(aka "Tokyo monogatari" or "Tokyo Story")

directed by Yasujiro Ozu
Japan 1953

 

2003 marked the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu who died of cancer in 1963. Film fans around the world were treated to theatrical retrospectives of his major works. Critics note "Tokyo Story" as his masterwork achievement, and rightly so. 


What I personally noted about this film was Ozu's style of the 180 degree cuts when there is conversation. Unlike modern cinema pans and multiple cameras and angles, I found the flow of these dialogues took some getting used to. I can only assume these are "cuts" - individual takes which shows immense effort and choreography. I can appreciate his use of them for "allowing each character to impart his/her lines with adequate importance" without distraction - akin to not "cutting a person off" in mid-conversation. In repeat viewings although I was aware of this convention, it was far less noticeable to me. This type of strict adherence to a particular style is so wonderful to see. It signifies to me that the director was not influenced to manipulate his vision as we see so often in cinema today. This was Ozu's trademark and it works for the most important evaluation of any work of art - longevity. This film sits proudly as a DVD in my collection - one I can revisit repeatedly for the rest of my life. out of

 

Gary W. Tooze

 Poster and Script Book

Theatrical Release: November 3rd, 1953 - Japan

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews   Ozu site

DVD Comparison:

Criterion -  Region 1 - NTSC vs. Oasis - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Pavel for the Oasis captures!

(Criterion -  Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Oasis - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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Distribution Criterion Collection Spine # 217 - Region 1 - NTSC Oasis (Korea)
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 2:15:56   2:16:08
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.12 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.4 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Criterion

 

Bitrate:

 

Oasis

 

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono) 

Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono) 

Subtitles English, None English, Korean and none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

Disc one:

  • Newly restored digital transfer of film with improved subtitle translation
  • Audio commentary by Ozu-scholar David Desser, editor of Ozu's Tokyo Story
  • Original trailer

Disc two:

  • I Lived, but...(1983), a two-hour documentary about the life and career of Ozu
  • Talking with Ozu: a 30-minute tribute to Yasujiro Ozu, featuring directors Stanley Kwan, Aki Kurasmaki, Claire Denis, Lindsay Anderson, Paul Schrader, Wim Wenders, and Hsiao-Hsien
  • New essay by David Bordwell, author of Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema
  • Number of discs: 2

DVD Release Date: October 28, 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 27

Release Information:
Studio: Oasis (Korea)

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: October 28, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 27

Comments:

Not much needs to be said here - again we have a question s to whether Criterion "sold" the rights and image to a Korean company or they simply bootlegged. The image quality is poorer on the Oasis with excessive contrast boosting. They have the same menus. It has AWFUL yellow subtitles and virtually no extras. I hate seeing things like this, but I guess it is a factor of $'s. Buy the Criterion!  

 - Gary W. Tooze



 

Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Richie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

Check out more in "The Library"




DVD Menus

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Criterion -  Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Oasis - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Criterion -  Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Oasis - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


 


(Criterion -  Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Oasis - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Criterion -  Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Oasis - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion -  Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Oasis - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Criterion -  Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Oasis - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion -  Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Oasis - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


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Report Card:

Image:

Criterion

Sound:

-

Extras: Criterion
Menu: -

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...