Mid-Century Movie Nights: Tokyo Story
Fri, May 13, 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Mid-Century Movie Nights continues with a screening of Tokyo Story [Tōkyō Monogatari], 1953, directed by Yasujirō Ozu, and featuring Chishū Ryū, Setsuko Hara, and Chieko Higashiyama.
Widely regarded as Yasujirō Ozu’s masterpiece, this film follows an aging couple’s journey to visit their grown children in bustling postwar Tokyo. Ozu uses “pillow shots” like the pillow words in Japanese poetry, separating his scenes with brief, evocative images from everyday life. He likes trains, clouds, smoke, clothes hanging on a line, empty streets, small architectural details, banners blowing in the wind. Featuring nuanced performances from Ozu regulars Chishū Ryū and Setsuko Hara, this film surveys the rich and complex world of family life with the director’s customary delicacy and incisive perspective on social mores. Tokyo Story was voted the greatest film of all time in a recent poll of film directors conducted by Sight & Sound magazine.
This program is free to attend with a suggested donation of $5. Doors open at 7 pm; screening begins at 7:20 pm. Seating is limited to 30; attendance is mask optional.
Mid-Century Movie Nights is a six-film series taking place on Friday nights between May 6th and June 10th, co-curated by Cheryl Clarke and Mina Takahashi. The films, made between 1945 and 1959, give present-day viewers the opportunity to ponder the weight of the post-World War II era on its generation. From Rome to Tokyo, to the US Southwest, then to France, over to the Indian subcontinent, and back to gritty Manhattan, the films ask us to consider their subjects’ alienation, perseverance, and survival. As we witness the 1950s fascist regimes, exploitative working conditions, the loneliness of ageing, the indignities of poverty, the complexity of racial ambiguity, and the subtle and not-so-subtle ways racism and sexism play out, we ask ourselves today, what has stubbornly endured, and what has changed for the better?
Cheryl Clarke is a poet and one of the organizers of the annual Hobart Festival of Women Writers. Her most recent book is Targets, published by Bushel Editions in 2020. She spends weekends processing books in her partner’s bookstore, Blenheim Hill Books, one of six bookstores in the Book Village of Hobart.
Mina Takahashi is a working collective member of Bushel. She lives in Delhi, edits Hand Papermaking magazine, and is involved in a number of community initiatives including Catskills Unity, Delaware County Citizens for Refugee Support (DCCRS), and Get Woke! Catskills.