts into the period film." As an operetta, characters speak in song (including Ichikawa's father, played by Takashi Shimura, the leader of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai) but the film is also musical in its utopian claim that the only authentic thing in the world is not traditional culture, or money, but love. Directed by Masahiro Makino, perhaps the most prolific director of musical films in Japan.
Print courtesy of National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
This screening of Singing Lovebirds is part of the 2016 Globus Film Series Japan Sings! The Japanese Musical Film