Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Chorus

Tokyo Chorus

Combining three prevalent genres of the day—the student comedy, the salaryman film, and the domestic drama—Ozu created this warmhearted family comedy, and demonstrated that he was truly coming into his own as a cinema craftsman. The setup is simple: Low wage–earning dad Okajima is depending on his bonus, and so are his wife and children, yet payday doesn't exactly go as planned. Exquisite and economical, Ozu's film alternates between brilliantly mounted comic sequences and heartrending working-class realities.

Film Info

  • Yasujiro Ozu
  • Japan
  • 1931
  • 90 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Japanese

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 10: Silent Ozu—Three Family Comedies

Silent Ozu—Three Family Comedies

DVD Box Set

3 Discs

$35.96

Tokyo Chorus
Cast
Tokihiko Okada
Shinji Okajima
Emiko Yagumo
Tsuma Sugako
Hideo Sugawara
Sono Chounan
Hideko Takamine
Sono Choujo
Tatsuo Saito
Omura Sensei
Chouko Iida
Sensei no tusma
Credits
Director
Yasujiro Ozu
Screenplay
Komatsu Kitamura
Screenplay
Kogo Noda
Cinematography
Hideo Shigehara
Editing
Hideo Shigehara

From The Current

The Signature Style of Yasujiro Ozu
The Signature Style of Yasujiro Ozu

With his singular and unwavering style, Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu disregarded the established rules of cinema and created a visual language all his own. Precise compositions, contemplative pacing, low camera angles, and elliptical storytelling a…

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Eclipse Series 10:
Silent Ozu—Three Family Comedies

There’s an irony to the fact that Japanese master filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu lived his life as a bachelor, for he made some of the world’s most insightful, lived-in, and emotionally authentic films about marriage and parenthood. Today he is primarily…

By Michael Koresky


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Yasujiro Ozu

Director

Yasujiro Ozu
Yasujiro Ozu

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.