Ryôjû (Hunting Rifle). 1961. Japan. Directed by Heinosuke Gosho. Screenplay by Toshio Yasumi. With Keiji Sada, Mariko Okada, Haruko Wanibuchi. 35mm. In Japanese; English subtitles. 98 min.
“A melodrama which in tone and imagery anticipated Chabrol or Fassbinder” (Alexander Jacoby), Heinosuke Gosho’s adaptation of a novel by Yasushi Inoue is a sensitive and thoughtful portrait of the misery, jealousy, and sacrifice of a marital affair that leads to an illegitimate child. Donald Richie describes Gosho as a maker of “distinguished” films of “distinguished” novels: ”By carefully balancing and mixing the tender, the cruel, the comic, and the pitiful, Gosho orchestrates the response he desires in a manner which places him in the tradition of the great narrators, novelists.” 35mm print from Japan Foundation, New York; courtesy Shochiku