Musuko (My Son). 1991. Japan. Directed by Yoji Yamada. Screenplay by Yoshitaka Asama, Yamada. With Rentaro Mikuni, Masatoshi Nagase, Emi Wakui. 35mm. In Japanese; English subtitles . 121 min.
Considered by many contemporary Japanese filmmakers, including Shuichi Okita (The Woodsman and the Rain), to be one of Shochiku’s most touching films, My Son is a story of young romance and filial piety told with laughter and pathos, in true Yoji Yamada fashion (a style he learned from Shochiku’s legendary filmmakers Yasujirō Ozu and Yasujirō Shimazu). Fresh from his success as the lead in Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train, Masatoshi Nagase plays Tetsuo, a layabout who works part time at a bar in Tokyo. Returning to the countryside on the anniversary of his mother’s death, he is goaded by his displeased father into taking a job at an iron factory. There he meets a young woman who seems unable to speak. 35mm print courtesy Shochiku