Yasujiro Ozu

A Story of Floating Weeds

A Story of Floating Weeds

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.

Film Info

  • Yasujiro Ozu
  • Japan
  • 1934
  • 86 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Japanese

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image
  • 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

Available In

Collector's Set

A Story of Floating Weeds/Floating Weeds: Two Films by Yasujiro Ozu

A Story of Floating Weeds/Floating Weeds

DVD Box Set

2 Discs

$31.96

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image
  • 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

A Story of Floating Weeds
Cast
Takeshi Sakamoto
Kihachi
Choko Iida
Otsune
Koji (Hideo) Mitsui
Shinkichi
Rieko Yagumo
Otaka
Yoshiko Tsubouchi
Otoki
Tokkan Kozo
Tomibo
Reiko Tani
His father
Credits
Director
Yasujiro Ozu
Story by
"James Maki"
Script (after the American film The Barker) by
Tadao Ikeda
Cinematography
Hideo Mohara
Art direction
Toshio Hamada
Lighting by
Toshimichi Nakajima
Editing
Hideo Mohara
Cinematography assistants
Yuhara Atsuta
Cinematography assistants
Masao Irie

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Explore

Yasujiro Ozu

Director

Yasujiro Ozu has often been called the “most Japanese” of Japan’s great directors. From 1927, the year of his debut for Shochiku studios, to 1962, when, a year before his death at age sixty, he made his final film, Ozu consistently explored the rhythms and tensions of a country trying to reconcile modern and traditional values, especially as played out in relations between the generations. Though he is best known for his sobering 1953 masterpiece Tokyo Story, the apex of his portrayals of the changing Japanese family, Ozu began his career in the thirties, in a more comedic, though still socially astute, mode, with such films as I Was Born, But . . . and Dragnet Girl. He then gradually mastered the domestic drama during the war years and afterward, employing both physical humor, as in Good Morning, and distilled drama, as in Late Spring, Early Summer, and Floating Weeds. Though Ozu was discovered relatively late in the Western world, his trademark rigorous style—static shots, often from the vantage point of someone sitting low on a tatami mat; patient pacing; moments of transcendence as represented by the isolated beauty of everyday objects—has been enormously influential among directors seeking a cinema of economy and poetry.