Tokyo Story

Tokyo Story

DVD - 2006
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Regarded by many as Ozu's masterpiece, this film deals with the disintegration of the Japanese family system. An aging couple, Tomi and Sukichi, leave their rural village to visit their children in bustling, post-war Tokyo. They find they are an intrusion in their children's busy lives, and they are sent to a health spa to get them out of the way. The couple's widowed daughter-in-law treats them with kindess and respect. The film is predominantly serious with Ozu's signature motifs which are characteristic of his work in general. There are many shots empty of people interposed between scenes of dramatic action.
Another recurrent feature of Ozu's style is the use of graphic matches - where characters within the frame form identical shapes, facing the same direction and posed in the same pose. Ozu designed each frame very carefully, drawing attention to the composition of the frame through such devices. Although the film is a loosely plotted and leisurely survey of the extended family, structured around journeys, it is full of family conflicts triggered by the grandparents' visit. This film's sombre tone reflects Ozu's recurring theme of home dramas and the vast social changes that altered Japanese life between 1932 and 1959.
Publisher: [South Melbourne, Vic.] : Madman Entertainment [distributor], c2006.
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (DVD) (136 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet.
Additional Contributors: Ozu, Yasujirō 1903-1963.

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