On 25 May at 19:30, Palace organize the exceptional screening of
silent movie Orochi (Buntarô Futagara,1925) with Japanese benshi
narration by Ichiro Kataoka.
PLOT : The story of a decent samurai who is widely considered a scum and a criminal. His bad luck and numerous misunderstandings drag him down the social ladder straight to the gutter.
BENSHI : In Japan way longer than in Europe silent films - and sometimes even intentionally muted talkies later - were accompanied by a very lively and theatrical narration by one or more benshi (silent film narrators) together with musicians. The benshi were so immensely popular for their art that some movie goers actually selected the films only based on who would do the narration that evening. The art of the benshi narration - "doing" all roles and also giving witty explanations - almost vanished entirely in throughout the 1930s and was almost extinct, but fortunately some young enthusiasts managed to learn the tricks and trade of the benshi narration from some of the last narration.
Ichiro Kataoka will provide live narration for Orochi (with English subtitles directly embedded in the film). He will be accompanied by three musicians mixing traditional and contemporary musics.
The Ambassador of Japan to Belgium, Hayashi Hajime, will welcome the audience. Before the screening, Prof. Dr. Jan Schmidt (KU Leuven) will give an introduction to benshi's historical context and Leen Engelen (KU Leuven/LUCA) will give an short introduction into silent film narration.
This event is organized in collaboration with Professor Dr. Jan Schmidt, Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven and supported by the Tokyo Arts Council and the Embassy of Japan in Belgium.
Location: in Brussels