The Catch (1983, Somai Shinji) Film Screening
The Yale Film Archive and the Yale MacMillan Center Council on East Asian Studies present
The Catch (1983, Somai Shinji, 140 min., 35mm, with English subtitles)
A rugged drama of initiation set in an isolated part of northeastern Japan. A young man tries to overcome the hostility of his girlfriend’s father, a tuna fisherman, by getting the older man to teach him the secrets of his dangerous trade (MUBI.com).
35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan (NFAJ).
Somai Shinji is arguably the most influential director on contemporary Japanese cinema. While unfortunately passing away in 2001 at the age of 53, his work has influenced many of the directors today, from Kurosawa Kiyoshi (who worked as an assistant director under Somai) to Tanada Yuki (who talked about Somai when she came to Yale last term). Somai was known as a master of the long take, perhaps second only to Mizoguchi Kenji in using that technique in Japanese film, but his approaches to life, death, youth, and sexuality also endeared him to legion of cineastes. It was in part because he mostly worked in the youth film genre with his early films that he was rarely shown abroad, but his work is finally being given the credit it deserves worldwide, with new DVD/BluRay releases and a major retrospective at the Japan Society in New York in a few weeks. Yale is pleased to be able to show two of his rarer works as a special preview to that retrospective.