Yasujiro Ozu

The BFI is doing a series of films by Yasujiro Ozu who is best known for three movies known as the Noriko trilogy. the last in the trilogy is Tokyo Story, which is regarded as Ozu’s masterpiece. Ozu is best known for making films which look into the lives of lower middle class families. He has also done some comedies. I went to see Tokyo Story last night.

(source: www.bfi.org)

This story is of an elderly couple who travel from their rural dwellings to Tokyo to visit their children, who are now grown and married. The Noriko character in this story is the widow of the elderly couple’s son who died (or rather, never returned) after the war. Of all the children she is the one who gives the old parents the most attention. The other children are busy and married and moved on with their lives. The movie reflects on the way Japan has changed so that children now drift away from their parents and develop their own lives. Children become different people from the sons or daughters that they were and their parents can barely recognise them and have less to do with their lives.

The story was slow but it was fascinating to watch these children treat their parents in a way that is very familiar – as a bother who comes to visit and take up their time and sleep in their already crowded and tiny living space when there are so many other things to be getting on with.

The series runs into February so hopefully there will be time to see more of his work.


1 Response to “Yasujiro Ozu”

  1. March 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    I found this film very affecting – it really made me think about the way we, as individuals and as a society, treat older people. On another level it’s a very beautifully shot film that i’d love to see on the big screen. It’s showing in Glasgow tomorrow night so i’m hoping to get to see it then.

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