The Dancing Girl of Izu

Mark Izu is known for his seamless integration of jazz with other music traditions. He has composed and performed accompaniment for The Dragon Painter (1919) at PFA and film festivals. Izu's film scores include Steven Okazaki's Days of Waiting and Wayne Wang's Dim Sum.

(Izu no odoriko). The early novels of Yasunari Kawabata, later to win the Nobel Prize, are source material for several films in our series. (He wrote the screenplay for the experimental A Page of Madness as well.) The Dancing Girl of Izu was a groundbreaking entry in the junbungaku, or “pure literature,” movement, “effectively visualizing the fresh lyricism of the original novel” (Fumiko Tsuneishi). Kinuyo Tanaka stars as a young dancer in a traveling troupe. As the down-on-their-luck performers make their way through mountain resorts to Izu, the traditional gathering place of their trade, she falls in love with a student who shares their travels, but who necessarily remains an outsider. Gosho portrays his traveling players and their milieu with great warmth and uses Kawabata's rural setting to spin out his own stories-of lives of everyday people, of the marginalization of the poor in Depression-era Japan, and of the freedom from social structures that the open air offers, including the freedom to love.

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