Eclipse 1957: 東京暮色

Ozu is mixing it up! This character is placed mid-shot as usual, but he’s not staring into the camera! He’s looking slightly to the left of the camera!!1! OZU IS INNOVATING!

Oh, right, hi, welcome back to the Late Ozu Box Set Live Blogging Experience.

I think Ozu has the most movies in the Criterion Eclipse series — twelve films? I enjoyed his early movies a lot, but the first one on this Late Ozu box set seemed… scattered? This is another two and a half hour family drama thing, I think.

I mean, it’s Ozu’s thing — but it does feel like he’s not really making an effort in these scenes: Just doing the same shot over and over again.

And the thing is that the shot works — when the actors are compelling. The guy here isn’t really.

I’m really digging this movie, cats. It’s kinda funky? I mean, there’s a lot being left unsaid, and there’s a lot being said obliquely. It’s like… a melodrama, but shifting between subtle and forthright at the drop of a hat.

The liner notes on the DVD talks about this movie being “sordid” and how Japanese audiences didn’t much like it, but… it’s not at all? It’s depicting these characters, making their best choices, and not judging them. It’s, like, really humane?

Tokyo Twilight. Yasujirô Ozu. 1957.

This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.

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