Monday, July 22, 2013

SFSFF: Tokyo Chorus

Friday afternoon I was at the SF Silent Film Festival to see Tokyo Chorus, a small social drama about shame & unemployment by famed Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu. Though Ozu had already made 21 films, this is considered the 1st to display his mature style. The main character is an independent-minded young man who loses his job after openly quarreling with his boss. The scenario is episodic & gritty, though Ozu also includes scenes of light physical comedy. The festival audience laughed when fans were wielded with great emphasis in an escalating office fight. It was interesting to note Ozu's characteristic below-the-waist camera angles. I liked the film's blunt, unidealized depiction of the main character's son, a demanding child perhaps 5 years old. The boy's frank anger & disappointment toward his father are devastating.

The screening was introduced by the Artistic Director Anita Monga & Stephen Gong of CAAM. Günter Buchwald accompanied on piano & violin, sometimes playing both simultaneously. He played simple repeated chords & arpeggios that sounded similar for every scene.

§ Tokyo Chorus
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu, Japan, 1931, 90 mins.
Musical accompaniment by Günter Buchwald

San Francisco Silent Film Festival
Friday, July 19, 4:30 pm
Castro Theatre

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