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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two great films from the master of minimalism
Ozu Yasujirô was one of the greatest film directors and after decades of obscurity outside Japan it is cause for celebration that at last BFI are doing him proud by releasing all 36 of his surviving films on both DVD and Blu-ray. The way the films are being released is also to be applauded. The earliest films have been offered in box sets, the Student Comedies and the...
Published 13 months ago by Film Buff

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11 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad transfer of a masterwork.
I am sorry to disagree with a previous review, but the image quality is rather bad, heartbreakingly disappointing. Details are barely sharper than in the DVD, and contrast is surprisingly lower (when compared to the US Criterion release, my only other version). But the worst is that there are light and dark bands on the gray areas all throughout the movie. Maybe I see...
Published on 23 Jan 2011 by Francisco José Poyato Ariza


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11 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad transfer of a masterwork., 23 Jan 2011
By 
Francisco José Poyato Ariza "Fran" (Madrid, Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tokyo Story / Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (DVD + Blu-ray) [1953] (DVD)
I am sorry to disagree with a previous review, but the image quality is rather bad, heartbreakingly disappointing. Details are barely sharper than in the DVD, and contrast is surprisingly lower (when compared to the US Criterion release, my only other version). But the worst is that there are light and dark bands on the gray areas all throughout the movie. Maybe I see them because my screen is very big, but they are really annoying, and, according to what I read, it is a compression defect that could easily be avoided. I was surprised, because the BFI restorations of Pasolini's Trilogy of Life are just gorgeuos...but not this one, regrettably. Even for the other movie included as a bonus in the extra DVD, "Brothers and sisters of the Toda family", I have a superior version of a less stratchy, better sounding copy (Spanish DVD edition). I just cancelled the other titles of this series in my latest order, and erased the rest from my wish list. I do agree, though, that "Tokyo story" is nothing less than a masterwork, certainly one of the best, deepest, most moving movies ever made. Ozu mastered the cinematographic language...how far from those trendy "shaky camera" movies that have nothing to say and don't know what cinema language is, so they just shake the camera for the sake of it. My personal low rate is for the transfer of this particular edition, obviously not for the movie. I will patiently wait for a better treatment of Ozu's work somewhere else, and enjoy the DVDs in the meantime.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good !, 2 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Tokyo Story / Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (DVD + Blu-ray) [1953] (DVD)
As to the service, it was not as fast as the previous ones. It took a week to arrive when it used to take 3 days.
As to the item itself, the tanslation job could have been better.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A knife twisted gently in your guts., 23 Sep 2010
This review is from: Tokyo Story / Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (DVD + Blu-ray) [1953] (DVD)
First impression of Tokyo Story was that the camera usage was weird... hardly any panning or zooming... takes 10 or 20 seconds to get used to then it's unobtrusive. As a photographer, I really appreciated the skillful composition of each scene, the balance of objects, textures, distances and lighting... well suited to the B&W media... a visual treat. The story is simple enough - of selfishness, avoidance of responsibilities, lack of appreciation of family, past and present. It's nicely told and quite moving, particularly the suffering in-law who's more decent than the blood relatives. Powerful in its simplicity, giving time and space for the viewer to digest the messages at a gut level, observing the very believable characters. In some ways it harkens from a simpler time, and presents a simple message, but it's nice to be immersed in it.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ozu's fairytale morality tale, 15 July 2007
By 
J. A. Eyon "Little Raven" (Seattle - USA) - See all my reviews
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To be frank, a Yasujiro Ozu film will be appreciated by a very small subset of today's population. His movies are slow-moving compared to films often described as slow-moving. Scenes are so mundane that a new viewer will think he watching a webcam broadcast of some Japanese living room rather than a movie. The drama generally comprises little disturbances of everyday life.

This film, considered by many his masterpiece, is not so subtle. It reminds me more of a fairy tale with wicked step-sisters of a virtuous young beauty. Here, the step-sisters are a man and his sister who are inconvenienced by their aged parents visiting them in Tokyo. The young beauty is their impoverished daughter-in-law, widow of their son, who sacrifices workdays to be with them. At least the old couple regret their burden on the daughter-in-law's meager life, while Ozu and ardent fans of this movie don't seem to.

There is a sub-theme on expectations which doesn't quite mesh with the theme on 'selfishness vs self-destruc...I mean, self-sacrifice.'

This is told in 2 hrs 15 minutes of B&W footage.

(If you're new to Ozu and this movie doesn't sound appealing, try LATE SPRING instead.)
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4 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very very average, 22 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Tokyo Story / Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (DVD + Blu-ray) [1953] (DVD)
I fail to see where the over-hyped fuss is coming from regarding these Ozu films. Maybe they were ahead of their time, then. But today I find them all to be rather average; some even dull. I'm neither Japanese nor profess to be any type of scholar in Japanese history (like most viewers). My observations are simply from an art-house film viewers perspective and I believe that is the audience the films were targeted towards.

Ozu productions shouldn't be given any kind of special treatment merely because they're old productions. In some cases, I feel certain people force themselves or act like they enjoy his films simply because in the art-house world it is somehow considered cool to do so. They'll let an author or reviewer or someone else instruct them to both love the film and why they should love it, and in turn, it then makes them feel 'accepted' culturally around others.

Personally, I'll never have my opinions dictated or propagated by another person or group, that'd render a person as a mere sheep being led or controlled. Many people genuinely enjoy the films yes, but many others only think they do and convince themselves of it because someone else told them they should. That group may try to validate or defend their interest in Ozu via comments against this but indoctrination often breeds strong denial.
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