Friday, March 23, 2007

March 23rd Log

1941, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan

Repeat Viewing, DVD

The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family is one of the few upper-class family films Ozu made but it very much captures the essence of what he would later master in his gendai-geki films. This film marks Ozu's earliest transition into his stage of postwar masterpiece. Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family is the first of two films Ozu made during the war (this film was made after Ozu spent two years fighting China in the Sino-Japanese war). Ozu's personal experience certainly reflect in the film but this also stands as a key transition from his early work and his postwar films, as Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family captures various elements of each era. Again at the center of the family lies the separation of family which is caused by the untimely death of the father. The film recalls Ozu's postwar films Tokyo Story (in it's tensions between generations) and End of the Summer (in in the deconstruction of the family), but also reveals some of his early work as the family begins to suffer with financial difficulties. This film displays early traces of Ozu's mastery with visual expression and composition, as it marked his first collaboration with cinematographer Atsuta Yuharu (who he worked with on almost every film afterwards). This film also was the first box office success in Japan for Ozu who would soon become known as "The most Japanese of all directors", which at the time made his films nearly inaccessible to those outside of Japan.

>> More on Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family @ A2P Cinema's Yasujiro Ozu website HERE

>>> Here is a scene from The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family:


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