The Ozu thread.

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This is the thread where we praise and discuss the Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, who would have turned 100 this year.

Actually, it's just an excuse for me to post this lovely quote I found from one of Ozu's old classmates, who became a train station conductor:

"I could prepare a first class ticket for the night express from Kyoto to Ofuna, but Ozu always politely rejected it and took a seat in the second class carriage. Ozu said he wanted to watch the movements of the fans on the ceiling. The same switch turns all the fans on, but their movements are quite different - one goes around faster, another goes around slower. Each fan has its own character. For all that, however, the time comes only 2 or 3 times a journey when their movements are perfectly synchronised. Sometimes it didn't happen and Ozu was disappointed. Watching from Kyoto to Ofuna gives him a chance to see the synchronisation."

(This reminds me of Hou Hsiao-Hsien's explanation of his film Millennium Mambo as related to me by his producer, Peggy Chiao: When observing falling leaves from a distance, they all seem the same, but up close one discovers that each leaf has its own quiet path and velocity as it falls to the earth.)

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 February 2003 21:54 (seventeen years ago) link

If my memory is correct, the film I'm going to see at the Japanese Embassy tomorrow night, Ohayo, is one of his, so I'll get back to you after that (probably Wednesday). Otherwise, search anything seasonal, and of course Tokyo Story.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 10 February 2003 22:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I like all the ones w/ Autumn in the title, esp. the one where the Dad peels an orange and stares wistfully off into the sunset, lamenting the passage of time, the need for change, the small betrayls we all make, THE END

Andrew L (Andrew L), Monday, 10 February 2003 22:02 (seventeen years ago) link

Ohayo is one of his later films, and it's not quite a remake but a revisiting of the themes/locations of his silent film I Was Born, But.... Much of the film revolves around the idea of farting noises-as-communication.

Ozu's old studio, Shochiku, is planning major events for his centennary. They've restored all of his extant films (most of his silents are lost, sadly) and are preparing subtitled prints for distribution around the world. At the moment no Ozu films are being distributed in the US, but that should change shortly. Also several companies in the UK and the US are planning DVD issues of several Ozu films. And finally there are rumblings that Shochiku plans to release every one of his extant films (that's 30+, people) onto DVD in one, undoubtedly phenomenally expensive, set.

For more info see

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 February 2003 22:13 (seventeen years ago) link

Look how low the camera is positioned!

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 February 2003 22:30 (seventeen years ago) link

Shochiku were f8ckers, all the old Japanese film stables were.

Mary (Mary), Sunday, 16 February 2003 06:16 (seventeen years ago) link

How do you mean, Mary?

And what did you think of Ohayo, Martin?

Amateurist (amateurist), Sunday, 16 February 2003 06:22 (seventeen years ago) link

Ooh sorry, I forgot! Ohayo was fun, hardly at all like his others. It's a comedy with lots of farting, but mostly about how human communication works, how small talk functions in adult society, how misunderstandings occur, and so on. It was a bit like watching a comedy Hitchcock rather than a suspense one, and I don't suppose it appears on lists of his best, but I enjoyed it.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 16 February 2003 11:04 (seventeen years ago) link

Actually Ohayo (known as Good Morning in the US) isn't all that anomalous. Ozu's earliest surviving films include many comedies, and even many of his postwar melodramas (like Record of a Tenement Gentleman) have a lot of humor--not all of it gentle, either. I think Ozu's reputation as dour is a somewhat unfortunate legacy of: which films of his were the first to be shown in Europe and the US; the arguments of such fans as Paul Schrader re. Ozu's "transcendent" style.

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 17 February 2003 06:27 (seventeen years ago) link

(What was lost in that last garbled sentence was my idea that Schrader's book has helped to perpetuate the misconception that Ozu is a director of somber films.)

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 17 February 2003 06:53 (seventeen years ago) link

I much prefer somber to dour as a description. Yes, I'm aware that he made lots of comedies early on, but my experience of him before now hadn't included any of those. It's Tokyo Story and those with seasons in the titles that I've had the chance to see previously.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 17 February 2003 13:41 (seventeen years ago) link

Sorry, Martin, that was me in pedantic mode. You're right that somber is an accurate description of a lot of his films, Tokyo Story included.

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 17 February 2003 14:38 (seventeen years ago) link

two months pass...
I got to see two rare 1930s Ozu films today, Woman of Tokyo and Only Son (this is the part of the post where I say "haha suckerz!"). I'll report back on them when I have a few moments.

