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Tokyo Story / Tokyo Monagotari / Tokyo Monogotari

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Tookey's Rating
10 /10
Average Rating
9.76 /10
Chishu Ryu , Chieko Higashiyama , So Yamamura
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Directed by: Yasujiro Ozu
Written by: Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda

Released: 1953
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: Japan
Length: 135


Two simple, well-meaning Japanese grandparents (Chishu Ryu and Chieko Higashiyama) make one last visit to their children and grandchildren in Tokyo and Osaka, and discover that their family has drifted apart, spiritually as well as geographically, and failed to live up to expectations.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Only too often, “classics” of art-house cinema prove to be overpraised, dated and pretentious. But that is not the case with this masterpiece by one of the greatest Japanese film-makers. In other hands, the story might have been the stuff of satirical black comedy, with barbs at the mercenary, self-centred, younger generation. Ozu takes a more sympathetic and mature approach: he accepts it as a sad but inevitable fact that children do grow away from their parents.
His style of shooting matches this fair-minded attitude. The camera remains slightly distanced and objective, but never cruel or detached: he is merely keen to show that there are at least two sides to virtually every question. And cutaway shots of the environment surrounding the characters emphasize that they do not exist in a vacuum: they are at the mercy of differing social, economic, industrial demands. The result, though leisurely by modern standards, is one of the great cinematic experiences.

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