Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tokyo Twilight (1957)

Passenger trains rumble through a meticulously framed shot—deep focused—revealing narrow streets, intimate, communal living quarters and the most restrained and subtle moments of family pathos. A patient camera squats on dry tatami, waiting for the story to unfold and it does, in its own time.

Yasujirō Ozu is the master’s undisputed master. In Tokyo Twilight, elements of film noir are suspended in the aspic of mono no aware, revealing a sentimental, distinctly Japanese, postwar realism. This is his darkest film and his last film in black & white. It's subject matter is sensational and the bold treatment ultimately tests the limitations of Ozu's style. But the familiar intergenerational conflicts dominate the plot and are highlighted through narrative parallelism and graceful, elliptical story arcs which culminate in a sadness that is as tangible as it is inevitable.

Director:  Yasujirō Ozu

Cast: Ineko Arima, Kamatari Fujiwara, Setsuko Hara, Nobuo Nakamura, Chishu Ryu, Kinzo Shin, Haruko Sugimura, Teiji Takahashi, Masami Taura, Isuzu Yamada, So Yamamura

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