Notes on 2,112 movies for students in A.D. 2112
No.0011 『Oastsurae Jirokichi（1931・Japan）』
Cinemas back in 1895-1927 did not have any music or voices and people in 2012 called it “silent movies”. However as you can imagine, the audiences in the old days weren’t entirely satisfied with these type of movies. To better their experience, they sometimes watched cinemas while the orchestra played in the background like an opera.
In Japan, Katsudou-benshi stood behind screens, explaining the events, making the character’s voice and sound effects. Some katsudou-benshies like "Musei Tokugawa", became more popular than actors themselves.
In 2012, the year I 'm writing this note, some katsudou-benshi can still be seen in traditional cinema house or cinema festival. Maybe they are one of the greatest cinema maniacs in the world.
"Oatsurae Jirokichi goshi" is well known to people who go to traditional cinema house in Japan. The original story was made by Eiji Yoshikawa who is famous for writing Musashi Miyamoto's story. The hero of this movie is Jirokichi the Rat who was a legendary thief during Edo era. If you want to see how he lived, go to the Sumo stadium in Ryogoku station where you can visit his strange looking grave. That is, if this grave still exists in the year 2112.
As for the movie itself, it is unforgettable and beyond description. The scene filled with police’s paper lanterns is especially great. Also, the farewell scene is reminiscent of "Lupin the third: Kariosutoro no shiro”, a movie many people in Japan watched back in 2012. When I talked about the similarity between these two movies at one cinema event, the audiences laughed and thought of it as a joke. I was very serious about this!
If you (a student living in 2112) are interested by this, do check it.