Sog., Scen.: Keisuke Kinoshita. F.: Hiroshi Kusuda. M.: Yoshi Sugihara. Scgf.: Motoji Kojima. Mus.: Chuji Kinoshita, Toshiro Mayuzumi. Int.: Hideko Takamine (Okin Aoyama/Lily Carmen), Shuji Sano (Haruo Taguchi, il compositore cieco), Kuniko Igawa (Mitsuko Taguchi, la moglie di Haruo), Chishu Ryu (il preside) Keiji Sada (Mr. Ogawa, il giovane insegnante), Toshiko Kobayashi (Maya Akemi, amica di Okin), Takeshi Sakamoto (Shoichi Aoyama, il padre di Okin). Prod.: Shochiku. DCP. Col.
Kinoshita’s first colour film was also Japan’s first full-length feature in colour utilizing domestic colour film stock and shot in the indigenous Fujicolor process. Hideko Takamine stars as a stripper who returns from Tokyo to her hometown in rural Nagano Prefecture. The mountain setting of the film was dictated by practical requirements, since the colour process was judged likely to produce a better image quality in natural light, and certainly the exquisite mountain landscapes are one of the film’s highlights.
Ironically, outside major cities few Japanese actually saw the film in colour at its premiere; the process of creating a print for screening was so expensive and time-consuming that only a few colour prints were struck, and at first it was shown in colour only in Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, and Kyoto. Most rural cinemas screened a black and white version shot simultaneously. Accordingly, scenes were first shot in Fujicolor, and thereafter repeated and shot in black and white. Brian Carr writes, “This may also have necessitated the constant re-application of makeup, as early Fujicolor stock is said to have required actors to wear reddish make-up in order for their skin tones to register naturally on film, and red tones would surely have played havoc with black-and-white filming. Because Maya and Carmen were prone to showing skin, [Toshiko] Kobayashi and [Hideko] Takamine had to apply this pore-clogging greasepaint not only to their faces but also to their entire bodies for certain scenes. As the latter wrote: ‘At one point, I really thought that this film would kill me’”. In addition to revealing an unexpected comic talent on Takamine’s part, the film also contains a rather touching performance from Takeshi Sakamoto, ‘Kihachi’ from Ozu’s late silent period, as Carmen’s father.