Floating Weeds 1959

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(10) IMDb 7.9/10
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This 1959 Ozu production centers on the likable but fallible leader of an itinerant acting troupe (floating weeds being the Japanese name for such groups), Kimajuro, played brilliantly by Ganjiro Nakamura. The film opens on a lazy, stagnant river as the troupe lays spread about on a boat deck drifting downstream. It's obvious that they're a ragged bunch as they sit fanning themselves and smoking on deck. The boat pulls into a quiet fishing village where the troupe proceeds to canvass the town, hanging up posters and performing impromptu stunts for the inhabitants. Kimajuro and his actress mistress, Sumiko (Machiko Kyo), head to the theatre and secure their cramped quarters above the theatre's main hall. Kimajuro leaves to pay a visit to a local saki bar owned by Oyoshi (Haruko Sugimura), who, years previous, had conceived a child with Kimajuro. The child has grown into a strapping young man, Kiyoshi (Hiroshi Kawaguchi), who has a good job at the post office. Kimajuro, although clearly proud of his son, has refused to take responsibility for the child and Kiyoshi thinks Kimajuro is merely his uncle. Unbeknownst to Kimajuro, Sumiko has discovered his secret, and, infuriated, hires a young actress to seduce Kiyoshi. Terrified that his son is falling for this woman of loose morals, Kimajuro has to decide what's most important: keeping his secret safe or saving his son by acknowledging his paternity.~ Brian Whitener, All Movie Guide

Starring:
Ayako Wakao, Hiroshi Kawaguchi
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 59 minutes
Starring Ayako Wakao, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Haruko Sugimura, Machiko Kyo, Ganjiro Nakamura
Director Yasujiro Ozu
Genres Drama
Studio EUREKA ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 3 December 2012
Main languages Japanese
Subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 59 minutes
Starring Ayako Wakao, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Haruko Sugimura, Machiko Kyo, Ganjiro Nakamura
Director Yasujiro Ozu
Genres Drama
Studio EUREKA ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 3 December 2012
Main languages Japanese
Subtitles English

Other Formats

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Mcmullin on 26 Feb. 2010
Format: DVD
I really recommend this film for those who enjoy a story about real human emotions.One feels empathy for all the characters because they share the problems and faults of most ordinary people. It is beautifully filmed and I would say it is a masterpiece as I can find no fault in it.It is the sort of film I would happily watch again.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By David Simpson on 1 Jun. 2004
Format: DVD
Floating Weeds is a light hearted drama set in a small coastal town in the of south Japan, the story is based around a troop of travailing actors that travel from place to place playing traditional Japanese stories in the local theatres, if they fail to draw a large enough audience to the show it may mean the end of the road for the troop but the master Komajuro played by Ganjiro Nakamura is confident of their success, it has been 12 years since the troop was last in town and the master has more than one purpose in mind when he visits, on arrival he first calls to see an old flame and her son Kyushu, it is soon clear that Kyushu a young post office clerk has no idea that the visiting gentleman is not his uncle but really his father, Kyushu is not the only one who is unaware of this secret, Machiko Kyo plays Sumiko the Masters jealous mistress, when she finds out the masters secret she sets out to create trouble. In the background of all this the film focuses on the male members of the troop who are more interested in finding a woman and cheating each other to care much about the affairs of the Master, In this film Ozu tries to show us how the old must make way for the new and how we must adapt in order not to be left behind, this is a true Japanese classic and a must see for any Japanese film enthusiast.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Peter Scott-presland on 10 Nov. 2008
Format: DVD
Ozu is a world class director with a formidable filmography to his name, and this is one of his best movies. If you asked me who he was like, I would have to say that the nearest comparison would be with Jean Renoir, in that he is a director who loves his flawed characters - all of them, including the rogues - and he therefore has a life-affirming kind of compassion. But his style is all his own: characters always filmed from a fixed camera three feet off the ground, the height of a seated Japanese person; no pan shots; exquisite use of colour; only the most sparing use of exteriors; allowing quite important events to take place offscreen (here a robbery where the troupe loses all its money); punctuation with superb still life shots which are both a breathing space and tell you something about what has been going on.

Like so many Ozu movies, it's about the relationship between the older and younger generation. The story starts simply: a ragged troupe of strolling players (the floating weeds of the title) arrives in a run-down little port to give some shows. They come full of hope and excitement. The supporting players are looking forward to finding girls; the leader of the troupe, Komajuro, is visiting his ex-mistress and his son Kiyoshi (who doesn't know Komajuro is his father) for the first time in 12 years. Over the first thirty minutes nothing much happens, except to establish the characters, but by the alchemy of great film-making we are hooked into caring about these people. Ozu tells his story at his own pace, in his own time, and we go with the flow. Gradually the story gets more sombre.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Suzy on 14 Sept. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A group of Kabuki actors tours around Japan and arrives at a small town on the coast. Here, the director Komajuro wishes to contact again his past lover. By attempting to do so, his present lover interferes, being violently jealous. The result is disastrous for the family and the troupe. Erroneously denying his son to adhere to his own feelings and values which he identifies as to cheap - even though they are his own - Kamajuro realises that in the end he must acknowledge the instability of human emotions, their individual truth and force, the difference between youth and old age when faced when resolving problems. He learns to forgive and thus connects again to the possibilities of life.
An enchanting movie with gracefully formulated messages
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Balthazar Lenz on 11 Feb. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The high-definition work of the blu-ray has not done miracles, but the colors are improved and it is a pleasure to see the red of the flowers, the green of the plants, the blue of the sky in high-definition. The film is deeply moving, one of my favorites, a pure jewel.
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