A troupe of travelling players arrive at a small seaport in the south of Japan. Komajuro Arashi, the aging master of the troupe, goes to visit his old flame Oyoshi and their son Kiyoshi, even though Kiyoshi believes Komajuro is his uncle. The leading actress Sumiko is jealous and so, in order to humiliate the master, persuades the younger actress Kayo to seduce Kiyoshi.Written by
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #232. See more »
Near the end, sandals disappear or move around: after Kiyoshi argues with his father, he runs upstairs, first slipping out of his sandals and leaving them at the bottom (center) of the stairs. Moments later, Kayo goes up to him. We see that she, too, removes her sandals at the bottom of the stairs. But Kiyoshi's sandals have now suddenly disappeared: we see only Kayo's sandals at the bottom of the stairs. Moments later, Kiyoshi comes back downstairs to go after his father. He goes to put on his sandals, which have now suddenly reappeared, but in a different location from where he took them off. A moment later, Kayo also comes down the stairs and puts on her sandals, which are approximately where she had removed them and placed them, moments earlier. See more »
What became of the manager? It's terrible.
We mustn't avail us too much of the impresario's kindness. It's awful.
It's good when it's good. But when we get stranded, a terrible profession.
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FLOATING WEEDS -- OZU 1959. image1.jpego Revival viewed at the Encore Theater in Hollywood, in 1975 on a double bill with Kurosawa's Dlodeskaden. Original review published in Rafu Shimpo, Los Angeles Japanese daily newspaper.
Film number two of the evening, truly a stroke of programming genius, was Ozu's virtually unknown 1959 masterpiece "Floating Weeds" (Ukigusa). Also in color this is one of Ozu's most powerful films, yet, for some strange reason it has never been shown in this country outside of museums or obscure college series screenings. The film stars Ganjiro Nakamura, a remarkable actor of Kabuki background and one of the great old men to be seen on film. Ganjiro is the eternal "sukebei" -- the lovable, strong-willed "dirty old man" -- a role in which he has no peer. In this picture he has two mistresses, a young one, Machikyo Kyo (of Rashomon and Ugetsu fame) who is an actress in his traveling Kabuki troupe, and an older one played by Haruko Sugimura, who is surely one of the best actresses of all time, anywhere. In addition he has a daughter, Ayako Wakao, by mistress number two, and thoroughly disapproves of her boy friend (Hiroshi Kawaguchi). At the time Wakao was Daiei's reigning female box office star, with her fresh ravishing beauty and all around radiance. Here she is paired with the dominant Japanese actress of a decade earlier, Kyo, who was still very attractive and still going strong. The film deals with the conflicts arising out of these relationships and the resulting effect on the career of the old actor. The confrontation between mistresses Machiko and Haruko with Machiko screaming her defiance at the old man, who has just thrown her out into a driving rain storm, is one of the most powerful scenes in the entire, normally gentle, Ozu repertoire.
This film, a major Daei release of 1959, lensed by master cameraman Kazuo Miyaguchi and produced by legendary film mogul Masaichi Nagata, is truly a neglected gem not to be missed if it ever comes your way. NOTE: This film was the enhanced supercharged remake of Ozu's own prewar Black and white Ukigusa, which came out in 1934. The name Wakao means "Young Tail" !
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