Yamanaka directed scores of great films but only a few remain in existence today. For this reason, he is known as the “Phantom Genius of Film.” Indeed, not one of the silent movies he has directed remains today in its entirety. With the help of his elder schoolmate, Masaharu Makino, Yamanaka entered the Script Department of Makino Film Productions in 1927. However, since his real ambition was to enter the Directing Department, the next year he moved to Arashi Kanjuro Productions as screenplay staff/assistant director. Yamanaka first gained attention as a screenwriter with his original screenplay for Raishin no Ketsuen (1929). After Arashi Kanjuro Productions went bankrupt, he continued working with the same staff and went on to write the screenplay for Umontorimonocho Rokuban Tegara (1930) and other films. His directorial debut, 1932’s Dakine no Nagadosu, entered the Top Ten soon after release. Between 1932 and 1937, he directed no less than eight films which… read more
In the new Masters of Cinema release we do not only have the three surviving films but also tiny fragments of what is left of Iso-No-Genta's Sword and a film called 'The White Hooded Thief'!!!