Tue

20/07

Cinema Jolly > 14:30

Komiya Collection – Opening Programme

Introduced by

Mika Tomita (National Film Archive Japan), Mariann Lewinsky and Karl Wratschko

Piano accompaniment by

Stephen Horne

Judging from the inventory he made in the 1970s, Tomijiro Komiya possessed a huge collection of European cinema from the 1910s. However, in 1988 when the film archive received the collection from his son, the state of the conservation was far from ideal, to put it mildly. Many prints were in a state of advanced decomposition. I had to cut out hundreds of seriously damaged parts from rolls of film, many of which did not have a title. My motto absolutely was: “as much as possible must be saved”. Consequently, many fragments from unknown films have been preserved. They are the gems: the essence of silent cinema is there. I combined these images into compilation reels, and this corpus of scattered images is inadvertently very moving. We can instantly recognize the faces of stars such as Pina Menichelli, Diana Karenne, Luigi Chiesa, Gigetta and Rodolfi. It even looks surreal, because each fragment is so powerful. That’s why we have decided to show a reel of fragments I combined as the opening of the Komiya programme.
Tomijiro Komiya was not only a restaurant owner. He was also an amateur Kabuki actor trained primarily as an Oyama (a male actor who plays female roles). He was a disciple of the famous Kabuki actress Kasen Nakamura and he had a deep interest in the acting styles of performers in European films. For a modern audience, the acting style in Gendarm Möbius might look very heavy, but that style was much appreciated at that time. Also, I don’t think Komiya knew the high reputation Betty Nansen enjoyed in Denmark. However, even without much information about the actors, Japanese fans instinctively understood the theatrical aesthetics of northern Europe.

Hiroshi Komatsu

Projection
Info

Tuesday 20/07/2021
14:30

Subtitle

Original version with subtitles

Book

N. 9654 [FRAGMENTS 1. TOMIJIRO KOMIYA COLLECTION]

Running time: 21'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

AF ELSKOVS NAADE

International Title
Acquitted
Director: August Blom
Year: 1914
Country: Danimarca
Running time: 9'
Film Version

English intertitles

Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

LA FIGLIA DEL CIECO

Director: Ugo Falena
Year: 1912
Country: Italia-Francia
Running time: 8'
Film Version

English intertitles

Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

GENDARM MÖBIUS

Director: Stellan Rye
Year: 1913
Country: Germania
Running time: 38'
Film Version

English intertitles

Sound
Mute
Edition
2021