The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present
Mr. Thank You
The problems of Depression-era Japan are canvassed through a day in the life of a bus driver – nicknamed “Mr. Thank You” for his exceedingly polite manner – and the passengers he collects on an extended route from rural Izu to inner-city Tokyo. Adapted from Nobel Prize-winning novelist Yasunari Kawabata’s (A Page of Madness) story, this precursor to Italian neorealism was entirely shot on location and largely improvised. Featuring Michiko Kuwano and Ken Uehara as well as wonderful cinematography by Isamu Aoki.
35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan
Also screening on Wed 13 July
Ornamental Hairpin (1941) – Wed 29 Jun, 7pm
A Woman Crying in Spring (1933) – Wed 29 Jun, 8.25pm
Eclipse (1934) – Wed 6 Jul, 7pm
Notes of an Itinerant Performer (1941) – Wed 6 Jul, 8.50pm
The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) – Wed 13 Jul, 7pm
Mr. Thank You (1936) – Wed 13 Jul, 8:20pm
A Hero of Tokyo (1935) – Wed 13 Jul, 9.45pm
Making his directorial debut in 1924 at the age of 21, Hiroshi Shimizu (1903–1966) went on to make over 160 films in a career contemporaneous with widely acknowledged masters Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi, in whose critical shadows he often, undeservedly, resided. The warmth and lightness of his work has always been highly praised but, as Alexander Jacoby notes, he shares with Jean Renoir the double-edged nature of such plaudits: “Those few critics who have written about Shimizu’s work tend to make him sound less interesting than he is.”
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About Melbourne Cinémathèque
Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.
Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven.