Popular jazz drummer and actor Frankie Sakai stars in this comic version of the “industrial competition” genre: two tourism companies compete for foreign clients in the run up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Highlighting the coming internationalization of Japan, the film dramatizes the felt tensions between tradition and modernity, the pressures of the “economic animal” lifestyle, and the energy of high economic growth. The closest Japanese cinema ever came to the full-blown Broadway style musical, with singing and dancing on the streets of Tokyo, music by avant-garde composer and jazzman Toshiro Mayuzumi, lyrics by renowned poet Shuntaro Tanikawa.
Director: Eizô Sugawa (as Eizo Sugawa). AKA You Can Succeed, Too / 君も出世ができる
Stars: Ichirô Arishima, Arihiro Fujimura, Mie Hama, Jerry Itô, Kiiton Masuda, Yôyô Miyata, Mie Nakao, Ichirô Namiki, Ernest Richter, Marjorie Richter, Furankî Sakai, Ikio Sawamura, Hiroshi Tachihara, Tadao Takashima, Izumi Yukimura, Hitoshi Ueki.
Firstly, thanks for posting this.
Now as to the film. Wow, what a great musical, regardless of the fact that it happens to be Japanese. Yes, although the songs are done in a modern style, to a Westerner’s ears the songs might not be as melodic as we are used to for a typical musical. However, the lyrics more than make up for it. The social commentary on Japanese work ethics and culture really surprised me. The drunken office employees sequence is simply outstanding with the lyrics just as relevant today as back then.
The colourful visuals are amazing and the dance sequences and camera movement during these, particularly in the America song, are excellent. The comedy meanwhile ranges from the very broad to the more subtle.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the film and both give it an 8 out of 10.