(aka "Ukigusa monogatari" or "A Story of Floating Weeds")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/ozu.htm
Japan 19
34

In 1959, Yasujiro Ozu remade his 1934 silent classic A Story of Floating Weeds in color with the celebrated cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu). Setting his later version in a seaside location, Ozu otherwise preserves the details of his elegantly simple plot wherein an aging actor returns to a small town with his troupe and reunities with his former lover and illegitimate son, a scenario that enrages his current mistress and results in heartbreak for all. Together, the films offer a unique glimpse into the evolution of one of cinema's greatest directors. A Story of Floating Weeds reveals Ozu in the midst of developing his mode of expression; Floating weeds reveals his distinct style at its pinnacle. In each, the director captures the joy and sadness in everyday life.

******

One of the last and best of Yasujiro Ozu's silent films (1934), which he remade toward the end of his career, this has a fairly standard soap-opera plot--the lead actor in an impoverished acting troupe returns to a remote mountain village to meet his illegitimate son for the first time--but, needless to say, the Japanese master works wonders with it. Like other Ozu films of the period, this has a great deal of camera movement; stylistic purification would later lead him to eliminate such expressive devices.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's capsule from the Chicago reader located HERE

Theatrical Release: November 23rd, 1934 - Japan

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews    Yasujiro Ozu Site

DVD Review: Criterion -  Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Criterion Collection Spine # 232 - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:26:12
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.29 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:

 

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:


Disc One: A Story of Floating Weeds
• New high-definition digital transfer with restored image and sound
• Audio commentary by Japanese film historian Donald Richie
• New score by noted silent-film composer Donald Sosin
• New and improved English subtitle translation by Donald Richie
• Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Disc Two: Floating Weeds
• New high-definition digital transfer with restored image and sound
• Audio commentary by film critic Roger Ebert
• Original theatrical trailer
• New and improved English subtitle translation by Donald Richie
• Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

DVD Release Date: April 20th, 2004

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Chapters: 16

Comments:

The image is a little soft and dark, but the film is 70 years old. I see some film grain and although it can be slightly hazy at times, there is occasional sharpness visible. I suspect this was the best that could be done with this film. The Extras are extensive including commentary. I wish it was clearer and brighter, but will happily take what I can get.  out of      

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"




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