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A Story of Floating Weeds (1934)
"Ukikusa monogatari" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  January 1994 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,925 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 28 critic

A kabuki actor's mistress hatches a jealous plot to bring down her lover's son.

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, (story) (as James Maki)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Takeshi Sakamoto ...
Chôko Ilda ...
Otsune, Ka-yan (as Chôko Iida)
Kôji Mitsui ...
Shinkichi (as Hideo Mitsui)
Rieko Yagumo ...
Otaka
Yoshiko Tsubouchi ...
Tomio Aoki ...
Tomi-boh
Reikô Tani ...
Tomibo's father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kiyoshi Aono ...
Sword trainer
Mariko Aoyama ...
Barber's landlady
Mitsumura Ikebe ...
Villager
Seiji Nishimura ...
Kichi, an actor
Mitsuru Wakamiya ...
Station attendant
Emiko Yagumo
Nagamasa Yamada ...
Maako, an actor
Munenobu Yui
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Storyline

A troupe of actors comes to town, short on funds and bedeviled by bad weather, so they can't put on shows. Kihachi is the troupe's leader. He steals off every day to visit Otsune (an ex-lover) and their son, Shinkichi, who believes his father is a long-dead civil servant. Kihachi has been paying Shinkichi's tuition, and he's now at university. Kihachi's lover, Otaka, the troupe's lead actress, learns Kihachi's secret and plots to ruin Shinkichi and humiliate Kihachi: she offers money to Otoki, the troupe's ingénue, to seduce Shinkichi. Soon the boy is head over heels, and Otoki finds herself with feelings for him. Can this end well or is tragedy at hand? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

January 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Story of Floating Weeds  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Kihachi: My troupe's finally disbanded. No word from Shinkichi yet? Like father, like son. So fast with the girls. I'm finished this time.
Otsune, Ka-yan: I'll fix you a drink.
Kihachi: No sake for me.
Otsune, Ka-yan: Then you won't travel anymore? You can stay as long as you like. Shinkichi is old enough to know by now. He'll understand. He'll back sometime or toher. Let's live together like a family.
[Kihachi nods]
Otsune, Ka-yan: It isn't good to be alone all the time. Let's have a drink.
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Remade as Floating Weeds (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lovely Early Japanese Film
6 May 2009 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

I was able to see The Story of Floating Weeds for the first time recently, thanks to the Criterion Collection's DVD.

I was led to it when I came across Roger Ebert's list of his ten favorite films (written some time ago).

In his notes, Ebert claims Ozu shows us a "different cinematic language" but I find that kind of talk so much blather. Ozu uses his shots effectively to allow the actors to communicate the emotions being portrayed, especially necessary in this silent film.

A third rate company of traveling actors returns to a town after four years. The leader of the troupe had abandoned his lady in this town years before in order to tour with his company. He has fathered a son by the woman, whom he visits whenever he can, but his paternity is kept secret from his son.

What follows is the exposure of the secret and the effect it has on the lives of everyone involved, and some innocent bystanders as well.

The camera is almost always objective, the acting style is somewhat less melodramatic than in American silent films. There are excellent performances by all.

No time period is given for the story, but I have to assume it is earlier than the year the film was made (1934) because there are no automobiles, no radios, no telephones.

The enjoyment of Floating Weeds lies in the story itself and the ability of the director to tell it compellingly. If you demand car chases or food fights, this is not for you.

The Criterion DVD allows you to watch with or without the specially commissioned score. For first viewing, I recommend without.


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