Lovely tale that is evergreen. Endearing performances by Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara (playing the daughter-in-law). Much has been made out of low placement of the camera--but it is only obvious when the most of the characters are often squatting on the floor on the knees . An odd detail that caught my eye were the steam locomotives pulling the trains when the tracks had electric wires for electric locomotives.
Ozu crafted the cinematic apotheosis of the family drama, reaffirming all that he did in Late Spring and Early Summer with a more pensive and focused look towards the dark remnants of a family's past, not only as mere backdrop motif but as the main motor that carries forth the all of the post-war, existential drama into an uncertain future that sees only peaceful loneliness and quiet sorrow as a possible destination.
Paid a visit to Ozu in my post-Microhabitat haze. How a film can contain this level of pessimism, harsh judgement, rebuke, and still feel like the most deeply human and sympathetic work of art you've ever experienced - well, that's the trick. An editing feat.
Ozu is such a beautiful mystery to me. The banal happenings. The mannered interactions. The lack of resolution, melodrama, or fussy visual style. All things that should sap vitality from his cinema. Yet, there’s such a delicate intelligence here, and it works on you slowly, creeping in and leaving a sick sadness in your gut. He’s been described as “the most Japanese of filmmakers,” and I think that’s bang on.
Feel like I really should've watched more of Ozu's work before jumping into Tokyo Story but I was just too eager to see it! Upon first viewing, yes at times it can become quite tedious. However it quickly becomes apparent that there is a beautifully heart-breaking story taking place. Will definitely be coming back to this one in the future.
Sublime - so contemporary and universal in its themes, yet so embedded in a place and time fascinatingly exotic to my eyes. I have been wondering what on earth my parents would have made of this, if they had seen it. In the end, you're on your own - whether being left, or doing the leaving. Obviously, you die alone. But you're on your own in life, ultimately. (Not just cos everyone you know will die before you.)
1950's Japanese cinematography represents culturally such a distant world I am often struggling to appreciate the story entirely. There is beauty in Ozu's every shot, and there is universal moral or two in the end - life and family can be pretty disappointing and lonely, no matter how well-mannered everything seems.