Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story (Tokyo Monogatari) follows an aging couple, Tomi and Sukichi, on their journey from their rural village to visit their two married children in bustling, postwar Tokyo. Their reception is disappointing: too busy to entertain them, their children send them off to a health spa. After Tomi falls ill she and Sukichi return home, while the children, grief-stricken, hasten to be with her. From a simple tale unfolds one of the greatest of all Japanese films. Starring Ozu regulars Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara, the film reprises one of the director’s favorite themes—that of generational conflict—in a way that is quintessentially Japanese and yet so universal in its appeal that it continues to resonate as one of cinema’s greatest masterpieces.
Director Ozu Yasujiro. 136 mins, 1953. In Japanese with Subtitles
Presented in collaboration with the Amherst College Department of Art and the History of Art, the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, and The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, in conjunction with Reinventing Tokyo: Japan's Largest City in the Artistic Imagination, August 25 to December 30, 2012, featuring over 100 woodblock prints, photographs and objects, portraying Tokyo in light of the city's continual reinvention in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Film series sponsored by the Toshiba International Foundation
With introduction by Prof. Timothy Van Compernolle of Amherst College
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