Rent Yasujiro Ozu: Three Melodramas (1957)

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5h 19min
Rent Yasujiro Ozu: Three Melodramas (aka Sôshun / Tôkyô no onna / Tokyo boshoku) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Melodrama is a word rarely associated with Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, whose beautifully constructed films capture the poetry of everyday life. Spanning his career, this collection demonstrates the director's ability to apply his exquisite style to darker themes.

Woman of Tokyo (1933)
This silent drama sees Ozu experimenting with the cutaways that would become so associated with his later style. Chikako (Yoshiko Okada) works hard to pay her brother Ryoichi's (Ureo Egawa) college fees, but disaster looms when he learns the true nature of her work.
Early Spring (1956)
Made after 'Tokyo Story' (1953), 'Early Spring' focuses on the problems of young salaried workers. Shoji (Rye Ikebe) and his wife Masako (Chikage Awashima), struggle with a family tragedy. When Shoji's interest turns to the office flirt, the couple's fragile peace is threatened.
Tokyo Twilight (1957)
Ozu's last black and white film is a masterpiece of atmospheric chiaroscuro. Abandoned by their mother, sisters Akiko (Ineko Arima) and Takako (Setsuko Hara) live with their father Shukichi (Chishu Ryu). When Akiko falls into desperate trouble, she turns away from her family.
, , , , , , Takako Fujino, , , , , , , , , , , Kazuko Yamamoto, Tatsuo Nagai,
Shizuo Yamanouchi
Kôgo Noda, Yasujirô Ozu, Tadao Ikeda
Sôshun / Tôkyô no onna / Tokyo boshoku
BFI Video
Classics, Drama
Japan, Classics, Drama
Release Date:
Run Time:
319 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W
  • Optional Score for 'Woman of Tokyo' by Ed Hughes Commissioned Exclusively for the BFI
Disc 1:
This disc includes the following:
- Woman of Tokyo (1933)
- Early Spring (1956)
Disc 2:
This disc includes the following:
- Tokyo Twilight (1957)
- Special Features

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Reviews (1) of Yasujiro Ozu: Three Melodramas

The Salary Man's Life - A Sensitive and Sympathetic Portrayal - Yasujiro Ozu: Three Melodramas review by AP

Spoiler Alert

I'm just reviewing 'Early Spring' (with mild spoilers).

I so wanted this film to end as indeed it did, on a note of strongly moderated wary hopefulness and optimism reflected in the peacefulness of the landscape and the ambiguous image of the train (departing? passing through? full or empty...?).

Nevertheless, it is a film whose narrative unfolds at length. I don't, on reflection, think it would benefit from cuts. As one would expect from Ozu, this is not an action movie and its drama is slow to emerge as the drama of the ordinary and everyday often is.

Much, I think, depends on Ozu's occasional, but pointed focus on the strains of being a 'salary man', a strain highlighted by the couple of scenes of commuters going to catch the train at Kamata station. There's one particularly striking episode in a bar in which the young Shoji listens to the reflections of the bar owner - a former salary man who worked in the same company as Shoji (the TOA Firebrick Company), and who got out - and a man with only a little time left before retiring on what will be a pension that is less than he hoped. This perhaps explains why Shoji, and his circle of office friends, spend so much time playing mah-jong in the evenings – to obliterate the dreariness of their daily life and prospects; and it explains why, in turn, Shoji’s wife, Masako, finds herself spending so many lonely evenings at home on her own. Together with what seems, to this European viewer's eye, a marked reluctance on the part of the Japanese male to speak of his feelings to his wife and womenfolk, Shoji’s internalising of the misery of his ‘grindstone’ life creates a distance between him and Masako which, by the time the movie begins, has gone far enough for Masako to turn down a chance to spend time with Shoji at the weekend on a hike with his friends. And it is during this hike that 'The Goldfish' starts making a play for him. You can guess the rest of the story more or less, but then I find Ozu is so good at making the ordinary exceptional.

I found this a very rewarding movie.

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