A Story of Floating Weeds (Ukikusa monogatari) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Story of Floating Weeds (Ukikusa monogatari) Reviews

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May 27, 2015
The experience could descibir like entering a gallery and watch a series of perfectly painted tables with people so foreign to you, but where you see yourself.
January 3, 2013
An engrossing silent film from a masterful director.
August 21, 2012
While it just might make it into my top 5 silent films, I don't think it's gonna stick with me too much. But, I have MANY admirations of it. First of all, it's very unique, and VERY affective camerawork. The camera moves around a lot, whilst maintaining beautiful and compositional imagery, but because it moves around so much, it analyzes every aspect of the scene. It's story construction is unique as well. It takes a situation, and it branches off into another story, and it does that throughout. It shifts around to a few characters, lets them do their thing, and it leads to a completely different situation. It does this with precision, and it doesn't loose it's main focus, which is to understand these characters. And if you don't know what this film is about, it's a theater troupe visiting a town, where the leader' of the troupe has people he knows there. The whole film is from the second he arrives in that town, to the second he leaves. This was my first Ozu film, and I haven't seen "Floating Weeds" yet. But, I'm assuming it's even better, and I've heard many things about Ozu, saying he is a true master of cinema. By the time anyone reads this, I will probably have already seen a good deal of his films.
August 19, 2012
Ozu makes the subtle shift to straight drama without missing a beat. Still with the most immediacy and depth of character that I have experienced in a silent film. Tomio Aoki finally firms his place as the greatest child actor ever.
½ July 10, 2012
Y'all see that horse bit? That was some silent funny junk.
March 21, 2012
A silent effort, with Ozu employing minimalism throughout. A static camera rests the emotions of the film with the actor's facial performances. And it works.
March 16, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012

(1934) A Story Of Floating Weeds

Directed by Yasujirô Ozu centering on a small travelling theatre group going from village to village similar to what a circus does. The leader of this troupe is Kihachi(Takeshi Sakamoto) who happens to be stopping by at a village who once had an affair with an old flame who happens to also have a well groomed teenage son with goals to go to college and Kihachi who from the time he was young has always pose as his uncle and not as his biological dad since he travels alot and is always absent. While hanging around, and as a result of spending a great deal of time with him as opposed to spending time with his current mistress he's been travelling with, this mistress becomes jealous and tries to sabotage this relationship by asking one of the young teenage girls in the troupe to make a play for him.

It really takes about 45 minutes to get involved with the story since that is how long it takes for the viewers to fully understand it's characters and it's situations. Some of the more memorable moments are the little boy travelling with the theatre troupe who at times doesn't look like he was acting but was improvising which he's character was almost absent in the 1959 colored talking version!

3 out of 4
February 14, 2012
My son belongs to a better world than yours.

A traveling show arrives in a small town to deliver a performance. The lead actor meets a former lover in the town that has a young boy. He discovers the young boy is his son which stirs a string of emotions for the woman and boy that makes him question his direction in life. How can he go on living his life in a traveling show with his girlfriend?

"Let him go on thinking his father is dead."
"He wouldn't want a no good father like me."

Yasujiro Ozu, director of Tokyo Story, Tokyo Twilight, Floating Weeds, An Autumn Afternoon, Early Summer, and An Inn in Tokyo, delivers A Story of Floating Weeds. The storyline for this picture is mesmerizing and reminded me of Kurosawa's Ikiru. The main character, which is torn about his direction in life, was fascinating, well delivered and well portrayed. The acting was elegant and perfect for the content. The cast includes Takeshi Sakamoto, Choko Iida, Koji Mitsui, and Rieko Yaqumo.

"Another show is coming."

I actually saw these films out of order (Floating Weed and A Story of Floating Weeds). This silent picture did a great job of depicting the main character's conflict with himself and his outlook on life. I strongly recommend giving this picture a shot if you're a fan of character studies.

