The Citiblog

The Art of the Benshi at BAM
April 1, 2024, 7:35.54 pm ET


The Art of the Benshi 2024 World Tour, presented by the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities and the UCLA Film & Television Archive, will run at BAM from April 5-7.

The tour will bring to life the mesmerizing artistry of benshi performance, who were the captivating narrators of Japan's silent film era. Each of the four programs will include screenings of classic, newly restored, and rarely seen silent films from Japan and the United States.

The series will showcase the individual artistic interpretations of three different benshi -- Ichirō Kataoka, Kumiko Ōmori and Hideyuki Yamashiro -- performing individually as well as together in the form known as “kowairo kakeai,” in which multiple benshi take on the roles of different characters. In addition, a group of celebrated musicians will perform both new and historical scores.

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