"If in our century something sacred still existed... if there were something like a sacred treasure of the cinema, then for me that would have to be the work of the director Yasujiro Ozu."
Tokyo Story is a treasure. I am speechless now. The film just ended about ten minutes ago. And I feel like I just woke from the saddest and yet the most relishing dream I ever had.
The tunes still play in my head. The mother is still smiling, telling herself that she should be happy. The father is telling himself, "so des ne.." it will all be alright. All is good. The incense still burns slowly in the room, pouring out soft steady ribbons of smoke.
THe film is about a couple who went to Tokyo to visit their children who have moved away from home after getting married and got their jobs. Tokyo, the industry town, the big city, where there are too many people, where people are always busy. 'Children change when they grow up' and the couple tell themselves 'we ought to be proud of what they have become'. But there has been a drift between them. Somehow life has made them all selfish. Somehow they have all become strangers.
I guess I saw myself in the children. I guess there was too much in the way the mother and father still trusted them even though it had become too obvious that they were taking backseats in their children's lives. The way the parents convinced themselves they have brought up fine children and done what they could. As they sit on the water's edge.
"I wonder what Kyoko is doing now," the father says dreamily (Kyoko is the youngest daughter who still lives with her parents at their hometown). He and his wife have been to Tokyo and were conveniently sent to a hot springs just so the children can have them out of the way for a while as they attend to their businesses.
"You are missing home already.." the mother says. The father laughs slowly. "I think it's time to go home. We have seen Tokyo, we have seen Atami (hot springs). Let's go home today.."
This is a film that should not be watched by too many people. It is a film that should not become too popular.