Iconic Japanese Director Yoji Yamada latest film “Tora san, Wish You Were Here” will be screening at the 2020 International Film Festival Rotterdam. Yamada is best known as the creator of the “Tora san” series, which spans 48 films over a 25 year period. “Wish You Were Here” marks the directors return to the series after a two decade absence. A trailer for the film was previously made available, and can be viewed below.
In 1969, Yamada Yōji released the first film starring the uplifting anti-hero Kuruma Torajirō, in short Tora-san: an ordinary, friendly man with a golden heart from the old Shibamata neighborhood (in Tokyo’s Katsushika district), who is shown through the series grew to be the embodiment of the Japanese lower middle class. He stood in front of a familiar old world of straightforward decency where left and right found an almost impossible balance. Until the death of comedian Atsumi Kiyoshi in 1996, 47 films were made, all led by Yamada; and because Atsumi was Tora-san, the series had to end there, with a beautiful meta-coda called The Rainbow Seeker , which regards all the Torah sans of the world as the true soul of cinema.
Tora-san, Wish You Were Here is another coda: a meditation on the grace and horror of time, and an elegy for a lost world. But maybe, by remembering, we can keep some of the vanished values alive …? Let’s find our Tora-san! (IFFR)