SUSUMU HANI (1928- ) One of Japan’s leading film directors of the “NEW WAVE in Japanese Cinema,” best known for a series of documentaries about Japanese children and for his theatrical films about troubled youth of the 1960s and 1970s.
Bio (from Midnight Eye, May 2009): http://www.midnighteye.com/interviews/susumu-hani/
Susumu Hani (b.1928) is one of the most unjustly neglected Japanese filmmakers of the 1960s. The reason for his neglect is twofold. First, after a two-decade career as a director of documentary and fiction films stretching into the early 1970s, he abruptly abandoned the cinema, and since then, apart from a brief return to feature filmmaking in the early 1980s, has worked mainly as a writer and a maker of television wildlife documentaries. Secondly, he is difficult to pigeonhole. He is often described as a Japanese New Wave director, but both his path into the industry and his style differed from those of such New Wave filmmakers as Nagisa Oshima and Masahiro Shinoda, who started out as commercial directors at a major studio, Shockiku. Hani, by contrast, worked initially on documentaries at the noted documentary outfit Iwanami Productions. His best-known documentaries focused on children: Children Who Draw (E o Kaku Kodomotachi, 1955) won the prize for Best Short Film at Cannes.
This training in documentary, as well as the concern for youthful experience, was reflected in his fiction films. His first feature, Bad Boys (Furyo Shonen, 1960), was an account of life in a reformatory, which employed amateur actors, location shooting, and some improvisational techniques. Subsequently, he intelligently examined the situation of Japanese women in A Full Life (Mitasareta Seikatsu, 1962) and She and He (Kanojo to Kare, 1963). Unusually for a Japanese director of his generation, he also made films abroad, shooting The Song of Bwana Toshi (Bwana Toshi no Uta, 1965) in Kenya and Bride of the Andes (Andesu no Hanayome, 1966) in Peru. Perhaps his most famous film internationally is Inferno of First Love (Hatsukoi Jigokuhen, a.k.a. Nanami, First Love, 1968), a bleak account of adolescent experience.
THE JAPAN SOCIETY OF BOSTON
Login About Donate My Profile Join Us
© 2021 Japan Society of Boston, Inc | 50 Milk Street 16F, Boston, MA 02109 | 617-514-7345 | Info@JapanSocietyBoston.org