It’s a remake of his stylistic breakthrough 1934 film A Story of Floating Weeds— it’s where he first started his cutaways/pillow shots. Ozu is almost always basically remaking his own films as far as both narratives and styles so I have zero problem with his 25 year-old update here in color
From Ebert: “Sooner or later, everyone who loves movies comes to Ozu. He is the quietest and gentlest of directors, the most humanistic, the most serene. But the emotions that flow through his films are strong and deep.”
Ozu’s color compositions are stunningly beautiful—that opening is a highlight- the lighthouse and bottle in the foreground. Then he cuts to the boats in close-up blocking the mise-en-scene like Von Sternberg (but beyond Von Sternberg) and then the red post office box. It’s the best opening of any Ozu film to date.
I couldn’t find a pic but the red and blue glass window paneling is a wow as well- there’s another store with black and white crane patterns
A great in-joke here where one of the floating weeds kabuki actors tells a female potential admirer that his name is Mifune
Flowers galore from Ozu- we’ve seen it since he hit his color period- red red red here
The sea and lighthouse are characters in the film- I love the fishing art-frame worthy shots
Reds galore- flowers, jello, pen, umbrella, flags, bike in the foreground, watermelon—Ozu is picking food for his characters to eat based on color
The film’s simple narrative has some nostalgia, some small city charm, and some realism—the Ganjirô Nakamura is a bit of an bastard
Another Ozu touch, along with the pillow shots and low-height camera is the dialogue facing directly at the camera
Stunning shot of the two ex-lovers talking with the flower garden in the background
We have the generational misconnect here- rears its ugly head late
Even the wooden spikes at the train station have a red top—Ozu’s a genius
No happy ending—it’s a return to form- continual bounding and floating—red light on the back of the train
[…] Floating Weeds – Ozu […]
From time to time we cut to 3 of the other actors in the troupe – those who aren’t part of the main storyline – as they sort of make interesting observations on the world around them. Do you think this could have influenced Spike Lee in Do the Right Thing? The cutaways to Coconut Sid, ML and Sweet Dick Willie in his film are similar I feel.