On Ozu’s birth and death anniversary, a look at ‘Tokyo Story’ and the Yōji Yamada remake, ‘Tokyo Family’

Posted on December 12, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/on-ozus-birth-and-death-anniversary-a-look-at-tokyo-story-and-the-yoji-yamada-remake-tokyo-family-5715271.html

Yasujirō Ozu was born on 12 December, 1903. He died 60 years later, on the same day. There is no need to reiterate this filmmaker’s greatness – if you are reading this column, you probably know this already. Wim Wenders put it perfectly at the beginning of Tokyo-Ga, his 1985 documentary (or “diary on film,” as he called it) on Ozu: “If in our century, something sacred still existed, if there were something like a sacred treasure of the cinema, then for me that would have to be the work of the Japanese director Yasujirô Ozu… For me, never before and never again since has the cinema been so close to its essence and its purpose: to present an image of man in our century, a usable, true and valid image in which he not only recognises himself, but from which, above all, he may learn about himself.”

Several of Ozu’s films are regarded classics, but perhaps the one that comes up the most is Tokyo Story (1953). On the surface, it’s about an aged couple – Shūkichi (Chishū Ryū) and Tomi Hirayama (Chieko Higashiyama) – who live in Onomichi, with their daughter Kyōko (Kyōko Kagawa). They take off to faraway Tokyo to visit their other children: son Kōichi (a paediatrician, played by So Yamamura), daughter Shige (a hairdressing salon owner, played by Haruko Sugimura), and widowed daughter-in-law Noriko (an office worker, played by Setsuko Hara). And through their travels in Tokyo, through the people they visit, we get a sense of a cross-section of humanity. It’s what Wenders calls “an image of man…”

Continued at the link above.

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