Sunday, December 15, 2019

An Inn in Tokyo (1935)

I picked up yesterday on the series I first began on May 14, 2015 and last wrote about on April 19, 2019. 

Not much has changed, as far as I can tell, with Ozu's style and cinema since his previous work, A Story of Floating Weeds.  What struck me the most in this film was the discipline behind the movement of Ozu's camera.  Every scene contained a static camera with the exception of several scenes that tracked along with the movement of the characters walking.  Ozu never moved the camera to adjust the framing of a scene or to accent the emotions of the actors on screen.

At the head of the film, it mentioned that some effort had gone into restoring the film as Ozu had envisioned.  Perhaps there were some lost shots, and so my next observation might simply be born of necessity.  But there were a couple of moments that contained some relatively quick cutting.  For instance the shot that goes from the kids saying, "let's eat dinner" to the family inside of the restaurant feasting on their food.

Thematically the film contains an interesting echo to a moment in Ozu's earlier film, A Mother Should be Loved.  Again Ozu has a character, who out of financial necessity must take work inside of a brothel.   

As Ozu's final silent film (in 1935!), I must also point out his masterful use of shots that absent of sound become all of the more effective.  The two that affected me the most are when Takeshi pours himself an overflowing glass of sake and the scene when he walks the streets and a couple of shots of fireworks burst onscreen.

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