In 1923, in the province of Shinshu, Tsune Nonomiya, a widow and simple worker in a silk factory, decides to send her only son Ryosuke Nonomiya to Tokyo for a better education. Thirteen years later, she visits her son and finds that he is a poor and frustrated night-school teacher.
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Ozu’s style, already in its ascetic mature phase, presents [the son’s] struggle plainly and directly, heightening the effect of its sting. Yet the film is hardly a downer; indeed, it’s full of the director’s gentle, self-reflective humor.
April 01, 2016
With his first talking picture, from 1936, the Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu set the template for the films that would make his name. Relying on dialogue to sustain the drama, he conjures vast emotion through poised images of an exquisite subtlety.