Amateurist (amateurist), Sunday, 20 April 2003 20:48 (seventeen years ago) link

seven months pass...
Ozu retro in Paris now. Will be attending everyday if the fates allow. Just saw Tokyo Story and bawled like a baby in front of two girls I just met, then made a quick exit.

amateur!st (amateurist), Saturday, 22 November 2003 23:33 (sixteen years ago) link

whistled the theme on the way home

its lovely

amateur!st (amateurist), Saturday, 22 November 2003 23:34 (sixteen years ago) link

("Ozu"... "Japanese director", uhuh! ...Okey, but what's the English spelling of that mighty fine Greek beverage again??...)

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Sunday, 23 November 2003 00:03 (sixteen years ago) link

ouzo, at least in english.

teeny (teeny), Sunday, 23 November 2003 00:28 (sixteen years ago) link

thanks, teeny :)

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Sunday, 23 November 2003 00:37 (sixteen years ago) link

Floating Weeds and Late Summer were my film highlights of summer 2003. The funeral scene at the end of the latter is extraordinary.

Daniel (dancity), Sunday, 23 November 2003 02:26 (sixteen years ago) link

Tokyo Story affected me deeply, possibly more than any other movie I've seen. There's a culture gap between my parents and I - I was born in the states, they were not - and they often adhere to their ways and expectations. When they are unreasonable to me, I sometimes just laugh at them. This seems cruel and mean (and yes, it is), but to be fair, you need to hear what they sometimes say. For example, right before I left for college, my father told me that I should break up with my girlfriend so I could concentrate on my studies. This is just one example out of many.

My father is about to retire, and I've noticed a bit of regret within him - that maybe he could've been a better father. Seeing Tokyo Story a few years ago really made it clear to me that no matter how justified I might have felt, whenever I went against their advice or wishes, I usually acted like a jerk. In the film, the mother dies, thinking that her children are disrespectful, selfish brats. It didn't really hit me before, with that much clarity, just how utterly horrible that would be. I think about the movie all the time; I really do. Whenever my father sternly says to me, "You need to get married," instead of laughing, I now just listen, patiently.

Anisette, Sunday, 23 November 2003 05:24 (sixteen years ago) link

For example, right before I left for college, my father told me that I should break up with my girlfriend so I could concentrate on my studies.

Um, he's got a point.

Casuistry (Chris P), Sunday, 23 November 2003 07:57 (sixteen years ago) link

Floating Weeds and Late Summer were my film highlights of summer 2003. The funeral scene at the end of the latter is extraordinary.

Do you mean "End of Summer"? It actually goes under different titles in English, but the Japanese title translates as "Last Happiness for the Kohayagawa Family," thus the French title was "Dernier caprice."

I just saw it on Friday, and you're right, many people in the audience were weeping at the end.

This is one of a very few films Ozu made for the Toho company, which he could do because he had fulfilled his contract with rival Shochiku by producing a film for them that year already. I think Toho allowed him greater financial resources but he couldn't use some of his favored crew who were contracted to Shochiku, so here he uses Kurosawa's cameraman instead of Yuharu Atsuta, and the score was written not by the great Kojun Saitô but by Toshirô Mayuzumi, with whom Ozu worked I believe only this once. The reasons were obvious to me--compared to the graceful scores of Tokyo Story etc., which underline but do not overpower the emotions latent in the action (or non-action) on screen, the score for "End of Summer" is rather militant, aggressive...with dramatic bursts of darkness and shifts in tone. I thought it was inappropriate, but at the same time it was interesting to see how the film fared anyhow (well I think).

Anisette I think one of the great things about "Tokyo Story" and indeed many Ozu films is how, as in Renoir's great films, each character has their reasons for acting and feeling as they do, even if certain actions might be unforgivable. The dialogue between the youngest daughter and Setsuko Hara toward the end of the film crystallizes this, and in fact offers the audience two distinct perspectives from which to judge the action: the daughter's fury at the insensitivity of her brothers and sisters, and Noriko's greater sympathy for all parties (a feeling which is made all the more poignant by her breakdown in front of her father in law, where she confesses to selfishness and of not thinking of her late husband every day--in light of this confession one could think that her attentiveness to her in laws is a way of trying to forgive herself).

amateur!st (amateurist), Sunday, 23 November 2003 14:03 (sixteen years ago) link

For one thing one of the ostensibly least sympathetic characters, the younger son who works in Osaka...I found myself identifying with him very much. His frustration with the funeral rites, his refusal (unspoken but it's clear) to wear the traditional funereal garb, his distractedness...but as is clear from the dialogue with his coworker, his genuine concern for his parents which he just isn't able to make manifest before it's too late.

