against his contemptuous wife after hanging out for an evening with a rebellious niece who skipped her own interview with an arranged fiance. I really could
have cared less about the story as the characters were so lovingly drawn and
their interactions were a joy to listen to, and that's really where the action is in Ozu movies, the sounds and spaces between people as they repeatedly bump
into each other and modify each other's state of mind in ways both large and
small. Masterful as is almost always the case with Ozu, the film only let me down at the end when it seemed to side firmly with the henpecked husband, as if this were a wimp's rendition of TAMING OF THE SHREW.
development along the continuum of one of the most formidable artistic visions in film. This mid-career masterpiece is no exception -- its unique qualities lie partly in its assiduous exploration of interior space in an ingenious opening sequence, beautifully capturing the rhythms and choreography of a family
household as they go about their morning routine. It's no wonder that this is the favorite Ozu movie of formalist film scholar than David Bordwell -- Ozu frames and re-frames his compositions, reinventing spaces with each cut and shot,
turning an ordinary house into a cinematic funhouse -- only PLAYTIME, IVAN
THE TERRIBLE and LAST YEAR IN MARIENBAD have offered similar wonders
as far as I'm concerned. Neither is this style for style's sake: as we follow the story of how this family is pressured by social convention to marry off their daughter, the inevitable disintegration of this family makes the synchronicity and synergy of that marvelous opening sequence all the more poignant. In between, there is a rich variety of interactions between three generations of families and friends as they meet their fates, individually and collectively, one exquisite, fleeting moment at a time.
unparalleled sense of visual rhythm, choreographed movement, and humor
keep one's eyes dancing in delight. The story concerns two boys who fight their way to gain status and respect among the local bullies, only to realize that their father is a bottom-feeder among the adults. As such it's loaded with acute
observations of Japanese society, and not without Ozu's penchant for subtle but potent criticism. For people who are used to the "slow" Ozu of the 50s, this film will be a revelation, inspiring speculation as to how and why he changed a style that already was exceptional.