Sakasu Goningumi

Mikio Naruse

T. int: Five Men in the circus. Sog.: dal romanzo Kanashiki Jinta di Roppa Furukawa. Scen.: Uhei Ima, Ryuji Nagami. F.: Hiroshi Suzuki. M.: Koichi Iwashita. Scgf.: Junnosuke Yamasaki. Mus.: Kyosuke Kami. Int.: Masako Tsutsumi (Chiyoko), Ryuko Umezono (Sumiko), Heihachiro Okawa, Hiroshi Uruki, Kamatari Fujiwara, Ricki Miyagawa, Ko Mihashi (Kokichi, Torakichi, Jinkichi, Rokuta, Seiroku, il quintetto di artisti), Sadao Maruyama (capo del circo itinerante), Masako Sanjo (figlia equilibrista), Kajiya Futarizuma: Tsuma yo bara no yo ni. Morino (Matsumoto, il manager), Nijiko Kiyokawa (Okiyo), Koji Kaga (Kunio, l’acrobata). Prod.: P.C.L. 35mm. D.: 65′. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

“Life is a journey”, declares one of the heroines of this early Naruse sound film, but Naruse’s films, as Catherine Russell writes, “are journeys without final destinations”. With its provincial setting, artistic milieu and itinerant theme, this comedy about performing artists might evoke the contemporary work of Shochiku-based Hiroshi Shimizu. But it is also characteristic of P.C.L. as a studio, with its stress on music as illustrative of the potential of sound film, and of Naruse’s work in the first decade of sound with its repeated focus on performing artists, a theme to recur in Tochuken Kumoemon (1936), Tsuruhachi Tsurujiro (1938), Uta andon (The Song Lantern, 1943) and Shibaido (The Way of Drama, 1944).┬áThe film was loosely based on a novel entitled Kanashiki Jinta (Sad Jinta) by comedian Roppa Furukawa. “Kinema Junpo” was critical of the film, judging it inferior to Wife! Be Like a Rose!, and finding that it lacked the lyricism typifying Naruse’s best work. Nevertheless, in so far as we can trace, this film has never previously been screened outside Japan, and its European premiere at Bologna is a unique opportunity for admirers of this respected director to see how Naruse’s thematic concerns took shape in the first years of sound.

Copy From

The current print is based on a 35mm dupe negative bought using a supplementary national budget provided for the purchase of films by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2009, and later restored by the NFC. The soundtrack has undergone noise reduction