Jolly Cinema > 17:00


Koji Shima
Introduced by

Akira Tochigi, Johan Nordström and Alexander Jacoby


Tuesday 30/06/2015


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

This is an adaptation of a famous and much-filmed turn-of-the-century novel. Originally published in serial form in the “Yomiuri Shinbun” newspaper and the literary periodical “Shinshosetsu” from 1897 to 1903, Koyo Ozaki’s Konjiki yasha (literally The Golden Demon, but sometimes known as The Usurer), was one of the greatest commercial successes among Japanese novels of the Meiji Era (1868-1912). A moralistic tale about a poor man who becomes a miser after the woman he loves is obliged to marry a richer suitor, many of its key scenes have become famous, and the narrative was filmed at least sixteen times in silent and sound versions. Shima’s version, apparently the last to date, added the novelty of lustrous colour photography to this old-fashioned tale, bringing the Meiji period to fresh life. Five years later, cinematographer Michio Takahashi would shoot the Japanese sections of Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour.
Daiei, making its second production in colour, hoped to rejuvenate the traditional narrative with the use of colour and the presence of a cast largely consisting of new stars. However, the “Kinema Junpo” reviewer regretted the compression of the novel’s plot, found most of the actors unconvincing, and suggested that the old-fashioned characters no longer held appeal to the postwar generation. Nevertheless, he recognised the superiority of the imported colour process, and singled out the scene of the burning house as an example of its skilful application.

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo di Koyo Ozaki. Scen.: Koji Shima. F.: Michio Takahashi. Scgf.: Mikio Naka. Mus.: Ichiro Saito. Int.: Jun Negami (Kan’ichi), Fujiko Yamamoto (Miya), Kenji Sugawara (Arao), Mitsuko Mito (Akagashi), Kazuko Fushimi (Aiko), Eiji Funakoshi (Tomiyama), Shizue Natsukawa (la signora Minowa), Kumeko Urabe (Tose), Kinzo Shin (Shigisawa), Chikako Hosokawa (la signora Shigisawa), Shiko Saito (Wanibuchi), Teppei Endo (Minowa). Prod.: Masaichi Nagata per Daiei · 35mm. Col.