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Japan, 1986 (MIFF 1987)

Director: Kaizo Hayashi

A low budget, 16mm, black and white debut feature that indicates not only an interesting new talent but also an extraordinary love and feeling for the silent cinema. The picture is shot like a Japanese detective film of the 1920s, with inserts in the mould of a samurai film.

The plot involves a detective and his comic sidekick on the trail of a kidnapped actress, known as The Princess. With no dialogue - they 'speak' only in captions - they follow up various leads and solve intriguing riddles. Meanwhile, an old lady is viewing and reviewing an old samurai film in which she starred as a girl; but the last reel is tantalisingly missing.

It's an immensely affectionate tribute to a bygone style of filmmaking.

David Stratton, Variety

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