amateur!st (amateurist), Sunday, 23 November 2003 14:06 (sixteen years ago) link

If you liked "Tokyo Story" BTW you must see my favorite Ozu, "Early Summer" (the Japanese title translates to "Wheat Harvest Season" which is actually quite important if you see the film), which was made two years before with almost all the same actors and crew, and is (like other Ozu films in this period) essentially a rearranging of the plot points, family structure, etc. to produce a kind of variation of the same film. In this film the conclusion is much different, and for me it can be said to surpass "Tokyo Story" only insofar as Ozu's experiments with editing and camera placement are even more playful and awesome here. But also the character played by Setsuko Hara--also named Noriko--has an even more evident stubborn streak here, albeit one that she plays down until the end. It's interesting that he used Hara to embody these characters that superficially could be considered models of feminine obseqiousness etc., and indeed she was known in Japan as the "eternal virgin," but in reality are quite modern and independent.

amateur!st (amateurist), Sunday, 23 November 2003 14:10 (sixteen years ago) link

Also Anisette "Tokyo Story" was inspired in part by an American film that Ozu and his screenwriter Noda saw while prisoners of war, one that was made in the mid-30s by the great Leo McCarey. It's called "Make Way for Tomorrow" and likewise deals with the plight of the elderly, the alternating concern and indifference of their children.... It's even more tragic in its way that "Tokyo Story," and no less moving. Naturally it was a total box office flop in its day and has largely been forgotten. But if you ever have a chance to see it, I'm convinced it's one of the greatest Hollywood films ever made (there is an extraordinary humanity in it, a richness in the portrayals, that makes one understand why Ozu borrowed from it).

amateur!st (amateurist), Sunday, 23 November 2003 14:13 (sixteen years ago) link

Another similiarity b/t "Tokyo Story" and "Early Summer" is the prescence-through-absence of a boy lost in the war. In the case of the latter film it's not Noriko's husband but her older brother, and he assumes an even greater importance in that film than the dead boy does in "Tokyo Story." It's interesting because as I understand, and as the retired Military Chief blurts out suddenly in "Tokyo Story" (the bar scene), talking about the horrible losses suffered by the Japanese was fairly taboo in those days--so soon after the war, still I believe under American governorship or just coming out of it. The end of "Early Summer," which I won't reveal, is a stunning tribute-by-metaphor to those war dead, whose stories provide a kind of tragic background to the relatively humorous or at least light action in the foreground.... The two lines intersect (almost literally--it's hard to explain) at the end of the film and the effect is overwhelming.

By means of a cagey explanation--again, I won't actually reveal the plot here--in Japan (someone correct me if I've got this somewhat wrong) a shaft of wheat represents a dead person, synbolizing the endless renewal...from death to the bonteous wheat harvest, etc. This is why the Japanese title is important.

At some point the Western distributors of Ozu's films decided to give the late films, similar sounding titles referencing the seasons. In a way this is apt because his late films are, as I mentioned before, like variations or rotations on a theme (Ozu jokingly referred to himself as a "tofu seller"). But on some occasions (also as noted above) the English titles obscure the specificity of meaning in the film (sometimes a very Japanese specifity).

amateur!st (amateurist), Sunday, 23 November 2003 14:19 (sixteen years ago) link

Sorry for overposting.

amateur!st (amateurist), Sunday, 23 November 2003 14:20 (sixteen years ago) link

don't stop - im enjoying it.

jed (jed_e_3), Sunday, 23 November 2003 14:24 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm trying to get some friends to see "Early Summer" on Tuesday but I'm afraid they won't come and if they do come I'm afraid they won't understand what I see in it and I'll have to kill myself.

amateur!st (amateurist), Sunday, 23 November 2003 14:27 (sixteen years ago) link

i haven't seen any of them but you're making me want to.

jed (jed_e_3), Sunday, 23 November 2003 14:32 (sixteen years ago) link

good that's the idea!!

amateur!st (amateurist), Sunday, 23 November 2003 14:42 (sixteen years ago) link

colin - you missed the ozu retro at the gft in august. i went to see 'floating weeds' and 'end of summer', the colours are extraordinary, as-if-hand-painted-onto-the-negative [insert word for opposite of pallor].

raphael diligent (Cozen), Sunday, 23 November 2003 16:32 (sixteen years ago) link

Unfortunately the Ozu retro in Paris is not using new prints. I guess french-Fubtitled prints weren't struck during the recent spate of Ozu activity. The print tonight of "An Autumn Afternoon" was in rough shape, as was the print of "Tokyo Story"...probably because they've been screened often, unlike "The End of Summer" which is comparatively obscure.

We'll see what the prints of the silents look like...hopefully they're not the same prints that have been banging around for 20 years.

amateur!st (amateurist), Sunday, 23 November 2003 18:00 (sixteen years ago) link

The hand-painted quality you mention--I think this comes from the fact that Ozu is so fond of bright primary colors--wasn't evident in the print tonight, but "The End of Summer" did look that way. I hope their print of "Ohayo" is decent because to me that has the most extraorindary mix of color/mass/shape/line of any Ozu film. It's like a Mondrian painting except much more exciting.

amateur!st (amateurist), Sunday, 23 November 2003 18:01 (sixteen years ago) link

I wonder if Ozu's reputation isn't a bit greater in the English-speaking world than in France.... Today's film was nearly sold out, but the other evenings have been sparser than I would have anticipated, and the retro hasn't gotten a great amount of press.

amateur!st (amateurist), Sunday, 23 November 2003 18:04 (sixteen years ago) link

what i liked from what i can remember:

i. they felt like i wasn't supposed to be seeing them. like they were a kind of historical archive of japanese (?) relationships and etiquettes of the time acted out rather than written then locked away in a timecapsule (i.e. japan).
ii. they were relentlessly slow.
iii. it ws quite odd seeing the same actors playing similar roles differently, it's a simple thing to say i suppose but it jst fetched up as quite odd.
iv. the colours!
v. the scene near the end of one of them (sorry my memory is really quite sketchy of these films, i'm not too sure i'm tht big a fan of ozu) with the old woman and the old woman picking things from a river, smoke in the background, 'someone must have died', 'but the crows haven't moved' (i may be mis-remembering this).
vi. the cramped architecture.
vii. i didn't notice the music at all, is it really that good?
viii. the colours!

raphael diligent (Cozen), Sunday, 23 November 2003 19:14 (sixteen years ago) link

'the old woman and an old man'

raphael diligent (Cozen), Sunday, 23 November 2003 19:16 (sixteen years ago) link

i like it when you talk abt how you cry at the cinema amst. i emptied myself of tears like a child at the end of yi-yi and was quite surprised recently when in class i mentioned tht i'd done this some people were quite mock-disparaging. (side question: if it makes you cry is it really good? because ken loach always gets me in quite a severe way but i'm not sure i love his films.)

raphael diligent (Cozen), Sunday, 23 November 2003 19:20 (sixteen years ago) link

I don't know if he's any more popular here. I went to see Floating Weeds a month or two ago, and the cinema wasn't very full at all.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 23 November 2003 20:19 (sixteen years ago) link

the cinema was empty for 'floating weeds' (3pm midweek) but 75% full for 'end of summer' (8pm midweek) which makes me think it ws jst a timing thing.

raphael diligent (Cozen), Sunday, 23 November 2003 21:01 (sixteen years ago) link

I saw Floating Weeds in the evening, though, so it wasn't just that - I'm not trying to suggest that Ozu is particularly unpopular here, just that I see no great distinction between his rep and standing here and in France, as far as I am aware.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 23 November 2003 21:24 (sixteen years ago) link

David, I thought the score for "The End of Summer" was subpar.

I enjoyed the strange jazzy score for "An Autumn Afternoon" which stays at full blast no matter if its a comic or a noncomic scene, and even serves--welcomely-- to confuse the two, such that half the audience will be laughing and half dabbing their eyes at the same time. The score for "Early Summer" just seemed to underline a few too many times emotions that were already made plain through other means, and also tried--unsuccesfully thank god--to smother other, more complex emotions that might emerge unexpectedly as they are wont to do when watching Ozu's films.

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 24 November 2003 10:08 (sixteen years ago) link

The old man at the river in "The End of Summer" is Chishu Ryu, in one of his few non-starring roles in late Ozu films.

You're probably right that Ozu's reputation is no greater in England than here in France. I was just surprised, given Paris's reputation as the Mecca of great cinema, that this series has arrived without much fanfare.

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 24 November 2003 10:10 (sixteen years ago) link

the recent rereleases of late ozu films in england actually got v bad reviews, even though they got pretty good attention compared w/ other recent rereleases (ie pialat's 'van gogh'). as it stands only 'tokyo story' is available on vhs; but there isn't a good enough discourse surrounding him to make him any more popular. reviews tend to centre of his humanity, modesty, etc, which aren't big sellers. i'd love to see writing that comes from a position of knowledge on japan's transition from imperial state to u.s. protectorate for example.

enrique (Enrique), Monday, 24 November 2003 10:24 (sixteen years ago) link

but that too would seem to miss much of the point. i mean why would you want to devote yourself to a symptomatic reading of the most deliberate of all filmmakers?

his films sometimes fare ok on video but for the moment i have no interest in video at all.

