(1953, Yasujiro Ozu) Postwar generation gap: provincials Chishu Ryu and Chieko Higashiyama trek from their seaside village to visit their children in the capital, only to be shunted aside by everyone but continually-smiling widowed daughter-in-law Setsuko Hara. Ozu’s own personal favorite was twice chosen one of Sight & Sound’s all-time Top 10.
“ONE OF THE MOST APPROACHABLE AND MOVING OF ALL CINEMA’S MASTERPIECES!
Ozu’s style – with its so-called ‘pillow shots’ (introductory shots of yet-unhabited rooms), low, static camera position, unhurried pacing and elaborately composed frames – has come to look, in an age of refreshed minimalism, more and more modern. Also, his main interest – how ordinary human emotions are expressed in the context of the changing modern family – has become ever more fundamental, relevant and richly rewarding.”
– Wally Hammond, Time Out London
“A MASTERPIECE. Minimalist cinema at its finest and most complex.”
– Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
“A remarkably replete introduction to Ozu’s distinct world. It contains in miniature a great many of the qualities that enchant his admirers and move audiences, no matter how distant, to tears… Tokyo Story also exemplifies Ozu’s unique style—low camera height, 180-degree cuts, virtually no camera movements, and shots linked through overlapping bits of space. In dialogue scenes Ozu refuses to cut away from a speaking character; it’s as if every person has the right to be heard in full.”
– David Bordwell
"Still has the power to astonish, disrupt, and shatter hearts. Ozu’s long shots, knee-high camera placement, and collapsed perspective — as gorgeous and unsettling as a Cézanne—gather power over the duration, but time itself is the master’s most potent weapon.”
– Eric Hynes, Village Voice
"There is treasure for everyone in Tokyo Story." – Stanley Kauffmann