11 May 2004 | artist_signal
One of Ozu's first strong tragic pieces
Ozu's "Tokyo no Onna" (Women of Tokyo) is a short film that delivers alot of tragic import for its length, timing and execution. It is a simple tale, concerning the lives of a Japanese college student and his sister. Things go awry when he finds out that his sister is actually a "hostess"/prostitute at a local bar, and that she is actually financing his college education by means of that career. There are a series of fine indoor shots, perfectly lighted and composed in a dark, (pre-film noir) mood. There is one great outdoor shot I remember, and that is when the sister looks outside, seeing the steam coming from a nearby chimney, and hanging clothes/socks out to dry. The scene where the student/main character walks in the dismal street is also nicely done. Overall, the film is a great example of a strong short film narrative, and has a slightly (unexpected) tragic twist at the end.