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A Story of Floating Weeds
(Ukigusa Monogatari)

Live Musical Accompaniment
Screening on Film
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu.
With Takeshi Sakamoto, Tomio Aoki, Choko Iida.
Japan, 1934, 35mm, black & white, silent, 89 min.

A pinnacle film from Ozu’s silent period, A Story of Floating Weeds concerns the leader of a ragtag Kabuki troupe who is stranded in a remote mountain village, where he encounters his forgotten illegitimate son. Believing his father long dead, the son falls in love with a young actress who has been bribed by the old man’s mistress to seduce him. In Ozu’s hands the reversals and revelations that follow transcend mere melodrama. The poet of urban, domestic Tokyo, Ozu here evokes with loving detail the “floating” world of an itinerant theater group and the milieu of rural Japan—rain-drenched and dilapidated, rustic and religious. Ozu was so fond of the story that he remade the film in 1959 as, simply, Floating Weeds.

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Yasujiro Ozu.
A Centennial Celebration

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