Okada and Kato, students at 'W' [i.e. Waseda] University, in Tokyo, live in the same lodgings. One morning, Kato receives a tailor's bill. Okada has seen the letter arrive, so Kato tells ... See full summary »
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
I'll go away again.
Shinkichi has accepted you in his heart.
I don't want him to feel awkward because of me. Let me go as the usual carefree uncle one last time. I'll start up in business again. If I do well, I'll return again. I'll be a great actor so Shinkichi won't be ashamed of me. And you can thank me with a curtain call.
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"A Story of Floating Weeds" (1934) was the second Yasujiro Ozu's film I've seen. Like with "Tokyo Story", I kept asking myself, why the film that was made so many years ago about the people who lived so far away in the world I don't know much about is so wonderfully engaging? Why was I so drawn to the characters of this human drama? The story is simple: an aging, traveling actor who is the manager of a kabuki troupe returns to a remote village where he secretly meets his former lover and her 19 year old illegitimate son, to whom he is known as "uncle." The older man finds happiness in communicating with his son who turned to be a fine young man. His current mistress, filled with jealousy because of his attachment to his secret family, hires a young beautiful girl, the member of a troupe to seduce a boy.
Directed by the great director and humanist with elegant simplicity, genuine interest to his characters and restraint, this moving film is never melodramatic or manipulative.
I liked the music score written specially for the film in 2004. I tried to watch it silent but it would take me more than one viewing to get used to no music score at all.
Seems that Ozu valued the film and thought about it a lot - he himself made a remake in color and sound 25 years later.
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