The Life of Matsu the Untamed(Muhomatsu no issho)
Dir: Inagaki Hiroshi
Japan, 1943, Japanese, 80mins, DCP
Cast: Bando Tsumasaburo, Sonoi Keiko, Nagata Yasushi
Inagaki Hiroshi took over the helm after the ailing Itami Mansaku dropped out. This Meiji-era story is of a lowly rickshaw driver, reckless in head yet selfless at heart, who falls in love with a young army captain’s widow, and takes on the role of a surrogate father to her son. The magnificent Chanbara star Bando Tsumasaburo injects into his character a dynamic duality, fearless in defying social norms while docile in adhering to traditional values. Despite being censored significantly, it is still hailed as one of the best wartime films. Powered by Miyagawa Kazuo’s lyrical cinematography, Inagaki Hiroshi crafts a mesmerising portrait of a boisterous yet lonely man, whose eventful life is artfully reminisced in a montage of rolling wheels and flashbacks before his tragic end.
Cinema Heritage: From The Film Foundation
Restored by KADOKAWA Corporation and The Film Foundation at Cineric in New York and Lisbon, with the cooperation of The Kyoto Film Archive. Special thanks to Masahiro Miyajima and Martin Scorsese for their consultation.