Tokyo Story

D: Yasujiro Ozu
Shochiku/Ofuna (Takeshi Yamamoto)
Japan 1953
134 mins


W: Yasujiro Ozu & Kogo Noda
DP: Yuharu Atsuta
Ed: Yoshiyasu Hamamura
Mus: Takanobu Saito

Chishu Ryu (Shükichi Hirayama), Cheiko Higashiyama (Tomi Hirayama), So Yamamura (Kōichi Hirayama), Kuniko Miyake (Fumiko Hirayama), Haruko Sugimura (Shige Kaneko)

A mainstay on the majority of critics all-time favourites, Tokyo Story isn't a film for mass audiences, nor is it recommended to anyone who is looking for entertainment value. It's a film where not a lot happens, and that's entirely the point.
The low-key, mundane tale sees an elderly couple from the remote Japanese countryside travel to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo to visit their grown-up children, who are too busy with their own lives to have any time for their folks.
It's an arthouse focus on a generational gap and culture clash, with an underlying message that human interaction is important, regardless of how much it may lack excitement.
From a filmmaking standpoint, it's clear to see why the film is hailed as a masterpiece, utilising a style which was far from the norm back in 1953, filming shots from a kneeling POV (thus requiring sets with ceilings to be built), as well as characters delivering their lines as they face just off camera, as though it is the audience with whom they are speaking to.  This won't mean a lot to the average moviegoer, which makes this a difficult film to rate.
A classic, it may well be, but you probably wouldn't watch it twice.

Tokyo Story
Tokyo Story