• Japan
  • 1934
  • 86 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • Japanese
  •  

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 reunites 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.

Credits

DirectorYasujiro Ozu
Story by"James Maki"
Script (after the American film The Barker) byTadao Ikeda
CinematographyHideo Mohara
Art directionToshio Hamada
Lighting byToshimichi Nakajima
EditingHideo Mohara
Cinematography assistantsYuhara Atsuta and Masao Irie

Film Essays

Stories of Floating Weeds

By Donald Richie April 19, 2004

“Floating weeds, drifting down the leisurely river of our lives,” has long been a favored metaphor in Japanese prose and poetry. This plant, the ukigusa (duckweed in English), floating . . . Read more »

Clippings

Donald Richie Live!

May 06, 2009

Donald Richie recently came through the United States on his eighty-fifth-birthday tour, and along the way he stopped in Berkeley for a conversation with longtime friend, Telluride codirector, . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Stories of Floating Weeds

By Donald Richie April 19, 2004

“Floating weeds, drifting down the leisurely river of our lives,” has long been a favored metaphor in Japanese prose and poetry. This plant, the ukigusa (duckweed in English), floating . . . Read more »