Shin Tokyo koshin-kyoku (New Tokyo March). 1953. Japan. Directed by Yûzô Kawashima. Screenplay by Ruiju Yanagisawa. With Teiji Takahashi, Yatarô Kitagami, Toshiko Kobayashi. 35mm. In Japanese; English subtitles. 97 min.
Far too little known in the West, even though Shôhei Imamura was his assistant director and the screenwriter of his 1957 The Shinagawa Path, Yûzô Kawashima made unsentimental, unapologetic, and often sardonic portraits of humanity’s baser instincts and lower depths in postwar films like Suzuki Paradise: Red Light District (1956), Temple of the Wild Geese (1962), and Elegant Beast (1962), the last feature he made before his untimely death at 45. His New Tokyo March, based on serialized stories in the popular magazine Heibon, follows six male friends from elementary school whose career paths diverge—newspaper reporter, engineer, boxer, sushi restaurant owner—but whose romantic lives intersect. 35mm print from the National Film Archive of Japan; courtesy Shochiku