A Story of Floating Weeds
Copresented by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival
Takeshi Sakamoto, Choko Iida, Hideo Mitsui, Emiko Yagumo,
The leader of a down-at-the-heels band of traveling players returns to a small mountain town and meets his grown son, who is unaware of his father’s existence. The son himself becomes involved with one of the actresses in the troupe. Yasujiro Ozu took the idea from a 1929 American film, The Barker, about a circus barker whose educated son falls for a performer in his father’s troupe, and completely transformed it with added vital characters, including the former mistress. “Ozu turned this slightly melodramatic story into a picture of great atmosphere and intensity of character, one in which story, actors, and setting all combine to create a whole world, the first of those eight-reel universes in which everything takes on a consistency somewhat greater than life: in short, a work of art. Ozu himself remained fond of this film and successfully remade it in color in 1959, under the title Floating Weeds” (Donald Richie).