Director: Yasujiro Ozu

1952, Japan, 115

Screenwriter: Ozu and Kogo Noda

Cast: Shin Saburi, Michiyo Kogure, Koji Tsuruta, Chikage Awashima.


Fans of Japanese culture have two movies to be excited about this month: The Shoplifters, and in a crisp new 4K Ultra High Definition, a restored, rarely seen Ozu masterpiece. It is the upheaval after the earthquake of World War II that fascinates the director of Floating Weeds and Tokyo Story. With humor and pathos, Ozu looks at how one family reacts to change. An older childless couple offer to help their niece with an arranged marriage – the last thing she wants. As the couple is exposed to new freedoms outside the home, from baseball stadiums to pachinko parlors to ramen shops, their certainties – and their marriage – begin to falter.

“If in our century, something sacred still existed, then for me that would have to be the work of the Japanese director – Yasujiro Ozu. Never before has the cinema been so close to its essence and its purpose, that we may learn about ourselves.” – filmmaker Wim Wenders.