Previously at the ICA - Films
19 Apr 2014
Zero Focus has the most overtly film noir stylings of all Nomura’s films – it's all voiceover, revelations, duplicitous characters, and has a general sense of unease. It’s also the one most clearly indebted to Alfred Hitchcock, with a dual-identity plot and elevated showdowns reminiscent of both Vertigo and Rebecca, plus a Bernard Hermann-like score.
Teiko has only been married to her ambitious salesman husband Kenichi for a week before he leaves to tie up business in coastal Kanazawa. He promptly disappears, and so Teiko treks off to find him. She uncovers a murder plot against a legacy of wartime prostitution, stigma and shame. A great example of Japan’s noir boom, this is the first of two film versions, the latter was released in Japan in 2009.
Zero Focus, dir Yoshitarô Nomura, Japan 1961, 95 mins, b/w, subtitles, 16mm/digital, cert 12A
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