Review of Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937)

Moving picture, 86 minutes

Seen in 2015.

My first experience of Yamanaka’s direction, and of Mimura’s writing. It felt fantastically fresh, very much in the spirit of The Twilight Samurai (2002) and other films made in the 2000s to revive the genre Yamanaka pioneered, after it had gone stale in the intervening decades. The merchant’s daughter Okoma, in particular, has the exact clichéd manner and speech pattern a similar spoiled brat would still have in a Japanese drama today. It is a shame that Yamanaka was drafted on the day it premiered, to die of dysentery, while all but three of his films were destroyed.

moving picture Japanese production fiction