Tonari no Yae-chan (Our Neighbour, Miss Yae). 1934. Japan. Yasujiro Shimazu. In Japanese; English subtitles. 76 min.
With Yukichi Iwata, Choko Iida, Yumeko Aizome, Yoshiko Okada, Den Obinata. "Our Neighbour, Miss Yae is considered the representative work of director Yasujrio Shimazu, and one of the major achievements of the 1930s shomin-geki (the drama of the urban lower middle class). Shimazu's penchant for understated melodrama and his blending of humour and pathos are perfectly expressed in this delicate study of family life and romance. Both in tone and style (an often static camera; a focus on the resonances of interior spaces), comparisons with Ozu are almost inevitable, but Shimazu's looser, somewhat less formal style has its own distinctive pleasures. Typical of its genre, the film creates characters who are both meticulously detailed individuals and exemplary of the 1930s Japanese family as a whole, allowing viewers to identify closely with their experiences and feelings. The result is a moving, funny and subtle study of prewar Japanese domestic life."