Not a full post as I was intending as I have been too ill for the last couple of days, but a quick alert to the 100th birthday of Japanese director Kaneto Shindo on Sunday. While he may not quite figure in the absolute front rank of Japanese postwar directors, the likes of Children of Hiroshima, Naked Island, Onibaba, Kuroneko and Edo Porn – often featuring his last wife, Nobuko Otowa – remain essential viewing for cineastes while his Eulogy from 1972 remains one of the unseen masterworks, seemingly under lock and key and unseen by anyone.
What’s less known is his contribution as a screenwriter to other directors, not least Yasuzo Masumura, whose Manji and Irezumi, to name two, were founded on his incisive scripts. He also wrote the multi-layered adaptation for Kozaburo Yoshimura’s masterpiece The Ball at the Anjo House and his later A Tale of Genji, as well as for Fukusaku’s Under the Flag of the Rising Sun.
We trust he had a great day and thank him for his contribution to our enjoyment over the past sixty years or so.