Tokyo Story

I must say it’s odd that so many people ‘voted’ (in the BFI 50 Greatest Films) for Tokyo Monogatori (1953) as being in the top ten best films ever made, when there’s so little about Ozu’s films that’s ‘cinematic’. He doesn’t use any special effects. He rarely moves the camera, in any sense of ‘move’. There’s nothing special about his lighting, use of sound, production design, makeup, and so on. Which only leaves the script, the direction, the acting, the editing (at least that’s cinematic, if inchoate). Not to mention more mysterious over-arching characteristics like ‘narrative, ‘poetry’, and even ‘ideology’.

I was disappointed in Tokyo Story, but only because it wasn’t ‘better’ than the first two films of the ‘Noriko trilogy’, Banshun (1949) and Bakushu (1951). Not counting the forgettable What Did the Lady Forget? (1937) I have a feeling I might always think of the first one I saw as my favourite.

I’m more aware of mutability and mortality than ever before, after TM.

Tokyo Monogatori (Ozu Yasujiro, 1953)


Garry Gillard | New: 3 March, 2017 | Now: 20 March, 2017