Tokyo Twilight/Tôkyô Boshoku

We’re still awaiting some specially written program notes so here are some words from the online catalogue of the recently completed 2018 Berlin Film Festival where the new Digital restoration by the Shochiku Company had its World Premiere. More later…..

Yasujiro OZU

Born in 1903, died in 1963. He grew up in Tokyo and went to school in Matsuzaka, where he also worked as a teaching assistant at a village school. In 1923, he began working as an assistant cameraman for the Shochiku film company. He later became an assistant director and, in 1927, a director for the company, which produced 51 of his 54 films.

Yasujiro Ozu

The Film

Their mother abandoned sisters Takako and Akiko a long time ago, and their father has had to raise his two daughters alone. Now that they are grown, the respected businessman recognises how unhappy they are. After a fight with her alcoholic husband, Takako returns to live with her father. Her younger sister Akiko, who yearns for a different life, is also part of the household. Akiko has an affair with student Ken, a drifter who spends his time gambling. When she gets pregnant, he cuts her off. When she goes looking for him at a mah-jongg parlour, she meets a woman who knows things about Akiko’s childhood that only a mother could …

 The theme of the end of a family living together is one that Japanese directing maestro Yasujiro Ozu often reworks, and here he has given it a dramatic and sombre twist. In a barren, cold Tokyo, a young woman is broken by her father’s harsh nature and silence. This largely-unknown work is considered Ozu’s darkest post-war film. (Berlin Festival program)


Japan, 1957 140 mins. Black/White, 4K DCP, Digitally restored version 2017

Director: Yasujirô Ozu

Screenplay: Kôgo Noda, Yasujirô Ozu. Director of Photography: Yûharu Atsuta. Editor: Yoshiyasu Hamamura. Art Director: Tatsuo Hamada. Assistant Director: Masahiro Shinoda. Sound: Yoshisaburô Senoo. Camera Department: Akira Aomatsu. English Subtitle Translation: Don Brown.

Cast: Setsuko Hara (Takako Numata), Ineko Arima (Akiko Sugiyama), Chishû Ryû (Shûkichi Sugiyama), Isuzu Yamada (Kisako Aijima), Teiji Takahashi (Noboru Kawaguchi), Masami Taura (Kenji Kimura), Haruko Sugimura (Shigeko Takeuchi), Sô Yamamura (Seki Sekiguchi), Kinzô Shin (Yasuo Numata), Kamatari Fujiwara (Gihei Shimomura, noodle vendor), Nobuo Nakamura    (Sakae Aiba), Seiji Miyaguchi (Policeman).