Elderly couple Shukishi and Tomi Hirayama live in the small coastal village of Onomichi, Japan with their youngest daughter, schoolteacher Kyoko Hirayama. Their other three surviving adult children, who they have not seen in quite some time, live either in Tokyo or Osaka. As such, Shukishi and Tomi make the unilateral decision to have an extended visit in Tokyo with their children, pediatrician Koichi Hirayama and beautician Shige Kaneko, and their respective families (which includes two grandchildren). In transit, they make an unexpected stop in Osaka and stay with their other son, Keiso Hirayama. All of their children treat the visit more as an obligation than a want, each trying to figure out what to do with their parents while they continue on with their own daily lives. At one point, they even decide to ship their parents off to an inexpensive resort at Atami Hot Springs rather than spend time with them. The only offspring who makes a concerted effort on this trip is Noriko ...Written by
Although made in the early 50s alongside many other Japanese films now considered classics - Rashomon (1950), Ugetsu (1953) and Gate of Hell (1953) - this didn't receive US release until 1964, by which time Yasujirô Ozu was already dead. See more »
At timer mark 1:45:46, when the children are visiting their mother at home and leave the room to talk with the father in an adjoining room, just as they sit on the floor, you see the shadow of the boom-mic just drop into the scene and back out again, just over the sons head on the top right of the screen. This shadow is well into the frame against the edge of what appears to be a bookshelf and should not be considered a masking mistake of the projectionist. See more »
Very interesting movie however it needs some patience from the moviegoer
Tokyo monogatari (or Tokyo Story) is a very human story. It contains a lot of everyday life which at times can make it difficult to follow since it may feel a little bit slow.
However who is patient gets rewarded. And Ozus way of telling this story is very quiet but effective. The images he produces and the very minimalist camera work creates a rhythm that sucks the viewer in and slowly opens him/her up for the sad but essential ending of this movie.
Ozu never tries to impose his story to the viewer. It looks like he follows his actors very disciplined and calm. This very structured and clear camera-work will alienate many modern moviegoers who are used to much more dynamic images. However lovers of purist cinema and fans of Aki Kaurismaki will probably love it.
Impressing also to see how close the everyday life of Japan in the mid 50s is to the western way of life.
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