Posts Tagged ‘ Ozu Yasujiro ’

Great Classics: Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)

Japanese Title: 東京物語 (Tokyo Monogatari)

I first watched Tokyo Story in a classroom some time ago and witnessed something curious.  I have never seen a group of people so choked up over a film, ever.  The most curious thing about it though is that most could not place what exactly made them so emotional.  There are moments in Tokyo Story in which you are hit with a wall of emotions, surprised and overwhelmed that this simple little film could evoke such feelings.  It’s something about the characters, the honesty, the way everything hits home despite the cultural and time-period barriers. Continue reading


Roger Ebert’s Japanese Film Reviews

Roger Ebert is possibly the world’s best-known film critic and has been at it for years, contributing reliable reviews and critical analysis that many English-speaking film-goers turn to when in doubt about what to spend their money on.  He has a massive collection of reviews on his website, over 6,400 according to movie review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.  Roger Ebert’s collection of reviews includes a large amount of foreign films, many of which are Japanese.  He lists Ozu Yasujiro as one of his favorite directors, so his films are well-represented, but he seems to also have a penchant for Koreeda Hirokazu, Miyazaki Hayao, Kurosawa Akira, and other Japanese greats such as Mizoguchi and Imamura.

This was a difficult list to put together.  The idea came to me as I was sitting at work, wondering if Ebert’s review database was sortable or searchable in some way.  I arrived at home to find that it is tough to pinpoint his reviews of Japanese films, though searching the website can net a few.  So, I poured over countless reviews to find the Japanese films represented in this list.  It’s probably not a perfect representation–I’m sure I missed some–but there is a wealth of great films along with Roger Ebert’s expert opinions and analysis here.  Although I don’t agree with him on everything, he is mostly spot-on.  Ebert has seen a great amount of Japanese masterpieces and you’ll notice that out of the 61 films on this list, 52 of them received a rating of three stars or higher (out of four) or are on his “Great Movies” list.  Truly a great list for anybody interested in foreign and masterful cinema.

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