Tagged: Shiro, Toyoda
19 September 2018
My favourite Kurosawa movie is “Dreams” which I have on laserdisc but would love to see in 4K. I am also a fan of other Japanese directors, of course Ozu, Naruse, and I wish I could know more about Shiro Toyoda – his 1955 film “Mugibue” (my namesake here), which blows me away, is so obscure in North America there seems to be at least 3 versions of the English translation of its name. I have only been able to record it once on my VCR with French-only subtitles. If anyone is interested in this director and knows about any of his movies it would be nice to hear from you. (I apologize for not sticking here to Kurosawa-Criterion’s “Postwar Kurosawa” collection also impresses me very much – I tend to be more interested in “modern setting” (post Meiji period) Japanese films).
Hello Mugibuefan, and welcome!
I know pretty much nothing about Shiro Toyoda. In fact, I think the only thing that I know about him is that he was one of the four directors in Four Love Stories, a 1947 anthology film where he shared directing duties Kajirō Yamamoto, Kenta Yamazaki, Teinosuke Kinugasa and Mikio Naruse. And the only reason I know this is that Akira Kurosawa wrote one of the four loves stories included, and it’s my understanding that Shiro Toyoda was the one who filmed Kurosawa’s script.
It’s such a pity that so many of these old films are still practically unavailable. We are lucky with Kurosawa, who is so readily available, largely thanks to Criterion and BFI.
I apologize for not sticking here to Kurosawa
No need to apologise! Although this website revolves around the legacy of Akira Kurosawa, we are always happy about any discussion on related topics, so thanks for introducing us to Toyoda!
We are actually thinking about restarting our film club (yes guys, I’m still on it, sorry about the delays!), so maybe stick around and join us. 🙂
Thanks, Vili Maunula, for your welcome and for the info on Shiro Toyoda. I would be interested in joining a film club. There is so much I want to learn about pre-1970 Japanese cinema in particular, including the directors and also the actors, some of whom (e.g. Toshiro Mifune, Keiko Kishi and Eiji Okada) became international stars.
I’ve only seen one of his movies. A 1953 movie called “Wild Geese,” starring Hideko Takamine as an impoverished young woman who is “sold” to a moneylender as a mistress and later falls in love with a medical student. I thought it was a very nice movie.
Thanks, Patrick – I agree with your opinion. This film, also known as the “Mistress”, sees Takamine’s character, like protagonists we’ve observed in Naruse’s films, suffering for her boldness and individuality. There is a sign of hope, however, in the impressive final scene, which unlike in Ogai’s novel on which the film is based, closes on a look arguably of optimism and hope as she gazes at the wild geese flying away over the water – does she really return to stay as mistress or does she escape? – Toyoda tantalizes in this respect.
I hope in the future to post some thoughts on my namesake film – Toyoda is an important director deserving of much more attention than he’s generally given.
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