Kinoshita Keisuke

Kinoshita Keisuke
Item# KINOSHITA001

Product Description

Kinoshita Keisuke (December 5, 1912 - December 30, 1998) was a Japanese film director.

Although lesser known internationally than his fellow filmmakers such as Kurosawa Akira, Mizoguchi Kenji and Ozu Yasujiro, Kinoshita was nonetheless a household figure at home beloved by audience and critics alike, especially in the forties through the sixties. He was also prolific, turning out some 42 films in the first 23 years of his career. For this, Kinoshita explained, "can't help it. Ideas for films have always just popped into my head like scraps of paper into a wastebasket."

Life and career

Born on 5 December 1912 in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, about halfway between Tokyo and Kyoto, to a family who owned a grocery store, Kinoshita was already a movie fan when he was eight. Vowing to become a filmmaker, he was, however, faced with opposition from his parents. When he was in high school, a film crew arrived in Hamamatsu for location shooting one day. He befriended actor Bando Junosuke when the latter came to his store for local products. Bando later helped him run away to Kyoto where most period films were made. But his grandfather came and took him back home the next day. His determination to become a filmmaker finally moved his parents into letting him pursue his own career and his mother even secured him an introduction to the Shochiku Kamata studios, where Ozu, Mikio Naruse and other famous directors worked. Without a university education, however, Kinoshita was not allowed to work as an assistant director and had to start as a photographer, for which he applied to the Oriental Photography School and graduated before he was finally admitted into Shochiku. There, he first worked in the film processing laboratory, then as a camera assistant, before he was advised by Yoshimura Kozaburo to switch to assistant director.

In 1940, Kinoshita was drafted into the war and went to China, but returned the following year due to illness. He re-entered Shochiku and was promoted to director in 1943. Adapting a famous novel, Kinoshita made The Blossoming Port with a large cast and budget. The same year also saw the emergence of another new director, Kurosawa Akira, but it was Kinoshita who won the much coveted New Director Award at the end of that year.

Throughout his career, Kinoshita made many films which were both critically and commercially successful, among which the best known were Morning for the Osone Family (Osone-ke- no Asa, 1946), Carmen Comes Home (Karumen Kokyo ni Kaeru, 1951) (made in Fujicolor, the first color feature of Japan), Tragedy of Japan (Nihon-no Higeki, 1953), Twenty-Four Eyes (Nijushi-no Hitomi, 1954), You Were Like a Wild Chrysanthemum (Yagiku-no Gotoki Kimi Nariki, 1955), The Ballad of Narayama (Narayama Bushiko­, 1958)), and The River Fuefuki (Fuefukigawa, 1960). He refused to be bound by genre, technique or dogma. He excelled in almost every genre, comedy, tragedy, social dramas, period films. He shot all films on location or in a one-house set. He pursued severe photographic realism with the long take, long-shot method, and he has gone equally far toward stylization with fast cutting, intricate wipes, tilted cameras and even medieval scroll-painting and Kabuki stage technique.

Kinoshita received the Order of the Rising Sun in 1984 and was awarded the Order of Culture in 1991 by the Japanese government. He died on December 30, 1998, of a stroke.[3] His grave is in Engaku-ji in Kamakura, very near to that of his fellow Shochiku director, Ozu Yasujiro.

In 2013 five of Kinoshita's films; Jubilation Street (1944), Woman (1948), Engagement Ring (1950), Farewell to Dream (1956) and A Legend or Was It? (1963) are scheduled to be screened in the Forum section of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival.

24-no Hitomi
Niju-shi-no Hitomi, 24 eyes, Kinoshita Keisuke, 1954

Schoolteacher Oishi Hisako struggles to imbue her students with a positive view of the world and their place in it, despite the fact that she knows full well that most of them will die in the war.
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