Symposium on Katsudô benshi and Silent Film History Monday, February 15, 4:30 PM, Cunniff Hall (Science Center 199)
Diasporic spectatorship: migrating cinema, benshi, and Japanese immigrants Hikari Hori, Visiting Assistant Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University Legacy of Katsuben: Narration and Narrativity in The Films of Kurosawa Akira David Desser, Professor Emeritus of Cinema Studies, University of Illinois Discussant: Timothy Corrigan, Professor of Cinema Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Film Screening with Live Benshi Narration by Sakamoto Raikô Tuesday, February 16, 7:00 PM, Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC) Cinema
Blood Splattered at Takadanobaba (1928) feat. Okochi Denjirô, 6 min. The Adventurer (1917) featuring Charlie Chaplin, 20 min. Orochi/The Serpent (1925), featuring Bandô Tsumasaburô, 75 min.
From the dawn of cinema in Japan, katsudô benshi movie narrators, lecturers, movie-tellers, or poets of the darkness have played a vital role in film exhibition, providing commentary, narration, introductions of actors, readings or translations of inter-titles, and voices of the on- screen film stars of the silent era. Sakamoto Raikô, one of the most talented young benshi in Japan, will join us to present a rarely-screened samurai film of the silent era, together with a comedy short by Charlie Chaplin. Narration will be in Japanese, with English benshi subtitles provided for the main feature. A Swarthmore College Cooper Series Event, co-sponsored by the Japanese Section of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Asian Studies, Film and Media Studies, and the University of Pennsylvania Center for East Asian Studies.