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A Story of Floating Weeds/Floating Weeds [2 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD]

Release Date:04/20/2004
Two classic films from the master Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu are paired up for this DVD release from The Criterion Collection. Ukigusa Monogatari (aka A Story of Floating Weeds), Ozu's original 1934 silent film, and his 1959 sound remake, Ukigusa (aka Floating Weeds) have both been transferred to disc in their original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Ukigusa Monogatari features a newly commissioned score from composer Donald Sosin, which was recorded and mixed in Dolby Digital 5.0. The film also includes an audio commentary from Japanese film scholar Donald Richie, as well as new English translations of the original title cards and an essay from Richie which compares and contrasts the two films. Ukigusa, meanwhile, features its original Japanese soundtrack, mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, as well as optional English subtitles (newly translated by Richie). Film critic Roger Ebert also contributes an audio commentary on the film, and the original theatrical trailer is also included.

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    Special Features

    • A Story of Floating Weeds (1934):
    • New high-definition digital transfer with restored image
    • Audio commentary by Japanese film historian Donald Richie
    • New score by noted silent-film composer Donald Sosin
    • New and improved English subtitle translation by Donald Richie
    • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
    • Floating Weeds (1959):
    • New high-definition digital transfer with restored image and sound
    • Audio commentary by film critic Roger Ebert
    • Original theatrical trailer


    Floating Weeds
    This 1959 Ozu production centers on the likable but fallible leader of an itinerant acting troupe ("floating weeds" being the Japanese name for such groups), Kimajuro, played brilliantly by Ganjiro Nakamura. The film opens on a lazy, stagnant river as the troupe lays spread about on a boat deck drifting downstream. It's obvious that they're a ragged bunch as they sit fanning themselves and smoking on deck. The boat pulls into a quiet fishing village where the troupe proceeds to canvass the town, hanging up posters and performing impromptu stunts for the inhabitants. Kimajuro and his actress mistress, Sumiko (Machiko Kyo), head to the theatre and secure their cramped quarters above the theatre's main hall. Kimajuro leaves to pay a visit to a local saki bar owned by Oyoshi (Haruko Sugimura), who, years previous, had conceived a child with Kimajuro. The child has grown into a strapping young man, Kiyoshi (Hiroshi Kawaguchi), who has a good job at the post office. Kimajuro, although clearly proud of his son, has refused to take responsibility for the child and Kiyoshi thinks Kimajuro is merely his uncle. Unbeknownst to Kimajuro, Sumiko has discovered his secret, and, infuriated, hires a young actress to seduce Kiyoshi. Terrified that his son is falling for this woman of loose morals, Kimajuro has to decide what's most important: keeping his secret safe or saving his son by acknowledging his paternity. ~ Brian Whitener, Rovi

    Ukigusa Monogatari
    One of Yasujiro Ozu's early masterworks, it concerns an actor, Kihachi (Takeshi Sakomoto) leading a struggling theater troupe who returns to the provincial town where he fathered a child years before. He seeks out his son, now a young man, and the woman who bore him, spending a great deal of time with them. To avoid angering his mistress Otaka (Rieko Yagumo), and to protect himself, he pretends to the young man that he is his uncle. Nonetheless, Otaka eventually learns the truth and persuades one of the company's ingénues to seduce the boy, hoping to hurt him and his father indirectly. Her plan backfires when the two fall in love, and the troupe, which is already on the brink of failure, is forced to disband. At length, Kihachi realizes he must move on and returns to Otaka. ~ Michael Costello, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Image coming soon
      Koji Mitsui - Kichinosuke
    • Image coming soon
      Mutsuko Sakura
    • Haruo Tanaka
      Haruo Tanaka
    • Image coming soon
      Hiroshi Kawaguchi - Kiyoshi Homma
    • Machiko Kyo
      Machiko Kyo - Sumiko

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.