There Was a Father

Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Year Released: 1942
Rating: 2.5

A schoolteacher (Chishû Ryû), while on a field trip with his class, has one of his students die in a boating accident and he feels the need to leave the profession forever, so he takes off with his only son to live elsewhere and start again. Ozu's master shot aesthetic, once again, acts as a distancing factor, and it certainly doesn't help that after the first act, the movie becomes virtually tension-free, spanning years in a matter of minutes as Ryû's son grows up, follows in his Dad's footsteps and becomes a skilled teacher in his own right. As talented as Ozu was at these dreadfully somber family dramas, I'll forever cherish his sporadic forays into light comedy: this could have used a few more light moments.