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The Green Music Box

(Midori haruka ni)
Japan 1955. Dir: Umetsugu Inoue. 90 min. 35mm

NEW 35mm PRINT! A musical action film for children, Umetsugu Inoue’s The Green Music Box was the first theatrical feature shot in Konicolor, a vivid, three-strip colour process developed in Japan in the 1940s. Adapted from a novel of the same name by Makoto Hojo, the film stars 14-year-old Ruriko Asaoka, in her screen debut, as the daughter of an important researcher. She becomes entangled with a spy trying to steal her father’s secrets. The cast includes the popular comedian Frankie Sakai. Asaoka, still acting today, sustained a career in Nikkatsu action and melodrama pictures through the following decades. The film, screening here in a restored 35mm Konicolor print, typifies director Inoue’s creative use of colour. Print courtesy the collection of the National Film Archive of Japan, Tokyo