Winter Camellia

Michael Mortilla has created original scores for theater, dance, and film, and regularly performs for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Silent Society, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

(Kantsubaki). Winter Camellia is a prime example of Japan's “pure film” movement, which sought to rescue the stage-and-tradition-bound notions of early Japanese cinema with an aesthetic that instead pushed the boundaries of the new medium. (The film's production company, Kokkatsu, was one of the first to employ actresses rather than oyamas, men who played female roles.) While displaying the movement's exposure to new developments in European and American cinema, the film's plot still taps the vein of sentimentality common to most traditional shinpa films of the 1910s. Here the lives of sweet Osumi and her father Gosuku, a watermill operator, are shepherded into tragedy by the arrival of two men: the coachman Rinzo and the aristocratic Count Hanaoka. Actor Masao Inoue (A Page of Madness) was one of Kokkatsu's artistic advisors; the role of Gosuku was his first after returning from a six-month study trip to the United States.

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