Composition Supremeism (2)-The famous scene of "Tokyo Story"

  • 2019.05.25 Saturday
  • 12:18



The famous scene of "Tokyo Story"


Triangle composition


 Every member of the Hirayama family who surrounds the mother's corpse in "Tokyo Story" has a beautiful composition pointing to the right of the screen (Fig. 1: 1:48:16). It is sometimes described as being in a similar shape, but here, not all people are the same shape, but one of each of the two types in pairs is alternately arranged. And the surrounding four people are in a forward-looking posture so that it becomes a triangle with the lamp at the top. It can be said that this is more effective as a composition. In this scene, including other shots, it is a major feature that each person's character is placed so as not to overlap with others, and it plays the role of a piece that becomes a whole triangle.


「東京物語」の名場面 1
 Figure 1













 Also, in the shots surrounding the ruins, it is said that even if there are several movements, there is no change in the basic pattern, but it should be considered as if the change is considered inconspicuous. It is sometimes done at the expense of the nature of the play. While this scene is over and the funeral starts, four people are moving in and out of the room, but they are acting not to break the composition. There are a total of five people who surround the dead, but this is also limited to only three or four at a time for composition.


 Looking at the first shot from the left, eldest son Koichi (Sou Yamamura) is in the foreground, Noriko (Setsuko Hara) is the back, eldest son Shige (Haruko Sugimura) is the mother, Kyoko (Kagawa Kyoko) is the first Going back and forth in a zigzag while approaching the ruins. The whole is arranged towards the mother, but Koichi alone creates a sense of stability that matches the character by leaving him parallel to the mother.

 The triangular composition with the lamp at the top is familiar in the Otsu movie, but here you can see that it is emphasized by being forward-looking. However, the inclination is not uniform, and it becomes gradually loose from the left end Koichi, and the last Kyoko becomes almost vertical. Therefore, the similarity is not appropriate. Although Ozu's works often point out similar forms, it is more important to look at the overall composition of them, even if they are similar in form.

 In this scene, when all the members are visible, the vertex is on the right, the others are on the left, and the head of the person speaking is in almost the same position, so you can see without changing the viewpoint. This left-over, head-over-headed conversation is a trend from the early silent beginning of Ozu (see "Grant to Ozu's Grammar (1)-Conversation" below).

 The composition is disturbed by Kyoko standing to receive Keizo (Osaka Shiro), but she leaves the room with anteversion so that it does not stand out (1:49:47).At the front door, put the coffin on the side, take down shoes while taking a seat and show Kiyo's back, and when Kyoko appears and he turns up and turns it becomes a triangle (1:49:54). When the camera is facing from the back yard, they will add a leaf chicken head to the garden and keep the triangle (1:50:08). The composition is not disturbed here because Keizo goes straight to the back.

 The direction to reflect the room in the next shot is from the edge, Keizo who entered the room from the left hand is standing facing right, Noriko is in front of the right side with Shiichi and Koichi between him, these three are Keizo Turn to (1:50:25). Here, with the two lamp lights on the left side, the space between the triangles is filled. As Keizo sat down, the clothes hung from the lintel will make up for it by connecting. In addition to this, Noriko further bows down to match his bow (1:50:37).

 When Shige teaches Keizo the time of his mother's death, she and Noriko make it more triangular in the backyard Hageito. In Keizo's close-up, he forcibly leans his neck to a nearly triangular position on the left side opposite to the body's inclination to the next shot (Fig. 21: 50: 52). And, as an exception, by turning his head to the right, the vertex also overlaps with the light that will be reflected in the next shot (see Figure 3 below, which is about the same type). That's because it gives priority to the flow that follows the conversation with the mind here. As it is the only work dealing with the death of the mother in the Ozu movie, it seems that the method of connecting this shot that broke the prohibition is not something else.


「東京物語」の名場面 2
 Figure 2












 At the shot which comes to the next, in order to compensate Kyoko's omission, Keizo is in a right end (1:50:59). 
If he approaches for worshipping a mother's face, in order to prepare disorder of a form, the upper part of the body is bent still more unnaturally, and it inclines to the right (1:51:20). This is also a place which Tadao Sato points out. 

As prompted by Koichi, Noriko stands up to inform Shukichi (Chisyu Ryu) the arrival of Kei3. And while she gets down to the porch, she sees his whereabouts as left and right, and leaves for the right(Figure 3 1:51:51). When I look carefully, I find that during this time, she is trying not to overlap with other people as much as possible by continuing to lean forward to the right which does not disturb the composition even if she is positive or turned back. In a word, it takes the posture that the spine is stretched and the waist is bent, and ' L ' is rotated to the right. The attitude of this movement reminds me of Cezanne's large bathing. Especially in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Noriko is like a nude with no fifth face drawn from the left (Figure 4 1898-1905).


「東京物語」の名場面 3 「東京物語」の名場面 4
 Fig. 3  Fig. 4 Cézanne "The Large Bathers"











 It was also in Kyoko to leave the room in a forward-looking position. However, she was sitting near the front, so there was little to no apparent slope and it was natural as it would just keep it standing up. As Noriko's body bends deeply, unnaturalness is noticeable because it is a movement from a distant place on the left. Right after this, Kyoko appears from the right hand and reshapes the triangle by sitting in a new vacant place (1: 52: 19). There is no need to go back to the place where she used to be, because Keizo burys the front.


 Next is the most famous scene of all Otsu movies. Here, not the triangles used in the previous shots, but a distinctive composition appears. This makes this scene stand out in conjunction with being outdoors. There are torii and a belfry at both ends, and there are two stone lanterns between them, and Shukichi stands on its right side to see the rising sea of ​​the morning sun. Noriko, who has already stretched out there, completes a concave composition with a curved upper side while approaching to fill the gap between him and the left stone lantern (1: 52: 24).


 And Noriko comes out in front of Shukichi, telling him that Keizo came (1: 52: 33). Here are three vertical lines, with the stone lanterns at the far right and Shukichi and Noriko equally lined, creating a beautiful quadrilateral with the upper side inclined even though it is to the right. Noriko slightly retreats to the left and looks in the same direction as Shukichi looking at the sea (Fig. 5 1: 52: 48). As she gets out of balance, the right and left balanced shapes appear, and the composition here is completed. Back home with the next shot Shukichi and Noriko approach the camera, but continue to hold the concave with the upper side curving side by side (1: 52: 53).


「東京物語」の名場面 5
 Figure 5














Strange behavior


 In the Hirayama family during the return of the two, Keizo moved to the right back of the room where Kyoko was sitting in the beginning, but this changed its position in order to reflect his face and mother's figure again (1:53:03). Keizo appears from the second half of the story, and as well as prioritizing the flow to the conversation, it is also a shot to bring out the presence that leads to leaving at the funeral here. However, there is no reason as a play, and Shukichi and Noriko will soon make short cuts and come in from the back side or the corridor, so Keizo will be the most disturbing place.

 Another question is when Kyoko's return after meeting Keizo. What was she doing up to that? It is about two minutes before she appears from the hallway after Keizo starts to move backwards from the entrance to the viewing time (1:50:16 to 1:52:08). The screenplay - written as "147 living room parlor Keizo," Hello "and Haii' come along with Kyoko." After that, there is no description about Kyoko until it moves to the funeral scene, and the last shot that Keizo changed position is not in the script itself. These show that the strange behavior of him and Kyoko was decided by giving priority to the composition at the time of shooting.

 Until Keizo comes, there is a space for him to sit, but her face is before the lamp (Figure 1). After he sat down, Shige had retreated a bit, and her face came just below the light (Figure 31: 50: 59). It is because the front of the mind is too empty to have been here since the beginning. Normally, after this, Keizo should move when he approaches the mother's bedside, but it would not look good, so he would have fallen in advance before he appeared. In fact, in the shot that reflects him entering the room from the outskirts, the face of the spirit is already under the light.

 However, if you look closely, Noriko behind her moves a little to the left after the appearance of Keizo, and the position of Shoji and the glass door also changes accordingly. And since Koichi on the left is not moving, he and Noriko are equally packed between the three. Here, too, Noriko was moved to the middle of Shinichi and Koichi for composition. Furthermore, after Keizo sits down, the cocoon is opened to the right, and the mosquito coil in front of it moves to the left. This is also to expand his whereabouts.

 After Keizo approached her mother's bedside, when Noriko and Kyoko left the room, Kyoko sat a little to the right and the space between her and her mind clogged up. This is a remake of the composition that has been disturbed by Keizo's forward movement, as there is a gap with him. However, even if there are no composition problems, it is often the case that if you take several similar shots in Ozu, you will change the shape to prevent this from becoming monotonous.

 For example, there are three shots where Keizo sits on the mother's bedside in this scene (approaching the bedside 1:51:20, Noriko and Kyoko exchange figure 3 1:51:43, move to the back of the room 1 : 53: 03) Besides the movement of the clearly shown person, the height and direction of the camera and the distance to the subject are also changing. The position of the chopsticks and chopsticks at the bottom of the screen is higher in the second shot, and the width of the chopsticks on the right and how the chopsticks appear are all different in three shots. A whale and a whale will also be moving. As the last shot was moved to the back by Keizo, the mosquito coil was in the way, so it was placed beside the ashtray prepared before Koichi before long, and Kyoko moved a little to the left, Noriko You can see that you are in the same place where you were sitting and you are composing.

 While the doctor the night before, there are five people in the room, including him, and it is shaped like a pentagon, baseball home base, not triangular (Figure 61: 1 42: 52). Nevertheless, Kyoko is scratching the ice in the kitchen and does not enter the room until the doctor returns, preventing further disturbance. When only the doctor and Koichi appear, the interval gets clogged, and accordingly the opening of the window is reduced (figure 7: 1:43:12). At this time, you can see the fan's fan on the left, but she and Shukichi on the right are not visible, so they are away from the mother's futon, Shige is in front of the left hand and Shukichi is back in front of the right Become.


