Lights of Night

Directed by Shohei Imamura

My Second Brother

Directed by Shohei Imamura
Screening on Film
  • Lights of Night (Nishi Ginza eki-mae)

    Directed by Shohei Imamura.
    With Frank Nagai, Masahiko Shimazu, Hisano Yamaoka.
    Japan, 1958, 35mm, black & white, 52 min.
    Print source: Japan Foundation

For his second film, Imamura was assigned by the studio Nikkatsu to direct this vehicle for singer-comedian Frank Nagai. The result is a comedy about a hen-pecked drugstore owner who spends his days reminiscing about a wartime romance in the tropics. Even in this studio exercise, Imamura uses the feminine and the pre-modern as markers of a soulfulness lacking in contemporary Japan.

  • My Second Brother (Nianchan)

    Directed by Shohei Imamura.
    With Hiroyuki Nagato, Kayo Matsuo, Takeshi Okimura.
    Japan, 1959, 35mm, black & white, 101 min.
    Japanese with English subtitles.
    Print source: Japan Foundation

This studio assignment finds Imamura venturing into the kind of realism he would later use as a launching pad for his own obsessions. The film is based on a true story, adapted from the diary by a real little girl of Korean descent, one of four siblings in a working-class family. When their father dies, the children are left to fend for themselves. While not a typical Imamura film, My Second Brother looks forward to the filmmaker's future investment in the vitality of the impoverished social outcasts.

Part of film series

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Vanishing Points: The Films of Shohei Imamura