Beautiful little film and first talkie for Ozu. The delicate style and observations are already there (Ozu made a few masterpieces in the early 1930s) but the editing is still a bit heavy here. The story is somehow typical, about hiding your emotions as long as you can for finally giving up. You can expect or hope anything you like, life has other plans for you. Chishû Ryû is still so young here !
The most underrated Ozu to me as well as his first talkie, right before war and during the industrialization of Japan. The film is about a single mother’s devotion to her son, who doesn’t quite live up to her expectations and there is absolutely nothing worse than a mother’s disappointment.
Premier film parlant du cinéaste et déjà sa trente-cinquième réalisation, magnifiée par une étonnante palette chromatique du noir et blanc dans l'utilisation de la lumière naturelle, à travers une parfaite maîtrise du clair-obscur, rehaussée par la rigoureuse composition du cadrage, surtout des plans moyens et à travers une grammaire cinématographie de plus en plus personnelle et dépouillée. www.cinefiches.com
Empty moments, gestures and positions that express the lack of connection between mother and son. Inherited expectatives and undesired duties: satisfaction is impossible, there will always be disappointment. Should the son try harder or should the mother accept him as he is? What's with the son's wife? Is she an orphan? Mother and son seated next to a factory (why that place?): amazing photogenics.
Have to confess, that Ozu is a director who I never saw anything of great value, and although I am one of the few who don't like Tarkovsky as all, I do respect that his films have high artistic value. But honestly Ozu's films do nothing at all for me and the overacting makes them hard to connect with.
Many of the scenes in Ozu's first sound endeavor are emotionally stirring, but for me maybe the most affective elements of this film are the shots in which the foreground is in focus and the background out, with the shot of the infant in the foreground and the son, his mother, and his wife in the background.