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Umetsugu Inoue: Japan's Music Man

June 1 - July 3

"A director who had a big impact on Japanese and Hong Kong pop cinema... Inoue's mix of music, action, and hot young talent became a template for a new genre, called Nikkatsu Action." - Mark Schilling, Variety

From June 1 through July 3, the Gene Siskel Film Center presents "Umetsugu Inoue: Japan's Music Man," a series of four films by the Japanese filmmaker. Writer and/or director of more than one hundred films over the course of his long career, Inoue (1923-2010) was especially known for musicals that colorfully evoke the brash spirit of Japan's postwar pop culture.

Inoue's triple-threat formula of action, attractive young stars, and popular music enhanced the triangular plot configurations he favored in films including THE STORMY MAN and THE WINNER. Our series features four films Inoue directed for Nikkatsu Studios in the Fifties, with three featuring Yujiro Ishihara, a young actor/singer who has been called "the Japanese Elvis" for his smoldering, swaggering persona. A highlight of the series is the family-friendly THE GREEN MUSIC BOX, presented in a 35mm print restored from the rare Konacolor original.

Barbara Scharres, Director of Programming


This traveling retrospective was organized by Tom Vick, curator of film, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution.