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Tokyo Story

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Juana Evink
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Tokyo Story

 For my film review, I watched Tokyo Story directed by  Yasurijo  Ozu, which originally came out in 1953. This film will be a great tool for film teachers and students to learn about different techniques like Ozu's one camera shot from the floor up. Ozu also, uses things like forshawoding of someone's death, a scene of laundry drying up and family. The story is about an elderly couple Shikushi and his wife Tomi, who travel to Tokyo to visit their 2 oldest children, who sadly don't have much time for them, their oldest son Koichi and oldest daughter Shige. The film is a great way to show the passage of time, how children drift from their parents, and the cycle of life. When the elderly couple are in Tokyo, their son a doctor doesn't have muc time for them. So their daughter, Shige who also doesn't seem to have time for them send them to a crowded spa in Atami, to get rid of them. A few days later, they finally decided to go home and not be a burden to their busy children, but Tomi falls ill on the train ride back, which allows them to see their other son. When they finally arrive home in Onomichi. They reliaze  that it was their daughter-in-law who was kind and treated them way better than their own children. Then Tomi dies, and they all come for the funeral services, and leave as soon as they can. The final scene shows the elderly SHikushi alone fanning himself and Noriko looking sad on the train back to Tokyo. Film students might find symbolism in the final scenes, a boat sailing away , and the train going by.

Kim Leng
Topic replies: 78
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Tokyo Story

Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story (1953) is rated as one of the top films by Criterion and it’s easy to see why. A train passes by a serene town, blowing smoke, cutting through the heart of the town. It is mesmerizing to look at.  When an old couple, Shukichi and Tomi Hirayama, decide to visit their children in Tokyo, events are set in motion.  Like the moving train that passes through, their voyage from small town of Onomichi to Tokyo represents the unstoppable passage of time, and the inevitable distance between families as life moves forward. The elderly couple soon realize they are an inconvenience to their busy children.  Their daughter-in-law, Noriko, is the only one who takes time off work to show them around Tokyo. The themes in Tokyo Story are universal: loneliness, disappointment, and mortality. Tokyo Story reveals the humble depicting of day to day life, without the “cheesy” music heard in a family drama series on a Friday night, depicting a parent who sits down with a child for a reaffirming talk about life.  As the youngest daughter, Kyoko remarks to Noriko, “Isn’t life disappointing?” to which Noriko’s replies, “Yes, it is,” Tokyo Story captures scenes of interactions between family that is at once raw and heartbreaking. 

I would have students write about the themes in this movie and select a quote that resonates with them to focus on.  They may consider some of the following quotes:

“You can’t serve your parents from the grave.” (twice mentioned)

“I’ve had enough of wars.”

“To lose your children is hard but living with them isn’t easy either.”

“I’m afraid we expect too much from our children.”

“We can’t expect too much from our children. Times have changed.”

“What’s the point of becoming a family?”

“Isn’t life disappointing?” and “Yes, it is.”