Chicago Sun-Times - 03/30/1997
"...Sooner or later, everyone who loves movies comes to Ozu. He is the quietest and gentlest of directors, the most humanistic, the most serene..."
Sight and Sound - 01/01/2013
"[A] sublime film...one of those 'late' works in which an artist's favourite themes and motifs are revisited with both a new serenity and a willingness to accept the transitory quality of existence."
Total Film - 01/31/2013 4 stars out of 5 -- "Reflective, powerful and, like all the best Ozu, acceptingly sad."
In this sly and subtle Japanese morality tale, Yasujiro Ozu observes a stray Kabuki troupe as they follow their leader to a small coastal village. The troupe puts on a shambling performance and questions their vocation. Meanwhile, the troupe leader visits an old mistress and their illegitimate son who believes the man to be his uncle. Allegiances and alliances are thrown into doubt as the troupe leader's past and current lovers clash, as do various generations when the jealous current mistress promotes a romance between a young actress and the leader's young son.
Yasujiro Ozu changes his traditional focus on the family only to recreate it among the cantankerous and meandering travels of a small time kabuki troupe. This sumptuously filmed melodrama, a color remake of an earlier Ozu silent film, A STORY OF FLOATING WEEDS, follows the troupe as they arrive at a small coastal village. The leader of the troupe, Komajuro Arashi, has ulterior motives, a long overdue visit with a former mistress and their illegitimate son Kiyoshi. The boy has seen his father so infrequently, that he believes him to be his uncle. This confusion continues as the past and present mistresses encounter each other, and a young actress from the troupe attempts to seduce and subsequently falls in love with the leader's son at the bequest of the current jealous mistress. A kind of Japanese madcap love story, FLOATING WEEDS, as with many Ozu films, is tinged with melancholy and failure nevertheless. The troupe fails and lovers are spurned, people have aged and changed, generations bristle and life must go on.
Family Interaction |
FLOATING WEEDS is a remake of A STORY OF FLOATING WEEDS, Ozu's silent film from 1934.
Kazuo Miyagawa, the cinematographer for FLOATING WEEDS, also shot Japanese masterpieces RASHOMON, YOJIMBO and UGETSU.