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Orochi  /  The Mark of Zorro

April 14, 2017 - 7:30 pm
Ichiro Kataoka, Daisuke Miyao, Kyoko Omori, Gabriel Thibaudeau.

This screening of Orochi will feature a benshi performance by Ichiro Kataoka accompanied by a new score composed by Gabriel Thibaudeau, performed by an ensemble of traditional Japanese instruments led by Kyoko Omori of Hamilton College.

Funding for this special event was provided by The Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities.

Orochi  (Japan, 1925)

Bando Tsumasaburo, one of Japan’s earliest screen idols, plays a masterless samurai, forced to become a gangster’s bodyguard in this dazzling jidaigeki (period drama).  Japanese film critic Tanaka Junichiro praised it in the pages of Kinema Junpo in 1952, particularly its bravura, climactic chase scene, in which the “cinematic beauty of light, shadow, and movement flows into the screen along with Tsumasaburo’s sword fighting.”

35mm, b&w, silent with Japanese intertitles, 73 min.  Director: Futagawa Buntaro. Screenwriter: Susukita Rokuhei.  Cast: Bando Tsumasaburo, Seki Misao, Tamaki Misao.

Print from UCLA Film & Television Archive

The Mark of Zorro  (1920)

Douglas Fairbanks found the perfect vehicle for his star persona in this tale of a romantic Mexican Robin Hood that was well-received in Japan and provided lighting and action inspiration for the increasingly popular jidaigeki, or period dramas. 

Live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick.

35mm, b&w, silent, 107 min.  Director: Fred Niblo.  Screenwriter: Eugene Miller.  Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Marguerite De La Motte, Robert McKim.