• Currently (2018) ranked #73 on TSPDT. I’m not there but this is my second viewing (first in 10 years) and a revelation—it’s the first film of Ozu’s I think you could argue is a masterpiece
  • I don’t know enough about Haiku and Buddism to make the connections but there are many (much smarter) men and women who have done studies and made connections that could add layers
  • This film is known as the beginning of his sublime “late period” but that’s really a distinction marked by content. He rejects “melodrama”(A Hen in the Wind with the “I had to become a prostitute to pay for my son’s hospital bill” setup) and lets the camera settle in for the long-take, low height contemplative mood/tone. However, there are elements of this subject/content/narrative before Life with Father and A Hen in the Wind is extremely stylish with the mise-en-scene and pillow shots- here he’s really combining the two—and doing the best job of it to date.
  • Bitter sadness has rarely been put forth better on screen
  • I think this is 35mm but it’s said that he uses 50mm lens which is closest to the human eye
  • First film of his to star and feature Setsuko Hara—known as the “external virgin”- and she’s very good- as long-time collaborator with Ozu, Ryu
  • A family drama- devoid of drama like I said
  • Paced slower than normal life—many “pillow shots” (landscapes, clotheslines, trains) to rest from the action
  • Famous for the vase shot and the finale with the apple peeling— the vase back and forth with Hara’s face is a great piece of editing and the apple peeling is tragically sad and great acting from Ryu—I couldn’t find a good still from it but the set up for Ryu’s room as Ozu starts that scene is breathtakingly beautiful mise-en-scene— the film’s best
  • Camera certainly lingers an extra beat- lyrical and then to the cutaways
  • Love the bingo game for Ozu aficionados- Ryu, Time-Life building, Gary Cooper joke/reference, trains, laundry, family and generational relationship, obligations and duty
  • Magnificent opening montage of empty train station
  • Hara was the perfect Ozu actress because she has that great frozen smile
  • I think critics should forget the lazy Oedipal reading of the film
  • Very train crazy in the pillow shots
  • Again, there’s a distinction here with what Ozu is doing with cutaways and what a normal establishing shot is
  • Another mise-en-scene highlight is the framing of the two bikes on the beach and then the hill
  • Laundry is constantly hanging in the background of houses like a crowded Von Sternberg mise-en-scene
  • Vertical and horizontal lines of the house and halls creates framing devices—this with the pillow shot cutaway editing is what makes Ozu a master
  • Love Ryu’s grunts and vocalizations- such wisdom from his character to his daughter “happiness lies in the forging and effort”
  • Medication on obligation- life with father
  • It’s complex with the relationship—many critics have noted that only the sister walks away happy but she is doing the best she can and Hara’s character said she couldn’t marry because she feels obligated to her father. There’s no easy answer
  • Stunning interiors abound
  • The pillow shots really ramp up in the last 20 minutes as the film gets more contemplative and push this from a must-see film to a masterpiece for me (and of course that ending is fantastic—splendid mise-en-scene, the apple falls, pillow shot cutaway to waves)— wonderful
  • Must-See/Masterpiece