- Yasujiro Ozu
- Ryu Chishu, Setsuko Hara
Tokyo Story seems to offer a simple, familiar story: an elderly couple visits their married children in the city, where they are treated inhospitably and shunted off to a spa by their offspring who have little time for them. After the couple returns home, the wife dies, causing only a minor break in the routine of the children who have to rush home for the funeral. While the plot may sound rather spartan, Ozu’s unique treatment of family and tradition make this a profound and moving masterpiece about life, death, and familial relationships.
The film had a lasting impact on Wes Anderson. “There are both visual and thematic similarities between Anderson’s films and the films of Japanese director Yasukiro Ozu. Ozu’s Tokyo Story, for example, is a drama about an aging couple who visit their grown children, only to be dismissed and put up in a hot spring spa. The strained parent-child relationship mirrors the way Chas Tenenbaum and his siblings force their father Royal out of the Tenenbaum home in The Royal Tenenbaums. It also comes across in Ned and Steve’s broken relationship in The Life Aquatic and when Suzie runs away from her parents in Moonrise Kingdom. The way the camera carefully navigates the family’s home in Tokyo Story also bears a strong resemblance to Anderson’s cross-section look at the interiors of The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom and The Life Aquatic.” (IndieWire)
Cosponsored with the Dept of Performing and Media Arts.