Year: 1953
UK: BFI Distribution (2010)
UK: Tartan Films (2004)
Cast: Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara, SO Yamamura, Haruko Sugimura, Kuniko Miyake, KyOko Kagawa, Nobuo Nakamura, EijirO Tono, Hisao Toake, ShirO Osaka, Shizuka Murase, Michihiro Mohri, Teruko Magaoka, Mutsuko Sakura, Toyoko Takahashi, Toru Abu, Sachiko Mitani, Junko Anan, Ryoko Mizuki, Yoshiko Togawa, Kazuhiro Itokawa
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
UK: 136 mins
UK Certificate: U contains no sex, violence or bad language
UK Release Date: 1 January 2010 (Limited Re-release)
UK Release Date: 16 January 2004 (Limited Re-release)


Yasujiro Ozu's TOKYO STORY (TOKYO MONOGATARI) follows an aging couple, Tomi and Sukichi, on their journey from their rural village to visit their two married children in bustling, post-war Tokyo. Their reception is disappointing: too busy to entertain them, their children send them off to a health spa. After Tomi falls ill she and Sukichi return home, while the children, grief-stricken, hasten to be with her. From a simple tale unfolds one of the greatest of all Japanese films. Starring Ozu regulars Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara, the film reprises one of the director's favourite themes - that of generational conflict - in a way that is quintessentially Japanese and yet so universal in its appeal that it continues to resonate as one of cinema's greatest masterpieces.

Ozu has been seen as the great traditionalist of Japanese cinema, yet increasingly scholars see his films as monuments to a certain kind of modernist spirit in Japan. The director considered too Japanese for foreign audiences was in fact steeped in foreign, especially American, pop culture. Moreover, there is no other recognized master director of the classical cinema - not Sergei Eisenstein, nor John Ford, nor Jean Renoir - who continues to exert a comparable influence over contemporary filmmakers as does Ozu. His work has been cited as having a major influence on the films of artists as diverse as Jim Jarmusch (USA), Abbas Kiarostami (Iran), Aki Kaurismaki (Finland), and Hou Hsiao-hsien (Taiwan).