Tokyo Chorus

By October 28, 2013 Events

The Festival is proud to present with the State Library NSW in the Metcalfe Auditorium Macquarie Street Sydney at 2pm the digital restoration of the classic Japanese silent film, Tokyo Chorus, directed by the cinema master, Yasujirō Ozu. This film shall have live keyboard accompaniment by Australia’s outstanding silent film musician, Mauro Colombis.

Tokyo Chorus (1931) Japan with English and Japanese subtitles

Duration: 90 minutes

When: Sunday 3rd November 2013 @ 2pm

This charming and delightful film by Yasujiro Ozu, one of Japan’s most highly esteemed directors, is a beautiful work of art that paints a story in very subtle tones and yet leaves a permanent impression on the viewer’s mind and soul. Ozu received high acclaim for his special cinematic style in directing movies of the 1940s and ‘50s, and is best remembered for his realistic portrayals of family life in medium-class Japan.  He developed a remarkable insight into human nature and relationships which he was able to convey visually in an original and unique style.

Although very similar to his well-known films of later decades, his silent films have a subtle touch of comedy to spice things up and make them even more entertaining than his later sound films.   Watching Ozu’s films in general feels like stepping into the lives of real people with all their thoughts, feelings and problems as if you are right there among them.  Attention to details, natural acting and a tendency to linger on what seems like mundane daily actions all add to this overall impression of being involved in the film, not just being a distant observer.

Tokyo Chorus follows the ups and downs in the life of an average working man who becomes unemployed and struggles to keep his wife and children happy, but these real-life problems are tempered with moments of sweet, almost childlike humour, quite different from the often coarse comedy seen in the West.  Another refreshing difference is how Ozu’s family comedies include young children, and the focus is on how everyone interacts with one another in the family circle as well as at work and in other surroundings.

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