Floating Weeds

Floating Weeds

4.0 1
Director: Yasujiro Ozu

Cast: Koji Mitsui, Mutsuko Sakura, Haruo Tanaka

     
 

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… See more details below

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Overview

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

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Like the majority of director Yasujiro Ozu's work, Floating Weeds is concerned with family relationships and interactions between different generations. It also shares the director's amazingly serene yet appealing visual style, created through the use of the simplest means possible: no tracking shots and no use of dissolves or fades, just long, steady shots, often in a wide frame, interrupted only by judicious editing, with occasional symbolic or atmospheric "pillow shots," which offer moments of contemplative pause. The effect is hypnotic and enthralling and used to particularly good effect in Weeds. The script is also typically Ozu, dealing with a subject that could easily fall into heavy melodrama or even soap opera, but which for the most part skillfully avoids this through the use of implication and nuance rather than direct statement; it is only in the second half that the schematics of the story come into play a bit too strongly. The actors are uniformly excellent, creating a genuine ensemble piece (entirely appropriate for a film dealing with a troupe of actors) and providing many memorable moments, such as the touching final segment in which Machiko Kyo deftly signaling her love and forgiveness of Ganjiro Nakamura merely by the manner in which she pours a glass of wine for him. Weeds is a film of quiet beauty, a gem that discriminating viewers will treasure.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/13/2010
UPC:
0715515056410
Original Release:
1959
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:59:00
Sales rank:
49,966

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Essental Art House: Floating Weeds
1. Credits [1:47]
2. The Troupe Returns [4:06]
3. Drumming Up Business [6:03]
4. Settling In [4:32]
5. A Visit to the Patron [7:42]
6. Opening Night [5:26]
7. Looking for Love [4:41]
8. Fishing [2:39]
9. The Mistress's Discovery [11:22]
10. Mother and Mistress Meet [7:26]
11. A Scheme is Hatched [2:56]
12. First Date [2:12]
13. Stranded [3:47]
14. Love Blossoms [2:58]
15. A Father's Anger [2:49]
16. No Credit [12:01]
17. Moving On [5:32]
18. Where's Kiyoshi? [7:21]
19. Father and Son [9:16]
20. Starting Over [8:38]
1. Color Bars [5:30]

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