Dragnet Girl ★★★

More of a curiosity than some sort of hidden gem, the general line for many scholars seems to be that Ozu is parodying the American gangster film. That might explain this strange sign that appears near the final escape. I assumed it would be something like "The World is Yours" ala Hawks’s Scarface but apparently it translates to "Club Teeth Brushing," or an ad for a Japanese pharmacy. Of course, I had no idea that I was supposed to take it as a joke, and Ozu does treat a lot of the material seriously. Most of the film plays like an Ozu film in both form (static shots, 180 degree line stuff) and content (brothers and sisters, family, marriage), except the settings are now pool halls and dance clubs. Some memorable shots—as Tokiko and Joji fight and she storms out, Ozu has a nice tracking shot along the floor where many broken items now lie, a shot he will repeat later for a good reveal. If anything, it shows how odd Ozu's style was for this stuff; he manages to pull off a "heist sequence" with enough virtuoso, but the final chase is very laborious, and the final confrontation/moment of love honestly pretty dumb. If its parody, it isn't dealing a fair hand to its audience.

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