Yasujiro Ozu

Yasujirô Ozu – Rakudai wa shitakeredo aka I flunked but… (1930)

Yasujirô Ozu wrote:
One could say this is the flip side of I Graduated, But… The student-protagonist scribbles his crib notes on his shirt sleeve, but the day of his graduation exam, the girl at his boarding house unwittingly takes the shirt to the launderette So naturally, he flunks. However, those who pass and graduate in high spirits cannot land any job, while the ones who flunked can continue to bum around living off their parent’s money. It’s a vignette. Although Ryu Chishu has appeared in my previous films, it was the first time I let him have a go at a more significant role. Read More »

Yasujirô Ozu – Kohayagawa-ke no aki AKA The End of Summer (1961)


Synopsis
The Kohayakawa family is thrown into distress when childlike father Manbei takes up with his old mistress, in one of Ozu’s most deftly modulated blendings of comedy and tragedy.

Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews” wrote:
This Technicolor film is the deft blending of comedy and tragedy; it’s the penultimate film of arguably Japan’s best filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu (“Early Spring”/”Tokyo Story”/”Late Spring”). It’s co-scripted by the director and his regular screenwriter Kôgo Noda. It features the extended Kohayagawa family, who run a small sake brewery in post-war Japan and in failing times are thinking about merging their business with a larger company. Read More »

Yasujirô Ozu – Daigaku wa detakeredo aka I graduated but… (1929)

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大学は出たけれど

Yasujirô Ozu wrote:
I cast Takada Minoru and Tanaka Kinuyo for the first time in this film. I had made a good number of student films, but when it came to filming young actors, it was hard to go beyond the old themes of salarymen or college life. However, in those days, the images of white-collar types were limited. As for students, they were of course a different breed from the ones nowadays, who get into fights with the police. They were all very carefree, and comparatively easy fodder for jokes in nonsense comedies. Shimizu Hiroshi originally wanted to direct this film, but somehow, the script fell into my lap. I thought, if I was determined to be a director, then I must get to grips with any genre and make every film as well as I could. It’s all very well for the so-called film auteur to have artistic ideas but one also needs the professional flair for handling all the different aspects of filmmaking. Admittedly, excessive professionalism could spell trouble, but I was nonetheless extremely grateful for the chance to develop my professionalism through making these kinds of films. Read More »

Yasujiro Ozu – Todake no kyodai AKA The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (1941)

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Synopsis
The first box-office hit for Ozu in Japan, “The Brothers And Sisters Of The Toda Family” anticipates the later masterpieces such as “Tokyo Story” and “The End Of Summer”.

After the death of the father of an upper-class family, his wife and daughter have to struggle to survive. Tensions arise when they moved in with a married son, so they continue to move around from one household to the next, but they are always unwelcomed. When her youngest son returns from work in Tianjin, he scolds his siblings for their selfishness.

AWARDs
WON:
Kinema Junpo Awards – 1942 – Best Film Read More »

Yasujirô Ozu – Ochazuke no aji AKA Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952)

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A childless middle-aged couple faces a marital crisis of sorts.

Quote:
Taeko (Michiyo Kogure) despises and regularly deceives her quiet, saturnine husband, Mokichi (Shin Saburi), who works as a corporate executive and who only seems to come alive when visiting bars, racetracks, and arcades with a younger friend. Meanwhile, Taeko’s niece, Setsuko (Keiko Tsushima), resolves not to accept an arranged marriage and end up in an unloving relationship like that of her aunt and uncle. Read More »

Yasujirô Ozu – Hogaraka ni ayume AKA Walk Cheerfully (1930)

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Quote:
Kenji is a small thief who likes drinking and fighting. When he falls in love with sweet and simple Yazue, and she finds out what kind of guy he really is, she leaves him ‘until he becomes an honest person’. But it is not easy to get rid of one’s past… Read More »

Yasujirô Ozu – Tokkan kozô AKA A Straightforward Boy (1929)

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Strictly Film School wrote:
A purely fun, entertaining, and lighthearted short film, A Straightforward Boy follows the (mis) adventures of a kidnapper (Tatsuo Saito) who, on an idyllic, sunny day (that, as the film comments, is conducive for such nefarious activities), lures a cherubic, bespectacled boy (Tomio Aoki) with toys and treats back into the hideout. However, when the mischievous and precocious boy becomes too much of a handful, the kidnapper’s attempts to get rid of him proves to be a greater challenge than the abduction itself. Read More »