Joriku daiippo (First Steps Ashore). 1932. Japan. Directed by Yasujiro Shimazu. In Japanese; English subtitles. 88 min.

With Yaeko Mizutani, Joji Oka, Ureo Egawa, Choko Iida. "Though little known in the West, Yasujiro Shimazu was a key figure in prewar Japanese cinema, one of the pioneers of the gendai-geki (film of contemporary life), and, as patron of such younger directors as Heinosuke Gosho, Yuzo Kawashima, Keisuke Kinoshita, Senkichi Taniguchi, Shiro Toyoda, and Kozaburo Yoshimura, who served as his assistants at Shochiku, a crucial influence on postwar Japanese film. First Steps Ashore, the story of a sailor who begins a love affair with a woman he saves from suicide, was Shochiku’s second sound film and Shimazu’s first. It is a reworking of Josef von Sternberg’s silent classic The Docks of New York (1928) transplanted to the waterfront of Japan’s cosmopolitan port city, Yokohama. Shimazu's film borrows some of Sternberg's lustrous lighting techniques as well as plot elements, but also draws on the influence of Japanese shinpa (“new school”) theatre. Star Yaeko Mizutani was one of the biggest names both in shinpa and in early Japanese sound film, and her sensual, sultry performance is among the film’s greatest assets."

  1. Saturday, May 16, 2015,
    1:30 p.m.

    The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T2, Theater 2
  2. Thursday, May 7, 2015,
    7:00 p.m.

    The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T2, Theater 2