Sci-Fi, Shochiku Style

On the Cultural Gutter, I’m writing about apocalyptic scifi and horror from the normally well-behaved Japanese film studio Shochiku.

Shochiku was most closely identified with shomin-geki, dramas about the lives of everyday people, and the undisputed master of such films was Shochiku director Yasujiro Ozu. But a studio can only exist for so long on movies in which a middle-aged factory worker stares at a plum blossom for two hours and then, upon a single petal falling off, quietly says to himself, “This is a good way to be, even though it is disappointing.” By the 1960s, things were changing