Tokyo Twilight | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Tokyo Twilight 

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This rarely screened, melancholy 1957 film, Ozu's last in black and white, is one of his best. Two sisters whose mother has left the family years earlier live with their businessman father, portrayed with magisterial stoicism by Chishu Ryu. The elder has fled an alcoholic husband; the younger is pregnant, and her feckless boyfriend won't help her. Ozu makes superb use of background sounds such as ticking clocks and a boat's motor to mark the passage of time. The father and elder daughter try to meet the world with a gaze as steady as that of Ozu's static camera, ultimately resigning themselves to accepting tragedy, which is presented as inevitable in the flow of life. In Japanese with subtitles. 141 min. Sat 11/19, 4:45 PM, and Mon 11/21, 6:30 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center.

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