Ryoichi and Chikako are brother and sister. They live together. Chikako works during the day in a office and at night she prostitutes herself to fund her brother studies in univesity. ... 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.
A young boy follows Tashiro home to his tenement housing complex on the outskirts of Tokyo, the boy who was separated from his carpenter father somehow and somewhere in Kudan. All Tashiro ... 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
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #232. See more »
What did you plan to do with my son?
Who cares about your son? He's cheap, like you, playing around with actresses.
[Kihachi beats Otaka]
Are you sorry? I hope you'll be very sorry. The world is like a lottery. You take your ups and your downs. Let's make up please. That makes us even, you see. Just think how I feel.
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The film title and credits are placed before a backdrop of plain sackcloth. This would become a trademark of Yasujirô Ozu films. See more »
Poignant tale of family, love and social mobility in pre-WW2 Japan
Early silent film from acclaimed Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, "A Story of Floating Weeds" is an ostensibly simple tale of the head of an itinerant troupe of Kabuki players reconnecting with his teenage son Shinkichi (Koji Mitsui). The boy, who had been told that his father was a civil servant who had died, is a student 'with prospects' and the father does not want him to know of his humble origins. As he says to one of the female players in his troupe "My son belongs to a better world than yours", which of course, is the same world as his. Although the focus of the story is on the 'master' and his secret family, there are a number of entertaining scenes featuring the troupe as they are stuck in the town with their performances rained out, broke and bored, which much of the gentle humour coming at the expense of Tomi-boh (Tomio Aoki), the little boy with the errant bladder who plays a dog in the troupe's show. I watched an English-subtitled Criterion Edition on TCM and my only criticism is that the piano score seemed (IMO) too 'Western' for the setting (but I have no idea what the original music was like). The film is a slow-moving but poignant and beautifully filmed taste of pre-WW2 Japanese life. Later audiences would have found Shinkichi's mother's statement that he'll soon be old enough for the draft much more foreboding than Ozu could have intended. Remade by the same director as "Floating Weeds" in 1959.
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