Silent Ozu: Three Family Comedies (1931-33)

Does what it says on the tin and offers three of Yasujiro Ozu’s earliest surviving works, those being Tokyo Chorus (1931), I Was Born But… (1932) and Passing Fancy (1933). Being an Eclipse release, the films are pretty much all you get (apart from liner notes), but it’s still a handy way to discover some of the master’s relatively little-known works (does I Was Born But… still maintain its reputation? I don’t seem to hear so much about it now). Of the three, Tokyo Chorus fares worst in print quality terms, the others are better preserved though not without problems. Think I liked Passing Fancy the best out of three here; have to be honest and say I was a bit cool towards IWBB, after having wanted to see it for years cos it was so praised in the film history books I read back in the early 90s (when I was just exploring film for the first time), I’m just not sure it lived up to expectations/hopes. Still, on the whole I can still say Ozu hasn’t seriously let me down yet…

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