Surviving only in a fragment, this film about the magically talented Jiraiya comes from “father of Japanese cinema” Shozo Makino. Live piano accompaniment!
Made to Order Cloth aka The Chivalrous Robber Jirokichi (Oatsurae Jirokichi Goshi)
Daisuke Ito, 1931, Japan, 79m
Ito’s other paean to Edo-period populist malfeasance, Made to Order Cloth spins a fictional story of real-life thief and folk hero Jirokichi “rat boy” Nakamura. While attempting to elude the shogun’s goons, Jirokichi takes a riverboat to Osaka and meets a beautiful geisha and her dishonorable brother. Spectacularly dramatic swordfights––which still impress after 80 years––abound. Its elegant stylization is punctuated by its revolutionary combination of benshi narration and intertitles, written in a Kansai dialect.
Total running time: 100m.