7 pm, UW Cinematheque screening in Vilas Hall

You would think that performing the live score for a 96-minute silent Japanese film might require lots of preparation and planning. But pianist David Drazin admits he mostly wings it. While he plays the jazz song “I Cover the Waterfront” during some of the performance at UW-Madison’s Cinematheque, Drazin says: “I’m an improv guy.”

Drazin likes it because it is apparently the only gunshot fired in any of Ozu’s gangster movies. He loves Ozu because he took the American gangster film conventions and made them uniquely Japanese. “What’s neat about it is finally the director quit copying American films.”

Listen to a portion of Drazin’s performance: [soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/60720598″ iframe=”true” /]

The crowd seems enthralled by the performance and the film. And although Drazin has performed the film score before, he says he never plays it the same way twice. “It changes because it has to.”

 

– Joe Tarr

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