Grade: A
January 21, 2012
Beautifully-made and stylistic film entry from the the tip end of the silent era. Pleasing piano score and frequent dialogue cards keep the story moving. Very nicely done. Early Showa era film gives a glimpse of antebellum Japanese life and society.
January 1, 2012
Similar in terms of plot to that of "Floating Weeds" from 1958, an actor returns to his family in a small Japanese fishing village. The son believes he is the uncle rather than his father, and a mistress who once had a fling with the actor tries to ruin. The 1934 version, in comparison to Yosujiro Ozu's remake, is silent, incredibly silent, and sadly for me, it takes away from the film. Most silent films at least some music in the background to guild it along. This one didn't even have that, and I was not much of a fan of this film for mainly that reason. It was hard to pay attention to the story, which could have been a lot better with some sort of score. I could have played music from ABBA or The Beatles as a complimentary soundtrack. Not such a great film; the remake is much better.
December 18, 2011
This is actually the first film I've seen by the famous Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu. I've heard him mentioned for years now, but never really got around to actually seeing any of his stuff until now. I don't think this was supposed to be his best film, but it is supposed to be his first "mature," fully formed one. It didn't bowl me over emotionally, but it was very interesting for its time period, and I'll have to see the rest of the Ozu canon over time.

The movie follows a theatrical actor who returns with his troupe to his hometown and visits old acquaintances. One of the people he meets is an old girlfriend/mistress: she has been raising the son they had together by herself, but the son never knew who his father really was. The actor's current wife is less than happy about this situation, though, and causes some trouble.

I think this is the first silent Japanese movie I've seen. Although it is very old, its storytelling techniques feel modern - the shots tend to be rather short by 1930s standards, and even by today's standards the film is noticeably quick in its editing. The camera almost never moves - instead it's one shot after another after another, each with some particular function in the story. This isn't the most surprising technique, but it is definitely rather innovative for its time. The film's acting is generally pretty low-key and naturalistic, and each of the characters is given some memorable little quirk. It's a quiet, undemonstrative little movie, but Ozu apparently liked it enough to remake it in color and sound 25 years later - I'll have to watch that version at some point and see how they compare.
Super Reviewer
August 17, 2011
Yasujiro Ozu was a true master at his craft. Theatrical performances and gestures were predominant during the silent era for enhancing the dramatism effect intended, but Ozu (and Mikio Naruse too, for that matter) knew that the stories are what are left in the audience's hearts, and even the images can stay there too. Hence, a striking cinematography is displayed in front of our eyes, creating an aura of either wonder or tension, depending on what the scene intends to create. Although the majority prefers the remake, the black-and-white, silent nature of Ukikusa Monogatari captures a much more tragic feeling, all the more nostalgic.

And.... unlike the remake, this one had me in tears towards the ending.

Super Reviewer
November 8, 2010
The above rating is for "A Story of Floating Weeds"(1934), Not for the remake, "Floating Weeds."(1959)

[font=Century Gothic][color=darkgreen]"A Story of Floating Weeds" is a silent movie from Japan directed by Yasujiro Ozu. It is a superb film that centers on a traveling theatrical troupe that returns to a small village after an absence of a few years. The lead actor has a secret from his fellow actors - he fathered a son some years before...what follows is a powerful, yet subtly emotional film about the paths we choose in life.[/color][/font]
½ September 2, 2010
Sep 2010 - My first view of Ozu's early period and I was quite impressed. The lighting, camera and directing is superb but perhaps more mainstream than his later movies. The acting is very good but the setting and the story is way more theatrical. The drama is more intense and as perhaps normal with silent movies, the facial expressions are exaggerated. One interesting similarity was the humor, its light mood and natural appearance. Finally in the beginning I was surprised at the hostile view of the theater company and in fact a judgmental point of view of the story but it dramatically smoothened as the movie progressed and perhaps at the end these are the theater people who have the upper hand.
August 31, 2010
A silent effort, with Ozu employing minimalism throughout. A static camera rests the emotions of the film with the actor's facial performances. And it works.
½ July 24, 2010
A surprise -- although I'd seen and enjoyed the 1959 remake before 1-2 times -- I was impressed with the clarity, pacing, and good acting in Ozu's first effort at this story. My only complaint is that the actors all do too much scratching at, what we audiences will come to know as, Mifune's Itch.
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