Thursday, May 23, 2013

FLOATING WEEDS (1959) - JAPANESE


A masterpiece in terms of cinematography and introduction of characters.

For nearly 5 minutes, we just know there is a troupe coming to town to perform a play. Is this story about the play, or anything to be derived from that, does it relate to the people of the town who are there for the first few minutes, we can hardly make out anything. Yasujiro Ozu the director of this film seems to be a master of intrigue. The beginning is so very intriguing that the first 15 minutes made me sit through the whole film. 

Also, the unrelated shots that are shot geometrically with perfect symmetry. Be it of the light house, or the rain drops through windows or close ups or long shots. I was amazed by a family drama story being told with such perfection of framing 

It's a story of a father and so, the father knows the son, but the son does not know the relationship between the mother and this man and only at the end realises that the man who often comes to his house is his father. There is a confrontation scene that's done well. But above all actors, I loved the acting of the stepmother (don't remember her name) who determines to undo the conspiracy and unveil the relationship between her husband and a woman, he frequently visits. 

It's a movie, thats simple in many ways but yet the grandeur is bought to it by the intrigue and the sublime cinematography that's done beautifully. Through the journey of this film, I have understood that Yasujiro Ozu himself was one of the finest cinematographers ever. 

I am going with 3/5 for a movie that is good, but a 5/5 must be given for cinematography alone. This one must be watched for the way camera is handled. 

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