Floating Weeds ★★★★

My first color Ozu, and a marvelous experience for that reason alone. It's a revision of his own A Story of Floating Weeds, probably my least favorite of his pictures that I've seen so far (but still very good), and I think improves upon it, with its sensitive portrait of a family fractured by pride and class consciousness (an actor wishes for his son to grow up outside of the world he occupies, so he essentially abandons the boy and sends money to his mother, only to cause old wounds to open when his Kabuki troupe comes to town years later) often hypnotic in its grace and pregnant drama. Though my memory of the 1934 film could be flawed, it seems to me that the tale is better adapted to this postwar environment, straining less to transcend its cultural context; there is considerably more overt nastiness in both films' gaggle of characters than is usual for the writer-director's work, which results among other things in a much larger volume of emotional outbursts that would seem entirely foreign in something like Tokyo Story or Early Summer, films whose naturalism and subtlety is never broken, but then again -- these are "theater people." The visual poetics are beyond description, and -- maybe Ozu plays with this consistently and I hadn't noticed -- so is the immersive use of sound.

I'm so relieved that I still have so many of Ozu's films left to see; Good Morning will be next.