「東京物語」の名場面 6 「東京物語」の名場面 7
 Figure 6  Figure 7











 It was already done by two children at the scene of "Early Summer" dinner of two years ago that the distance of the two reflected in the center was changed by such a close and pull (1: 57: 42). There are two shots from the front and the back, and their positions are slightly shifted so that the heads of all seven family members can be seen even if the bodies overlap. If two children are close to each other, the left and right characters (Kuniko Miyake, Shiroi Ichiro) appear only at the knees, and the movement of their hands suddenly stops.


Late night movement


 Let's go back to "Tokyo Story". After the doctor has returned, the four people will sit at the end of this scene from the far left: Kyoko, Koichi, Noriko, and Shukichi (1:47:23). Shige is taken to Koichi, and after coming out between Shukichi and the three, it does not return to the room yet. While she was leaving, they sent out a doctor and then returned to Noriko, where they were taken away, so would they both be replaced as they were before? On the next morning, Shukichi came off, and Noriko and Kyoko from the far left. Then Koichi sits down in front of the screen (Figure 1). In other words, everyone was changing their place. However, if Shige and Noriko were replaced at night, only Shige did not move.

 So how did they move? As an example, Shige and Noriko had returned to their original places, 12 and Koichi saw her mother's last, and since it was not on the bowl the night before, so it was not Kyoko stood up to prepare, followed by Koichi 3 moving to a place with a bath, then Kyoko 4 moving there to organize her mother's bed, and Noriko had her after helping Kyoko. 5 and Shukichi were 6 leaving the room at dawn. In any case, the ones that actually reflected the movement are likely to get considerably worse.



Evening:     Next morning:
 Kyoko     Koichi       Noriko (5)   Kyoko  (4)

 Mother Tomi  

Tomi's dead body  
 Noriko     Shukichi       Shige  (1) (Shukichi (6))
 Shige        (Noriko (2))
    Koichi (3)

 So why has it changed to such an arrangement? In order to identify it, let's follow the transition from the next morning until the end of the scene (blue = entrance, red = exit, green = movement). From the next morning, only Kyoko 15 and Noriko 3 who are in the back come and go, and Koichi and Shige of the front do not move. And in front of Shige is a space for Kei3 to sit. It turns out that the movement at night was prepared for the 6 steps of changing places after he appeared. These are all for suppressing the disorder of the composition.



From the next morning to the end of the scene:
(1) (1:48:16)    (2) (1:49:53)    (3) (1:51:20)
  Noriko  Kyoko     Noriko     Noriko 
Tomi's dead body       
  Shige     Shige     Shige  Keizo 
  Koichi     Koichi     Koichi 
(4) (1:52:07)    (5) (1:52:18)    (6) (1:53:03)
     Kyoko     Kyoko  Keizo 
  Shige  Keizo     Shige  Keizo     Shige 
  Koichi     Koichi     Koichi 


 Another consideration is that people do not move in front of the screen when they enter or leave the room. When Keizo enters the room, he takes him from the other side and makes him far. A doctor is in the inside near a front door from the beginning in the previous evening, so he stands up and leaves just as it is. Noriko went almost straight back and after him, the two took a forward-looking posture (1 : 43: 50). This is also a performance suitable for the scene that Noriko speaks to a doctor, but Noriko, which is the same as Kyoko and Noriko in the next morning, has a deeper slope and its angle is also adjusted to the overall composition. is. Subsequently, Kyoko's entry, which was scratching the ice, moved boldly across the front of the camera and into the back of the room, but here the change was suppressed by using the same shot from the doctor's exit.

 With Koichi, Shukichi and Shige leaving, only Koichi moves from the front with the camera facing in the opposite direction, and when the two in the back stand up, they immediately leave the room behind him (1: 44: 40). When they return, they will be one by one, and they will not take the movement of Shige because they are so many of them (1:46:29). And after Koichi and Shukichi leave the room, they will be a while to reflect the sleeping room of their mother. It's common for people in the Ozu movie to go in and out of the room, waiting for the appearance of a person, but taking pictures in this room prevents the composition from being disturbed by omitting the movement into the room. Koichi turned to the back after showing his back, and Shukichi just advanced a few steps from there and sat down (1:47:15).

 Other works of the same type have a different nature from this. At "Early Spring" Sugiyama (Ryo Ikebe) leaves Chiyo (Keiko Kishi) in the ryokan room for going to work (47:46). Sho Hirayama (Shin Saburi) of "Equinox Flower" falsely goes to the bathroom to resume work, and leaves the room, stopping Hatsu Sasaki (Chieko Naniwa) from stopping to follow (21: 51). In the former, Chiyo who became alone appears for a while, and when the shot changes, Sugiyama has already walked in the corridor. Hirayama sees the door knob soon after Hirasawa sees away, and the shot changes soon after Sasaki is alone, so the latter does not show where it is coming out. These two are not a problem of composition, but can be said to be an expression of place and place to contrast the people left in the room with the people leaving.


Written notice.

I translated from Japanese original in machine translation software on the Internet. I translated it into Japanese with the same software and confirmed it, but I think there are still imprecise and unclear places. 


The original text is below.



(The text ends here)




  • 2020.07.22 Wednesday
  • 12:18
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