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Claudia Leisinger

TOKYO STORY (Cert. tbc)

Dir: Yasujiro Ozu
Stars: Chishu Ryu, Chiyeko Higashiyama, Kyoko Kagawa
Out: 16th January 2004
Cert. U

Some fifty years after Akira Kurosawa’s all-action samurai epics and Shakespearean adaptations alerted the world to Japanese cinema, his more self-effacing contemporary and equal Yasujiro Ozu still remains relatively in his shadow. Ozu’s cycle of contemplative domestic dramas, many similarly titled (Late Spring, Early Summer) were never likely to inspire George Lucas or Sergio Leone as Kurosawa did, but to overlook his work is to miss one of the most quietly insightful, honestly devastating canons in cinema history. Tokyo Story, ostensibly a simple tale of elderly parents and their adult children, is arguably his greatest. See it now, thank us later.

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* * * * * (five stars