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Essential Art House: Floating Weeds


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Product Details

  • Actors: Ganjirô Nakamura, Machiko Kyô, Haruko Sugimura, Ayako Wakao, Hiroshi Kawaguchi
  • Directors: Yasujirô Ozu
  • Writers: Yasujirô Ozu, Kôgo Noda, Tadao Ikeda
  • Producers: Masaichi Nagata
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: April 13, 2010
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0035ECI0S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,795 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Essential Art House: Floating Weeds" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

This late-career triumph for Yasujiro Ozu is one of his most visually splendid works. Shot in vibrant Technicolor, the film (a remake of Ozu’s own 1934 silent classic A Story of Floating Weeds) tells the elegant tale of an aging actor who returns to the small seaside town where he once fathered a son, who has been raised to think the man is his uncle. Floating Weeds is a rich, evocative tale of family and the life of the theater.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Smith-Peter on January 5, 2011
Format: DVD
This is a beautiful movie that allows us to spend time with a group of characters in a small coastal Japanese village. A traveling kabuki troupe has come to town, and all the actors seem to be looking for love or at least some kind of fleeting attachment. We see the actors handing out flyers and trying to get women interested in them. Over time, though, we realize that the deeper theme of the movie is that of abandonment. The master (head of the troupe) abandoned his son, born to a woman he met in the village, and he never told the boy who his father was. Other kinds of abandonment start to crop up, along with the slow unravelling of the troupe. This may seem depressing, but it isn't, because this is balanced by moments of exquisite togetherness which are as fleeting as they are beautiful. Ozu is not a judgmental director, and we watch the characters in both their mistakes and small triumphs and have sense of being there together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Bonesteel on July 25, 2012
Format: DVD
An itinerant troupe of kabuki actors travels to a seaside village during a hot summer in the 1950s. As the struggling troupe waits for news of their next engagement from their manager, lack of contact from whom suggests that he may have abandoned them, their leader (Ganjiro Nakamura) reconnects with a former mistress (Haruko Sugimura).

This quiet, contemplative film offers a rich portrayal of Japanese village life. Director Yasujiro Ozu clearly has great affection for this setting and these characters. He is not interested in histrionics or melodrama, but powerful emotions swell within his restrained approach. Little character moments accumulate until, by the end of the film, the entire cast is filled with familiar faces and we are deeply invested in their stories.

I love superheroes and big explosions as much as the next guy, but "Floating Weeds" reminds us of how rewarding a story about real people can be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Paul Lifton on August 20, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Gorgeous and deeply satisfying film. Simple story line and subtle characterizations, slow unfolding of relationships lead to profoundly moving conclusion. Color palette rich and vibrant, contrasting monochromatic town buildings with saturated reds and blues. Lovely glimpse into Japanese life and small-town landscape in the postwar era. Looked great on large HDTV, despite being in DVD format. Played on Blu-ray player.
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Format: DVD
Floating Weeds from 1959 is a film from Yasujiro Ozu's final period, and also one of his first in color. He told the story before, in 1934, only that was a black and white silent film. But he followed the plot of the first film very closely.

The story has a mediocre traveling Kabouki troupe reaching a small port village in Southern Japan to perform. Their performances only attract a few townspeople, but to Komajuro (Ganjiro Nakamura), the troupe's leader, the visit is an important occasion to meet his old lover, Oyoshi (Haruko Sugimura) and their grown child Kiyoshi (Hiroshi Kawaguchi), who is about to enter college and believes Komajuro is his uncle. When Komajuro's current lover, the pretty Sumiko (Machiko Kyo) learns about this, she blows in rage, and persuades another actress of the troupe, the pretty Kayao (Ayako Wakao) to seduce Kiyoshi. Kayao succeeds in the mission, so much so that she falls in love with Kiyoshi. When Komajuro learns about their relation, he doesn't take it so well (Komajuro repeatedly beating Sumiko and Kayo while shouting to them "you slut" are scenes that would probably not be filmed today), especially since he wants his son to have a life above that of a traveling acting troupe.

This is not the very best of Ozu (I put the so called Noriko trilogy there, one of the crowning heights of cinema) but is still very good. There are a lot of Ozu's characteristic style to watch here (the camera put at a knee's height, the so called pillow shots, etc). The movie includes a famous scene with Komajuro and Sumiko fighting and arguing over a street where the rain is pouring. The performances are terrific, especially those of Nakamura and Kyo. Chishu Ryu, who was in dozens of Ozu's films, has a bit role here as the theater manager.
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