Close Up

13 January 2019: Tokyo Twilight


Tokyo Twilight
Yasujirō Ozu, 1957, 141 min
Japanese with English subtitles

"Some of Ozu’s most striking compositions grace Tokyo Twilight, whose dusky title suggests sadness, transience, ambiguity – appropriate for this tale of a family’s downfall. Setsuko Hara is magnificent as a woman who leaves her abusive, alcoholic husband and returns home to her father (Chishu Ryu) and younger sister. The latter, pregnant and abandoned by her boyfriend, undergoes an abortion before both sisters discover a family secret that has devastating consequences. Set in a Tokyo quarter of pachinko and mahjong parlors, rundown bars, and noodle shops in the gray chill of midwinter, Tokyo Twilight seems more histrionic than many Ozu dramas. Yet the low-slung camera shots, straight cuts, and severely delimited space, the marvelously detailed soundtrack and distinctive music, combine to make the film classically Ozu.” – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our season on Yasujirō Ozu