Futaba Juzaburo

The Asahi reported today that the great film critic, Futaba Juzaburo, passed away last month on December 12, 2009. He was 99 years old. The family held the funeral in secret.

Futaba began writing criticism while working for Sumitomo, only quitting to concentrate on criticism in 1945. For nearly half a century, he rated films for the magazine Screen, showing no prejudice over what he would rate, looking at every thing from art films to B-films. Since Screen was a magazine centered on foreign film, however, he did not rate many Japanese films there, but his books on Japanese film include Nihon eiga hihan: 1932-1956 and Nihon eiga boku no 300-pon (he liked to compile lists). His most recent book, which came out in 2008, was Boku no tokkyu nijisseiki: Taisho Showa goraku bunka shoshi. He wrote a lot on American film.

He won many awards, including the Kikuchi Kan Prize, the Nihon Film Pen Club Award, and the Yamaji Fumiko Award. He also apparently translated mystery novels such as Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep

He was one of the last giants of Japanese film criticism and a witness to his era.

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