『The Valiant Red PeonyFlower Cards Match』
Cast：Junko Fuji, Ken Takakura, Tomisaburo Wakayama, Kanbi Fujiyama
Oryu stays at the Nishinomaru family, who were preparing for a fundraising gamble. Kanahara Tetsunosuke colludes with politician Furuta to take over the position of Nagoya’s top gambling financier. Oryu captures Otoki, a female gambler disguised as Oryu at Kanahara’s gamble house. She was being forced to use her cheating skills in order to save her blind child. An affair between the son and daughter of two opposing groups, a gambler forced to kill from obligation, Tomisaburo Wakayama saved Oryu in the nick of time. A gem of the series.
Tai Kato came back to Toei, after a few films with Shochiku, with the third film of the popular series starring Junko Fuji, who had by then become a star. The story steps bewilderingly from a fake Oryu and blind Okimi, to a Romeo and Juliet-like romance between the children of two rivaling gamblers, a travelling gambler who kills from obligation, and the usual Tomisaburo Wakayama, into the climax. Tai Kato’s talents as a director fully uses the power of a film studio to effortlessly portray these dizzy scenes. These festive films that jump over genres are also specific to Tai Kato’s unique style. The disruptive montage of cuts that seem to conflict with each other, portray a stirring action, offering a surprise, as if it’s the first film you have ever watched.
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.