Reviews

Floating Weeds

4

It may not be as famous - - or quite as good - - as his accepted masterpiece Tokyo Story, but Yasujiro Ozu's 1959 remake of one of his own silent features is a thoroughly absorbing affair.

Unfolding in a seaside village, Floating Weeds sees a group of travelling players arrive one summer. The troupe's leader Komajuro (Ganjiro Nakamura) looks up his former flame Oyoshi (Haruko Sugimura) and their illegitimate teenage son Kiyoshi (Hiroshi Kawaguchi), a move that doesn't please his current mistress/leading lady (Machiko Kyo). Her response? To plot revenge by instructing an actress to seduce Kiyoshi.

Comprised of expressive colour and carefully composed interiors, Floating Weeds is a lyrical affair. However, the director's visual artistry is not his primary attribute. That would be his humanity, which comes to the fore as the tone shifts from comic to melancholic, allowing Ozu to treat his characters with notable generosity.

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