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Mr. Thank You

Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 5:30 pm

Location: Redstone Theater


Dir. Hiroshi Shimizu. 1936, 75 mins. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan. In Japanese with English subtitles. With Ken Uehara, Michiko Kuwano. With Ken Uehara, Michiko Kuwano, Mayumi Tsukiji, Kaoru Futaba, Reikichi Kawamura. This charming road movie follows a genial local bus driver (Uehara) along his route as he transports a group of travelers, comprising a microcosm of Japanese society, from the far reaches of the Izu peninsula to the train station that links it to Tokyo. Rediscovered in the 1970s, Shimizu’s film, once judged as a failed experiment by a Kinema Junpo critic, is now recognized as a classic, incorporating all the hallmarks of his cinema: the tragicomic tone; the provincial setting; the loose, improvisational narrative; the naturalistic performances; the luminous plein-air cinematography; and the glancing but trenchant observation of social inequality. Shooting entirely on location in his cherished Izu, which he is said to have known “like the back of his hand,” and using a redressed Shochiku studio van, Shimizu fashions a tour of depression-era Japan that deserves mention in the company of Ford’s Stagecoach and Renoir’s The Crime of Monsieur Lange. 

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). There is a $1.50 transaction fee per ticket for all online purchases. The cost of admission may be applied toward a same-day purchase of a membership. 

Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission.