Whenever I’m particularly agitated and need to calm down, I’ll watch a film by the late Japanese Director Yasujiro Ozu. One of my favorite films and recognized as his masterpiece is the 1953 “Tokyo Story” about an elderly couple who travel from their small town to visit their grown, married children in the big city. It is a disappointing visit with their children who are too busy to spend time with them. Tokyo Story is painful but beautiful to watch as the film captures every day life in an unhurried way. The non-melodramatic unfolding of this sad story and slow pace of the film always lulls me into a calmer state.
Tokyo Story was ranked the #1 film of all time in 2012 and is often included on lists of the best films ever made.
According to this entry in Wikipedia, “Tokyo Story is often admired as a work that achieves great emotional effect while avoiding melodrama. Critic Wally Hammond stated that ‘the way Ozu builds up emotional empathy for a sense of disappointment in its various characters is where his mastery lies.’ Roger Ebert wrote that the work ‘lacks sentimental triggers and contrived emotion; it looks away from moments a lesser movie would have exploited. It doesn't want to force our emotions, but to share its understanding.’ “