Dixieland Daimyo | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

The 36th film of Japanese filmmaker Kihachi Okamoto, based on a story by Japanese black humorist Yasutaka Tsutsui, stages a weird and anachronistic encounter between three ex-slaves, who are all jazz musicians, en route to Africa just after the Civil War. They are shipwrecked in 19th-century Japan during a country-wide conflict between the Tokugawa shogun and rebel forces. Supported by a Daimyo lord who soon becomes a jazz buff, the musicians find themselves at the center of the Meiji restoration. Using a variety of Eastern and Western forms, including Kabuki, No theater, TV, and Spike Jones shenanigans, this broad farce is a genuine anomaly--suggestive at times of Frank Tashlin, yet thoroughly Japanese. Punctuated by wry intertitles and featuring Japanese voice-overs during the occasional English dialogue, the movie tends to exult in its own silliness; one female Japanese character travels on a skateboard, and the Dixieland that is performed by the Americans along with Japanese playing traditional instruments--credited to Tsutsui and Yosuke Yamashita is often infectious. Not a masterpiece, but loads of fun (1986). (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Sunday, August 7, 8:00, 443-3737)

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →