Flunky, Work Hard
What a nice way to start this series of the five remaining silent films by Japanese director Mikio Naruse. This is a super short film, only 28 minutes long, but still manages to convey a ton of character and interest. This particular film follows the tale of an impoverished insurance salesman, just trying to make ends meet for his family, and his hard fighting son. The story is at times comical, and there were a couple of laugh out loud moments, but takes a dark turn near the end. Apparently this is consistent with the work of Naruse, a director somewhat known for his darker portrayals of life. This film definitely fits that description, the main character fails at almost everything he does in the film, and his one sort of triumph is immediately followed by the worst news of all. Still, there was a ton of humanity and life to this film. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this set.