『Sasuke And His Comedians』
Cast：Kinnosuke Nakamura, Jerry Fujio, Mickey Curtis, Misako Watanabe
Sasuke grows to awaken to a strange power after being hit by the radiation from a meteorite. An intense period film as Sasuke becomes Yukimura’s subordinate along with Okiri to wreak havoc at the fixed games of summer and winter siege of Osaka.
Toei period films start many challenges as they face decline in the 1960’s. One may say that this film is also a result of these challenges. Yoshinori Fukuda’s original play was an analogy of the 60’s anti-security treaty, the check-mated Osaka castle was a metaphor of the left-wing students hiding behind barricades. Though Tai Kato faced the red purge, he was primarily far from politics, which allowed him to make this Sci-fi-comedyperiod film. The portrayals that stand out in his filmography, such as the casting of Kinnosuke Nakamura, Mickey Curtis and Jerry Fujio, and the caricaturized vassals inside Osaka castle, are the attractive attributes of Tai Kato, as a moving pictures director that believed in the power of cinema.
Absorbed by silent films such as the Daisuke Ito films, he enters the film industry with the help of his uncle, Sadao Yamanaka. He makes his debut as director in 1951, mainly directing period and yakuza films with Toei. After the 60’s, with his experiences in major films of many genres and productions, he builds his reputation with the fixed, low-angle, long-take shots, and action films reminding of the energetic films of the past. His affectionate and wrathful narrative that portrays the passionate lives of men and women who live outside social expectations, and his directing skills fully using the depth of a wide screen to vividly show the characters, are outstanding in the world’s history of cinema. The 1998 Locarno International Film Festival’s retrospective surprised many cinephiles. This will be a significant screening to see how the world interprets his talent, that portrayed domestic stories as universal action films.