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On tonite: Tokyo Story


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As part of TCM's Import series, Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story airs tonight.  A sweet and sad tale of an older couple's journey to Tokyo to visit their children, only to find there isn't much room for them, it is perhaps Ozu's most accessible movie for Western audiences.  The situation provides plenty of opportunity for observations on filial affection, insincerity, generosity, and ingratitude, among others.  Even though it was made over sixty (sixty!) years ago, and in Japan, it remains incisively relevant for modern life for families around the world, as well as America, dealing with the differences between generations, the dispersal of children, and parents made superfluous.


People familiar with Japanese and Ozu movies will recognize actors he used regularly: Haruko Sugimura, Chishu Ryu, and especially Setsuko Hara.  The last, of course, the great actress in an atypical supporting role.  However, it's one of her most achingly beautiful performances as the widow of one of the couple's sons.  Don't miss it.

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