Two young Japanese women in shirts and skirts sit on stools on the street, slightly smiling and looking at the vieweralr

Tokyo Story
(Tokyo monogatari)

New 35mm print!
Screening on Film
Directed by Ozu Yasujiro.
With Ryu Chishu, Higashiyama Chieko, Yamamura So.
Japan, 1953, 35mm, black & white, 137 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.
Print source: HFA

Among his biggest commercial and critical hits, Ozu’s beloved and now canonized Tokyo Story is also one of his most profoundly moving and mystical films: a meditation on the distance between generations and the loss of intimacy amongst a family pulled apart by selfish habit. The tale of an elderly couple who leave their home to visit their children speaks to the lasting hold of Hollywood cinema upon Ozu through his and longtime co-screenwriter Noda Kogo’s sensitive reworking of Leo McCarey’s heartrending Make Way for Tomorrow (1937). The recurrent emblems of the train and the clock furthermore point to Ozu’s keen understanding of the distinct temporal modes embodied by the different characters who pass each other fleetingly with an increasing disregard, a pattern that begins comically and crests in the film's remarkably choreographed closing scene between Hara Setsuko and the young daughter played by the legendary Kagawa Kyoko. – HG

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