THERE WAS A FATHER

There was a father who loved a son and wanted only the best for him:  the best education, the best opportunity.  The young widower would do anything for his son except find time to spend with him.  The son, who we watch grow into young manhood, deeply loves and respects his father, an admired teacher; but his lifelong hurt is as deep as his love.

Again we have a simple story from Ozu  —  simple, Japanese and universal.  The subtlety of the writing and directing are extraordinary.  The same is true of the two characterizations, but especially, of course, that of Chishu Ryu as the father.  (Shuji Sano is the son.)

Contributing to the emotional portraits is that wonderful use to which Ozu puts his settings, those moving pauses over rooms or streets  —  still lifes, really  —  before, and especially after, scenes and conversations and confrontations.  We look at spaces vacated by what has been or what will be.

The musical score, strangely, is the melody of Stephen Foster’s Old Black Joe.

There Was a Father
Yasujiro Ozu
1942

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OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES IN FILMS CURRENTLY PLAYING

Christa Theret (Renoir)
David Oyelowo (The Butler)
Yaya Alafia (The Butler)
Forest Whitaker (The Butler)
Irit Sheleg  (Fill the Void)
the ensemble(Much Ado About Nothing ), directed by Josh Whedon

NEXT POST FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 13
See you at the movies,
Rick

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