Retrospective 2016

Ukigusa monogatari

Eine Geschichte über Wasserpflanzen
Ozu Yasujiro
Japan 1934
86 min

A STORY OF FLOATING WEEDS marks a key movement that would later define Ozu’s mastery. It is one of his earliest films to examine not only the family, but the disappointment or deconstruction of the Japanese family – a theme throughout his later career. The film is among Ozu’s more melodramatic films, yet the melodrama is presented with irony and realism through Ozu’s essential focus of character over plot.
Everything comes together beautifully as Ozu sets up the emotional expectations before quickly changing them again to capture a realistic emotional response and the authentic feelings and cycle of living. For that the film is successful and remains an interesting early achievement of Ozu’s career. However more than just its influence, the film embodies Ozu’s mastery way of taking a simple melodramatic narrative and subtly transforming it into something deeper and even more spiritual. By “floating” along the landscapes of Japan and through simple and quiet little details, Ozu transforms the film into one of feeling – a feeling that is both happy and tragic. (Donald Richie)

  • Sakamoto Takeshi - Kihachi
  • Iida Choko - Otsune
  • Mitsui Hideo - Shinkichi
  • Yagumo Rieko - Otaka
  • Tsubouchi Yoshiko - Otoki
  • Ikeda Tadao based on a story by James Maki
  • Ozu Yasujirô
  • Mohara Hideo
  • Mohara Hideo
  • Saito Taizo
Shochiku Co. Ltd.
35 mm
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