Yasujiro Ozu was the most austere of the Japanese masters—few camera movements or close-ups, a rigorously plain editing manner. His attention was intently focused on his people, who were usually ordinary members of the middle class. This is one of his most approachable movies: An old couple comes to the big city to visit their children, who are more irritated than pleased by this interruption of their lives, which are scarcely glamorous. “Isn’t life disappointing?” one of them says. “Yes, it is” another replies. But this wry, ironic movie is anything but, as it patiently, wisely explores the generational and universal—tensions between the generations.
Next A Touch of Zen