|Older film may be shrunken or |
brittle and should not be projected.
Instead, it is inspected over a light
table using manual rewinds.
Our spring intern, Brian Real introduced us to Michele Mason, assistant professor of Japanese in the Department of Asian and East European Language and Cultures, University of Maryland, who kindly viewed a DVD and provided invaluable insight into the content while on sabbatical in Tokyo. She identified Miyajima Island and the Itsukushima Shrine off the coast of Hiroshima, the Hotsugawa River, a Bon Dance, a possible wedding procession and, most exciting, the samurai film, Poisonous Snake (1928), directed by Futagawa Buntaro. This theatrical film appears to no longer exist, except for the few minutes found in our mystery roll of film. Prof. Mason also explained that she was not able to determine whether the women in the film were actual Geisha, other “professional” women (i.e., trained performers) or women dressed to look like Geisha for the film (see clip above). As valuable and fascinating as her examination of the film is, still this did not answer the ‘why’ of the film.
Part 2 will be posted October 22nd. Tune in then for tales of exciting discoveries made courtesy of The Internet, the Coast of Maine, and the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive.
Pamela Wintle, Human Studies Film Archives