Three gangster-genre films in which Ozu mixes a Hollywood-infused dynamism with elements of his elegant later style
Part of the BFI's Yasujiro Ozu collection, this 2-disc DVD set focuses on his crime films. These rare, silent works mix the excitement of American and European thrillers with compositions that served as a forerunner to Ozu's renowned, mature, post-war style.
All films are presented here with newly commissioned scores by Ed Hughes.
In Walk Cheerfully (Hogaraka ni ayume), Kenji 'the Knife' Koyama, leader of a gang of hooligans, falls for the virtuous Yasue. Will he go straight to win her heart or carry on his life of petty crime? Reminiscent of Sternberg's Underworld with its expressionist lighting, Walk Cheerfully combines international cinematic influences with Ozu's own comic touches.
That Night's Wife (Sono yo no tsuma) follows young father Shuji as he turns to crime to pay his daughter's medical bills. Enter Detective Kagawa for a tense night-time stand-off with Shuji's wife, Mayumi. That Night's Wife demonstrates Ozu's masterly handling of drama as the film reaches its emotional climax.
In Dragnet Girl (Hijosen no onna), sweet-faced Tokiko (played by Tanaka Kinuyo [Equinox Flower]) is an ordinary typist, but come nightfall she's a fun-loving gangster's moll. When her boyfriend strays, Tokiko is forced to reassess her life. Hugely popular when it was released, Ozu's Dragnet Girl remains one of his most enduring silent films