"Ozu’s is a cinema of cumulative impact. The film’s early scenes delve into the cluster of families around Tomi and Shukishi – busy doctor Koichi; no-nonsense hair-salon owner Shige; sweet widowed daughter-in-law Noriko – observing their variously neglectful or dutiful relations with little or no introduction. Shukishi goes on a sake binge with old pals and they discuss their estrangement from, and disappointment with, their offspring. You could say that learning to deal with disappointment is the philosophical, even religious, heart of ‘Tokyo Story’. And the way Ozu builds up emotional empathy for a sense of disappointment in its various characters is where his mastery lies. "
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"People spend a lot of time sitting side by side in an Ozu film. Instead of over-the-shoulder compositions, he likes two or three characters all in a row. If this causes violations of the eyeline rules (sometimes they don't seem to be looking at one another when they speak), he doesn't care. Often he views them from behind. He composes this way, I think, so we can see them all at once, the listeners as well as the speakers."