All hail Ozu, whose Good Morning stands as a masterpiece of Japanese cinema. His Asian Peyton Place features catty housewives and petulant children, their small suburban community coming undone because of neighborhood dues that have gone missing. To add to the hubbub, the children refuse to speak or eat because their parents won't buy them a TV. This leads to endless bitterness among the women of the mini-town, all presuming the other families are either thieves or bitches.

Ozu plops his camera down in each scene and never moves it, giving us a directorial simplicity and stuffiness that melds beautifully with the vitriol on screen. It's just like Japan: All smiles on faces but turmoil in the gut. This allegory about appearances and attitudes is simply too rich to miss.

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