Traditional Benshi performers discuss a lost art and their unique accompaniment to a rare screening of Yasujiro Ozu’s gangster film Walk Cheerfully.
Walk Cheerfully is available on DVD as part of The Ozu Collection: The Gangster Films.
In April, BFI Members attended an exclusive screening of Walk Cheerfully with Benshi and live musical accompaniment.
Discussing their live accompaniment to a screening of Yasujiro Ozu’s 1930 gangster film Walk Cheerfully, performers Tomoko Komura and Clive Bell explain the lost art of Benshi.
In Japan during the silent era, film screenings would be accompanied by a live performance of music and narration, explaining and enhancing the story for the audience. Benshi accompaniments died out with the coming of sound, though there is increasing interest in reviving this very special art form.