“Tokyo Story”

Yasujiro Ozu’s great movie—in my view, one of the two greatest non-Anglophone films ever made (the other, also Japanese, is Ikiru)—is now free on YouTube, and with English subtitles.

Read about Tokyo Story here and see the uniformly positive reviews here (100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes).

If you watch it, put it on the biggest computer screen you have.

You’re welcome.

Ikiru, directed and co-written by Kurosawa, is also free on Daily Motion (three parts: here, here and here), and with English subtitles.

16 Comments

  1. Craw
    Posted June 2, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    So many great Kurosawa movies. I have not seen Ikiru yet.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted June 3, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      In spite of having seen dozens of Kurosawa movies over the course of my adult life, it was only 3 years ago that I caught up with Ikiru.

      It really is marvelous!!

  2. mark
    Posted June 2, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    i watched it for the first time last year when i made a commitment to working through the sight and sound top 250 poll. it’s definitely one of the best films i’ve ever seen. deeply sad & emotional, but in a very reserved way, never in an aggressive, melodramatic style.

  3. freiner
    Posted June 2, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care so much about rankings or numbers, really — far too many fine films to be thankful for — but you certainly mentioned two that I find most incredibly moving. My, that ending of Ikiru!

    • BJ
      Posted June 2, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. I can’t do rankings. People ask me my top five or ten films and my response is usually, “I can give you a list of fifty from each of several genres, if you’re willing to wait a few weeks.”

  4. rickflick
    Posted June 2, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I’ve watched about 10 of Ozu’s last films. They are truly astonishing works of art. Basically kitchen dramas, or if you prefer, soap operas, but taken to a high level. A number of his late films are merely copies of the same story told a bit differently or from a different perspective. But the fact is, an Ozu plot is much less important than the observations of Japanese life. His unique filming technique is an aspect worth careful study. Tokyo Story is probably his best but all are well worth seeing.

  5. kelskye
    Posted June 2, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    “(the other, also Japanese, is Ikiru)”
    I really liked Ikiru, but I personally preferred Shichinin no Samurai out of Kurosawa’s films that I have seen. And in terms of non-Anglophone films, it’s hard for me to go past Tarkovsky’s Stalker.

    And agreed on Tokyo Story. A fantastic film – such an interesting reflection on life and family.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 2, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    … one of the two greatest non-Anglophone films ever made …

    That’s a bold statement, considering that the non-Anglophone world includes Italian neo-realism, the French new wave, and German expressionism and new wave, not to mention Bergman and Costa-Gravras and the rest of Kurosawa’s oeuvre, among many, many other masterpieces of world cinema.

    Beaucoup thanks for the link, though. 🙂

    • freiner
      Posted June 2, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Ditto, all around, wonderful examples (I’m also thinking Bunuel and Renoir and the East Europeans and the …).
      To say nothing (literally)of the non-Anglo non-o-phones. I recently say Dreyer’s “St. Joan” on the big screen accompanied by a chorale performing Einhorn’s Voices of Light — not a dry eye in the house. I better stop, I’m starting to sound like Frasier Crane at his most pompous.

      • BJ
        Posted June 2, 2018 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

        “I recently say Dreyer’s “St. Joan” on the big screen accompanied by a chorale performing Einhorn’s Voices of Light — not a dry eye in the house.”

        I’m extremely jealous! Sounds amazing.

        • freiner
          Posted June 3, 2018 at 4:52 am | Permalink

          It was stunning — I’m jealous of myself. I just realized, though, that I inserted a superfluous “St.” in my paraphrase of the title. Sort of defeats the purpose of a paraphrase.

          • BJ
            Posted June 3, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

            No worries. I still got the idea 😛

    • BJ
      Posted June 2, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I had the same thought…

  7. Posted June 3, 2018 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Funny. We have “Japanese Story” here from Netflix. Not quite the same.

  8. Martin Levin
    Posted June 3, 2018 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    All we need say is that ‘Tokyo Story’ is one of the true masterpieces of cinema, both in form (the film technique is astonishing) and content.

  9. Steven in Tokyo
    Posted June 3, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Tokyo Story was the only proper film they showed us during my first six-month period of studying Japanese here in Japan. The language was difficult for me then, but my diary for the day records how excited I was by it. I need to see it again now that my Japanese is better! I’ll probably pick the version without the subtitles, though, since they tend to disturb my concentration.


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