Tokyo Chorus

A young functionary in a Tokyo insurance office stands up for a colleague, loses his job as a result, and ends up distributing flyers on the street, struggling to support his wife and three children. Film historian Tadao Sato has described this 1931 Japanese silent, a major work by Yasujiro Ozu, as a cheerful tragedy, and it shows Ozu’s sense of physicality at its most poetic. Striking in its similarity to Hollywood movies of the Depression era, it synthesizes much of Ozu’s previous work; in some respects I prefer his silent films over everything that followed, and this is an excellent introduction to them. In Japanese with subtitles. 90 min. (JR)

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