About the Transfer
Tokyo Story is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. On widescreen televisions, black bars will appear on the left and right of the image to maintain the proper screen format. This new high-definiton digital transfer was created from a new 35mm master positive on a Spirit Datacine. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, and scratches were removed using the MTI Digital Restoration System. The audio was mastered at 24-bit. Digital tools were used to reduce clicks, pops, hiss, and crackle. However, due to deterioration of the existing audio elements, a pristine restoration could not be achieved. The Dolby Digital 1.0 signal will be directed to the center channel on 5.1-channel sound systems, but some viewers may prefer to switch to two-channel playback for a wider dispersal of the mono sound.
Yasujiro Ozu's most widely distributed and best-known film presents the story of an elderly couple in post World War II Japan who come to Tokyo to visit their various children and realize that the family has essentially fallen apart. The couple is received coldly by their two modernized children and only their widowed daughter-in-law seems glad to see them. The children shuttle their aging parents off to a health spa in an attempt to get them out of the way. They learn later that the mother has fallen ill upon her return and arrive too late to say their good-byes.
Cast & Crew
The Japanese family's transformation by modern, Western culture formed the core theme of director Ozu's work, and this motif is crystallized in an exquisite, intimate story of alienation and reconciliation in TOKYO STORY. An aging couple, living in retirement in rural Japan, decide to visit their married children in the bustling metropolis of post-war Tokyo. But once they arrive, they find that the children no longer have room for them in their busy lives. Shuffling their parents back and forth between each of their houses the couple is eventually shipped off to a health spa. Only the couple's daughter-in-law, widow of their son who died in the war, shows them any kindness. The parents return home lonely and disillusioned, and the mother soon falls sick. The children arrive too late, and have lost their chance to make any reconciliation. The patterns of movement, dialogue and nature combine with a scrupulous attention to character under Ozu's masterful eye and create a subtle yet overwhelmingly emotional drama.
"Yasujiro Ozu created quiet epics that dealt purely and without stylistic fuss about what really matters....A masterpiece..."
"[O]ne of the greatest films of all time."
Sight and Sound
"[T]he experience of watching Ozu's masterpieces reveals an artist whose allegiances are strikingly diverse."