Sayonara Kaneto Shindo

Japanese filmmaker Kaneto Shindo dies aged 100.

Kaneto was Japan’s oldest director, and had been considered the world’s second-oldest working director after Portugal’s Manoel de Oliveira.

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Naked Island (Full film on youtube see it soon – this may disappear anyday)

One of Shindo’s notable fans is actor Benicio Del Toro. Last year Del Toro presented retrospectives of Shindo’s work both in Los Angeles and Puerto Rico as well as filming an interview with the director and coming to Japan to celebrate Shindo’s 100th birthday.
Shindo’s final film, WWII drama Postcard, won the special jury prize at the 2010 Tokyo International Film Festival and was selected as Japan’s official entry for the best foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards last year. It was also nominated for best film and screenwriter at this year’s Asian Film Awards.

  • Guardian obit

    The female lead was invariably played by Nobuko Otowa, who became the married Shindo’s lover in the late 1940s. (They married in 1977 on the death of his first wife.) Otowa appeared in all but one of the 41 features Shindo directed from 1951 until her death in 1994. (This creative film partnership is surpassed only by Yasujiro Ozu’s 53 films made with Chishu Ryu.)

    Oni-Baba trailer

  • Black Cat (Kuro Neko trailer)

  • When interviewed by Mellen after the release of the film Kuroneko, Shindo stated that there was “a strong Freudian influence throughout all of his work.”
    The strongest and most apparent themes in Shindo’s work involve social criticism of poverty, women and sexuality. Shindo has described himself as a socialist. Tadao Sato has pointed out that Shindo’s political films are both a reflection of his impoverished childhood and the condition of Japan after World War II, stating that, “Contemporary Japan has developed from an agricultural into an industrial country. Many agricultural people moved to cities and threw themselves into new precarious lives.

    Hakuchi (trailer)

    The Urge for Survival (image via MUBI)

    Masterworks by Kaneto (Harvard film archive)

    Bokuto Kidan (based on a novel by Nagai Kafu) is included here at (Filmref)

    Faced with a bout of ill health, global traveller, western-educated novelist Kafu Nagai (1879-1959) began to chronicle sundry episodes in his life, as well as thoughts and observations of contemporary Japanese society, in a series of intimate journals that would eventually span the early half of 20th century.