Kihachi Okamoto/1964/95 min./b&w/35mm/PG
Starring: Yunosuke Ito, Hiroshi Hasegawa, Kazuo Suzuki, Ichiro Arishima, Chotaro Togin
Introduction by Japan Sings! series curator Prof. Michael Raine, University of Western Ontario
Toho new wave director Kihachi Okamoto tests the limits of the musical comedy in this experimental “rhythm film” that incorporates Japanese forms of “musical” performance such as naniwabushi and Buddhist chant, as well as direct references toWest Side Story. The zany revenge plot follows the great Japanese character actor Yunosuke Ito as an old-school yakuza replaced by his former underling. There’s also a chauffeur with dreams of the big time and a sidekick who just loves dynamite, but what ties everything together is a musicality that extends to the editing rhythm of the film itself. Oh, Bomb! was given a roadshow presentation in 1964, in a double bill with Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Woman in the Dunes.