“Tokyo Story,” April 5, 2021 (1953), DVD. I had never seen this brilliant, quiet, black-and-white classic from Japanese master Yasujiru Ozu, but this Criterion release is a special presentation of his genius. It’s 1953, and Japan is reindustrializing after its defeat and losses in World War II. You see the building but it is shown in silence. You see the trains, but they are balanced by boats slowly chugging up the river. You see factories and development. But you see the cost as well. An old couple [they are younger than we are] decides to go to Tokyo to visit their two children and their families and their daughter-in-law whose husband, their son, died in World War II. Their children are both welcoming and irritated that they are coming for a real stay. The grandchildren are selfish and, in a 1950s way, narcissistic and entitled. Both children and grandchildren are concerned that it will take time from their busy lives. One is a neighborhood doctor, the other a hair stylist. Each must tend to clients and they find ways of not caring for them that seem generous but are really designed to slough them off. Their daughter-in-law makes the time to be with them, to listen to them, to care for them and to honor them. In Tokyo the husband visits with old friends and they discuss their pain in the present, in their children’s failure to ‘succeed’ as the parents had expected. Indeed, the film gives us this amazing, simple, and loving exchange between a daughter and a daughter-in-law: “Life is a disappointment.” “ Yes it is.” But for one it comes with a knowing smile and great love from one. Life is short. People are imperfect and judgmental. Many are more concerned with form than the substance of connection, the appearance of propriety. They disguise their greed. Success is fleeting. Kindness and caring truly do matter. This is a really remarkable and memorable film. The Criterion collection includes a 2-hour feature on Ozu’s life and work. His tombstone speaks to the quiet and loss, the character on it translates as “Nothingness.” See this one.