11 December 2013 | kpk10
Discover 1950's Japan
This film is awash with rich color, much like those of Douglas Sirk in 1950s Hollywood - remarkable, given that this is Ozu's debut effort in color filmmaking. And the film is indeed very much of its time - 1958 and a transition to "contemporary" Japan. In the course of our protagonist's day he goes from an office, with its rows of "company men" toiling over paperwork in a modern high rise, to his traditional home with tatami mats. He sheds his Western clothes each evening by dropping them on the floor (for his wife to pick up) and transforming himself into the stern paterfamilias in his yukata.
This is a domestic tale of a man and the three (or four) young women he advises in matters of the heart. No King Lear, this is rather a Japanese "Father Knows Best - not". Travel gently to this non-ironic look at a Japanese family in the era of early "Mad Men", and let the color,time period,and Ozu's visual clarity carry you along.