Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Original title: Ukigusa
Japan, 1959. Daiei Studios. Screenplay by Kogo Noda, Yasujiro Ozu, based on a screenplay by Tadao Ikeda. Cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa. Produced by Masaichi Nagata. Music by Takanobu Saito. Production Design by Hideo Matsuyama. Film Editing by Toyo Suzuki.
This Yasujiro Ozu masterpiece (remade from his own silent film A Story of Floating Weeds) is about a troupe of actors who travel from town to town performing theatrical plays. In the town where they have recently stopped, the leader of the group (Ganjirô Nakamura) goes and stays with the woman he once loved but couldn’t marry because of his work, and their son who is unaware that the man visiting them is his father. Nakamura’s current mistress (Machiko Kyô), the theatre group’s lead actress, gets wind of his visiting this woman and becomes incredibly jealous, but is kept in the dark and not told the entire story. Filmed in breathtakingly beautiful colour, the film is rich with nuanced emotions and subtle heartbreaks, fully-fleshed characters and a captivating story. You simply don’t want to miss it.
The Criterion Collection: #232