Walk Cheerfully film screening
15 October 2019
19:00 - 20:30
Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
+44 (0)1937 546546
Introduction by Bryony Dixon (BFI)
A screening of Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu’s silent gangster film Walk Cheerfully with specially composed score by Japanese music specialist Clive Bell and renowned improviser Sylvia Hallett, performed live by the benshi Tomoko Komura.
The silent films screened in Japan from the 1920s to late '30s were never completely silent. Katsudo-shashin benshi, or benshi for short, were voice performers, who delivered live narration that provided everything an audience might need to appreciate a film by enacting characters in a theatrical manner (playing multiple roles with a variety of voices) while sitting or standing beside the movie screen.
Although known for the minimalism of his later work, Ozu (Tokyo Story) had grown up devouring Hollywood movies. This is a delightful Tokyo spin on a classic gangster tale of Kenji (aka Ken the Knife), a thief who likes drinking and fighting. When he falls in love with sweet and simple Yazue, and she finds out what kind of man he really is, she leaves him 'until he becomes an honest person'. But it is not easy to get rid of one's past.
Kenji’s underworld adventures and doomed attempts at going straight are accompanied here by expressive word, gesture and music, courtesy of benshi Tomoko Komura and musicians Clive Bell and Sylvia Hallett.
A panel discussion and Q&A led by Bryony Dixon will take place after the screening.
Full Price: £13.00
Senior 60+: £11.00
Registered Unemployed: £6.50
Under 18: £6.50