The BFI presents three films by Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu.
Melodrama is not a word usually associated with Ozu's quietly poetic oeuvre but his post-war Early Spring (1956) and Tokyo Twilight (1957) combine darker elements with his idiosyncratic style to create powerful dramas.
WOMAN OF TOKYO (Tokyo No Onna) This silent drama sees Ozu experimenting with the cutaways that would become so associated with his later style. Chikako (Yoshiko Okada) works hard to pay her brothers Ryoichi’s (Ureo Egawa) college fees, but disaster looms when he learns the true nature of her work.
EARLY SPRING (Soshun) Made after Tokyo Story (1953), Early Spring focuses on the problems of young salaried workers. Shoji (Ryu Ikebe) and his wife Masako (Chikage Awashima), struggle with a family tragedy. When Shoji's interest turns to the office flirt, the couple's fragile peace is threatened.
Japan / 1933 +1956 / black & white / Japanese intertitles and audio with English subtitles / DVD9 /45 minutes + 139 minutes /Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps)
Disc two: TOKYO TWILIGHT (Tokyo Boshoku) Ozu's last black and white film is a masterpiece of atmospheric chiaroscuro. Abandoned by their mother, sisters Akiko (Ineko Arima) and Takako (Setsuko Hara) live with their father Shukichi (Chishu Ryu). When Akiko falls into desperate trouble, she turns away from her family.
Japan / 1957 / black & white / Japanese with English subtitles / DVD9 / 135 minutes /Dolby Digital mono audio (224kbps)
Optional score for Woman of Tokyo by Ed Hughes commissioned exclusively for the BFI.
Illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essays from Asian cinema experts Tony Rayns and Alexander Jacoby.