A Story of Floating Leaves and Floating Leaves: Two Films by Yasujiro Ozu

We return to the Yasujiro Ozu well with a double feature, or as Pat corrects me, a one and a half feature. Ozu made the silent black-and-white A Story of Floating Leaves in 1934 then during a break in his production schedule after finishing Good Morning early in 1959 he remade it as Floating Leaves in color and with sound. Fascinating to see a great artist approach the same basic material a quarter-century apart. It reminds me of Loudon Wainwright III's album Recovery in which he rerecorded some of his earliest work.

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The Scarlet Empress

One of the last Hollywood films before the Hays Code went into effect, Josef von Sternberg's The Scarlet Empress seems to see the coming crackdown and just wave the double deuce at it. The story of how Catherine the Great ended up as Empress of Russia - one of apparently two films on the subject to come out in 1934 for some reason - The Scarlet Empress claims historical accuracy by being based on Catherine's own journals. This is a...tenuous claim.