access CINEMA release Our Children opens in Irish Film Institute and Triskel Christchurch from Friday May 10th
access>CINEMA releases the Belgian drama Our Children (A Perdre La Raison) at the Irish Film Institute, Dublin and Triskel Christchurch Cork from today, May 10th. + more
Tokyo Story (1953)
Original title Tôkyô monogatari
Director Yasujiro Ozu
In their mid-60s, Shukishi and Tomi (Ryu and Higashiyama) are enjoying their quiet life in a rural village that was untouched by the war. Their youngest daughter (Kagawa) still lives at home, but the other children have moved away, so they decide to take a trip to Tokyo to reconnect. Koichi (Yamamura) is a suburban doctor with a wife (Miyake) and two kids; Shige (Sugimura) is a feisty hairdresser with a gentle husband (Nakamura). But their lives are far too busy, so they pawn their parents off on Noriko (Hara), the young widow of another son who died in the war, and then send them to a coastal resort for "relaxation". Bored, they decide to go home, stopping in Osaka to visit another son (Osaka) on the way. But when Tomi falls ill, and the whole family is called back home in case the unthinkable happens.
Filmed with static shots, knee-high camera angles and astonishing juxtaposition of the characters within the frame, Ozu's imagery is only dated by the technical quality of the black and white film stock. What's on screen is shockingly complex and raw--funny, touching, repressed, uncomfortably truthful and movingly emotional. We get to know these characters so profoundly that they are unforgettable--we see them both within ourselves and in our family. These are self-absorbed people who aren't all bad, and the moments of real love and compassion come in completely unexpected places. Meanwhile Ozu brilliantly, almost incidentally, captures the stark divisions between the pre-war and post-war world--old versus new ideas, clothes, values, lifestyles, expectations. This gives the intimate central story a stunningly meaningful backdrop. It isn't merely a fable about progress, but about how we pay for it in our personal lives. Yes, it's a movie made in 1953 Japan, and it does have a foreign, somewhat stagy feel for Western audiences. But it's so vivid and telling that after a few minutes we are completely and utterly gripped. A true classic. - Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
Running Time 139m