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Film / Good Morning

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Good Morning is a 1959 Japanese film directed by Yasujiro Ozu.

It is a comedy about the neighboring families in a quiet Japanese suburban residential neighborhood. The two boys of the Hayashi family, pre-teen Minoru and his adorable little brother Isamu, want a television set so they can watch sumo wrestling. They throw tantrums when their parents won't get them one, and finally they resort to the silent treatment, refusing to speak to their parents or any other adults. Other plot threads include the dues for the women's club, which Mrs. Hayashi was supposed to collect but which have disappeared, and the boys' friendly English teacher, Mr. Fukui, who has a crush on the boys' aunt Tamiko.

This film is a loose remake of 1932 Ozu film I Was Born, But....


  • As You Know: Two of the gossiping housewives mention that they don't like the bohemian couple, who sit around in pajamas during the day. (It's this couple that have the TV that Minoru and Isamu watch.)
  • Big Brother Worship: Isamu worships Minoru, following him around, copying his gestures.
  • Bigger Stick: The salesman who flashes his pocket knife is scared away when Grandma Haraguchi whips out a giant kitchen knife to sharpen the pencils.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Mr. Fukui never does work up the nerve to tell Tamiko how he feels.
  • The Con: Or at least very unethical sales tactics. A rather intimidating door-to-door salesman goes around the neighborhood, trying to get the housewives to buy his trinkets, including his pencils, which he demonstrates by sharpening the pencils with a menacing pocket knife. Later, another, much nicer salesman comes around selling burglar alarms which one can use to ward off intimidating door-to-door salesman. A following scene has the two salesmen meeting in a bar to divide their take.
  • Gossipy Hens: Most of the housewives of the neighborhood, the worst being Mrs. Okubo, who first implies that Mrs. Hayashi stole the women's club dues, and then tells everyone that the Hayashi kids didn't talk to her because Mrs. Hayashi is still mad about the whole stolen dues business.
  • Match Cut: A nifty cut from a bright red shirt hanging on a clothesline to a bright red lampshade, both in the same place in the frame.
  • Maybe Ever After: Mr. Fukui and Tamiko love each other but neither ever gets around to saying so. In their last scene they're idly chatting about the weather.
  • New Media Are Evil: The rather contemptuous attitude that most of the older people in the neighborhood have towards television. By 1959, TV was really catching on in Japan, and there as in the USA it was seen as a threat to motion pictures and to the national culture overall.
    Mr. Hayashi: Someone said television would produce a hundred million idiots.note 
  • Potty Failure: Minoru's buddy has to go home after their farting contest ends with him pooping his pants.
  • The Remake: Of Ozu's 1932 silent film ''I Was Born, But...".
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Grandma Haraguchi. That is what happened to the dues money. She simply forgot to turn it in.
  • Signature Shot: Ozu had a habit of shooting conversations with the two people involved each directly addressing the camera, instead of putting them in the same shot or shooting over each character's shoulder. He was also known for shots with a camera staged three feet above the ground and pointing up, as in the perspective of a person kneeling on a Japanese pillow. Both are used frequently in this film.
  • Slice of Life: A gentle satire of life in the suburbs, with particular attention paid to the idle chit-chat that substitutes for actual conversation.
  • That Cloud Looks Like...: Mr. Fukui resorts to this when he can't bring himself to tell Tamiko how he feels.
  • Title Drop: After Minoru's dad tells him kids shouldn't talk too much, Minoru says adults indulge in pointless chatter all the time, like saying "good morning" to each other.
  • Toilet Humor: The kids have a variation on the pull-my-finger contest in which they fart when someone presses a finger to their forehead. (Pressing a finger to the forehead being a habit of Mr. Fukui when Minoru gets a question wrong.)