Glass Johnny: Looks Like a Beast (Garasu no Joni - yaju no yo ni miete)
Friday, April 4, 2008
1962, 108 min., 35mm, b&w. Directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara. With Jo Shishido, Izumi Ashikawa, Daizaburo Hirata.
Inspired by Federico Fellini’s La Strada and a sharp departure from the Nikkatsu Action norm, Glass Johnny stars Shishido as a bike track tout whose mission in life is to make a winner out of a struggling rider (Hirata) and become rich as a result. Before he can achieve this, he becomes the unwilling savior of a pure-hearted, simple-minded prostitute (Ashikawa) on the run from her pimp.
Prior to Glass Johnny, Ashikawa’s portrayals of cute-but-spunky girls had won her a devoted male following--animator Hayao Miyazaki even later used her as a model for his anime heroines. In this film, however, she moves brazenly from childhood to womanhood, while following Giulietta Masina’s journey in La Strada from victimhood to transcendence.
Tickets: $10/$7 Japan Society members & seniors/ $4.50 students (first 20 tickets per screening). Purchase tickets online above or call the Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. - Fri. 11 am - 6 pm, Weekends 11 am - 5 pm.