Video: Yasujiro Ozu and the art of Benshi

Traditional Benshi performers discuss a lost art and their unique accompaniment to a rare screening of Yasujiro Ozu’s gangster film Walk Cheerfully.

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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.

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