Directed by Yasujiro Ozu
I originally watched this film because it was mentioned in one of my favorite books of all time, The Elegance of a Hedgehog. The main character would frequently rave about Japanese cinema. I had no experience in Japanese films back then but pretty much took her word for it. Now, of course, I am obsessed. All thanks go to The Book!
Anyway, this one disappointed me a bit. So far, I have not been able to find anyone that makes this comparison so I guess I will be the first to say it. It is exactly like Make Way For Tomorrow. Oh wait, scratch that. I just looked at the IMDb page and it said that the scriptwriter was inspired by Make Way for Tomorrow. Guess I am not as special as I thought I was. Sad…
Although Tokyo Story usually listed as one of the greatest films of all time, I am not sure they did it that much better than MWFT. Not to say this is a bad film, just not astounding. Ozu's camerawork is certainly creative; it seems like the camera just sits on the ground the entire time of filming, making it seem almost like a documentary.
I guess I have been so impressed with Japanese cinema that this one disappointed me a bit. I am really selling it short, though. It is a great film and one that should definitely be watched. Damn my unreasonably high expectations.
The camera technique I described is called the "tatami-shot".
The film largely sides with the parents. Ozu lived with his mother for most of his life.