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 »
When the patriarch of the Toda family suddenly dies, his widow discovers that he has left her with nothing but debt and married children who are unwilling to support her--except for her most thoughtful son, just returned from China.
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 »
Two young brothers become the leaders of a gang of kids in their neighborhood. Their father is an office clerk who tries for advancement by playing up his boss. When the boys visit the boss... See full summary »
Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »
In post-war Japan, a man brings a lost boy to his tenement. No one wants to take the child for even one night; finally, a sour widow, Tané, does. The next day, complaining, she takes the ... 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, including smoking, even though she is a minor. On Saturday, the professor does not feel like going to his weekend golf game, but his wife packs him off anyway. So he leaves his bag at the apartment of his student Okada, and goes to a bar with a friend. Setsuko traces him there, and insists that he take her to a geisha house. When she gets rather tipsy, the professor calls Okada to take her home, while he sleeps at Okada's. The wife becomes suspicious of Setsuko when she sees Okada bringing her home, and also of her husband when she discovers that he did not go golfing. Written by
One of Ozu's most delightful comedies involves the minor household upheaval caused by a freewheeling Japanese debutante's visit to her henpecked professor uncle and his fussy wife. This film is blessed with a surfeit of small, droll gestures that amply demonstrate both the whimsicality and the sharpness of Ozu's observations of human behavior: the clucking communion of housewives, clever games played by singing schoolboys and the subtle, playful banter of relatives who know each others' foibles all too well. The schoolgirl character is of particular interest as a prototypical "liberated woman" who gets her uncle to take her to a geisha house and isn't afraid of letting her leg show under her skirt (here I wonder how much of this was influenced by the '30s Hollywood screwball comedies Ozu loved, or if it was truly indicative of emerging behavioral trends among Japanese women). Things come to a head though as the girl and her uncle conspire for a night away from her aunt, only to be confronted for their deception, leading to an unsettling moment when the aunt gets slapped. I'm not entirely satisfied with how Ozu's characters later shrug off this instance of domestic abuse as just another quirky behavior that can be turned on its ear. Nonetheless the film stands as a provocative exploration of male-female relationships amidst the shifting mores of modern society.
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