In 1923, in the province of Shinshu, the widow and simple worker of a silk factory Tsune Nonomiya (O-Tsune) decides to send her only son to Tokyo for having a better education. Thirteen ... See full summary »
Kenji is a small thief who likes drinking and fighting. When he falls in love with sweet and simple Yazue, and she finds out what kind of guy he really is, she leaves him 'until he becomes ... See full summary »
An affluent medical professor, Komiya, and his bossy wife, Tokio, are to look after Setsuko, their high-spirited niece from Osaka. Setsuko is a liberated woman who does what she wants, ... 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
Uncle? Where is Uncle?
You mean Father?
He went on the road again. Don't try to stop him. Just be a great man. That's all he wants. Since you were born, he's been coming here with that one hope in mind.
[Shinkichi and Otoki cry. Shot of the daruma doll]
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This is one of the earliest Ozu films widely available, and the Criterion version is outstanding in quality.
Its a perfect example of Ozu at his best. Its a gem of a film - beautifully shot, a perfect structure, funny, sad and fascinating. The story is simple enough - a traveling troupe arrive at a town, not realizing the reason the chief actor picked the town is because an old flame of his lives here with his son. His current girlfriend in her jealousy tries to stir things up, but things don't turn out as either expect.
What is most striking about the film is just how modern it seems. The characters are believable and funny, the female characters are strong and willful, while even the minor characters are nicely sketched out. The acting is nothing short of brilliant, which makes the whole film very entertaining - this is no period piece of academic interest only, its a great work of art and a wonderful film - a masterpiece really.
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