Osamu Tezuka

film 4 of 5

The Genesis

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 10, 2015

I wonder if this was inspired in part by John Huston’s not-long-previous Bible film? There are structural similarities. Not so much the sensibility, or approach.

Here we find Tezuka giving his considerable, considerably eccentric imagination free rein. In the old days, a burgeoning Western film school cinephile would start learning about Japan by comparing the somewhat westernized Akira Kurosawa with the manifestly Japanese Yazujiro Ozu. (And on which side to you put Mizoguchi?) Those pat divisions break down even as you’re working your way through those individual oeuvres. By the time you’re in the mid/late-60s, what with all the craziness over at the Nikkatsu Corporation, not to mention Tezuka himself, Japan is too diverse to contain, or comprehend. A Japanese film about the first book in The Bible? Why not?!

Particulars: the six days of the Creation are very striking. A dizzying, crazy whirlwind of incident follows. It’s very brief film, so the precipitousness is intentional, and viable. As for what’s being said, this comes to the fore. It may not be misogyny, or at least it may not be intended that way. But it’s still there, a little bit. Or at least, men seem to be befuddled by women. Plus, there’s a cameo by Astro Boy.