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
Roger Ebert, who provided the audio commentary on the 2003 Criterion DVD release, names this film as one of his ten all-time favorites. 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 »
In a week I saw this movie three times. Why? Because its charm really got me, it should get you too! Set on an small island in the warm southern Japan summer, a struggling kabuki troupe comes by boat to stay there for a few shows. They actually stay much longer than that because the leader of the troupe has some personal matters here.
The characters in this movie felt so real its as if I know them. And I think back on them fondly. I and the cynic, but unexperienced son (was it Kiyoshi?), the jealous femme fatale Sumiko, the lovely mother of Kiyoshi, the sweet flower Oyoshi and the others are almost like friends. Ozu succeeds in getting the very best out of the actors so they cease to be actors. Best is Kyô Machiko as Sumiko and Nakamura Ganjiro as the troupe leader. I am not all convinced on Kiyoshi though, esp. during the Sumiko confrontation.
Stylistically this is a perfect film. Camera is fixed in well composed shots and we get to mediate on the surroundings and the people and let it all sink in. Look out for the quarrel scene, its simply one of the most powerful scenes I've seen.
Music carries the feelings in the movie even if its just too simple songs (that I remember). The heat is felt and I'm there sweating with them.
Some noted that this is good soap opera, I disagree, this is drama of the highest order, the kind of drama you don't see much in movies at all. This was my first Ozu, and its not everybody's favourite it seems, still its hard to surpass this..
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