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 24 November 2003 10:42 (sixteen years ago) link

sadly most ppl depend on video; it's not ideal, but what can you do?

why would you want to devote yourself to a symptomatic reading of the most deliberate of all filmmakers?

might be rewarding. i'm not quite sure what you mean anyway: lang and hitchcock were deliberate filmmakers and ppl still read their times into their work, so why not ozu? he was working through the most momentous 2 decades in japanese history, after all.

enrique (Enrique), Monday, 24 November 2003 10:45 (sixteen years ago) link

yes i suppose youre right, and ozu does address himself to these issues time and again. certainly he was a man of the 20th century. i think bordwell's book points to but hardly exhausts some ideas along these lines which could be followed further.

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 24 November 2003 11:05 (sixteen years ago) link

i saw a mahoosive book the other day called 'the imperial screen' abt japanese thirties cinema. i reckon it'd be a pip (urgh can't remember author), but the hitch is -- i've never seen a thirties japanese film. late night tv is begging for content, so why not just put 'em up?

enrique (Enrique), Monday, 24 November 2003 11:10 (sixteen years ago) link

Is David Bordwell's bk on Ozu still in print? A gd entry point.

I saw the recent re-release of 'Floating Weeds' - reminded me of John Ford a great deal - the colours, the folksy humour, the conservatism with a small c, etc.

Wasn't the original negative of 'Tokyo Story' destroyed in a fire?

Andrew L (Andrew L), Monday, 24 November 2003 11:14 (sixteen years ago) link

Yes so it tends to look worse than the other films of its vintage.

Hmm...Ford and Ozu...

Bordwell's book is in print as far as I know, and there is no better book on Ozu.

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 24 November 2003 11:38 (sixteen years ago) link

> Life of Oharu

i saw it on dvd about 4 years ago. was available (region 2) via Artificial Eye "DVD Release Date: 26 April 2004", then OOP for a while. bought the criterion version last month, region 1...

koogs, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 21:19 (six years ago) link

frankly none of these films are half as good as john ford's "the flavor of green tea over rice"

espring (amateurist), Wednesday, 9 April 2014 23:19 (six years ago) link

nine months pass...

Ward, how were the silent gangster films? Partner picked up that + the college film set on sale from the BFI, but there's a whole bunch of Italian diva films to get through first.

etc, Saturday, 10 January 2015 01:05 (five years ago) link

those ozu "gangster" films (which aren't really much like american gangster films IMO, much tamer) are fantastic.

i would recommend pushing back the italian diva films (are you talking about ones from the 1910s?) and watching those ozu movies tonight :)

I dunno. (amateurist), Saturday, 10 January 2015 01:17 (five years ago) link

two months pass...

Shamefully, ive not seen much ozu. i saw early spring last night, and maybe as i was just shattered after work, felt like I was kept at a distance, which made it hard to really engage with it. did see tokyo story and felt similarly, which is odd as it seems like something i would love (im going to try it again), but i seem to find these films too delicate, or precious, or maybe just far too understated (I think seeing them at home might actually suit them better than in the cinema). I have a similar issue with a lot of satyajit rays films. Oddly though, when I saw autumn afternoon last year, I loved it, which makes me think i might like his later films more.
The pcc in London is doing this ‘selectrospective’ season of his seasonally titled movies.

StillAdvance, Thursday, 26 March 2015 11:05 (five years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Saw that yesterday...I keep hoping Dragnet Girl will show up on Hulu since the other two are there.

WilliamC, Wednesday, 22 April 2015 18:58 (five years ago) link

three months pass...

boy, is Tokyo Twilight bleak: an abortion, confrontation, and suicide.

― The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:55 PM (4 years ago)

This is a really interesting film. Wonderful performances by the two lead actresses, Ineko Arima looking just completely forlorn. The city has almost a noir quality at times.

jmm, Tuesday, 18 August 2015 00:51 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I think An Autumn Afternoon is exquisite, it is such an easy movie to completely immerse yourself in and I was genuinely weepy at the end. I really need to watch this again with some decent subs, the subtitle file was too literal and some joker had put viagra references into it. The use of music in this is quite stunning and unusual for the era as well. I can't quite put my finger on it but there is something magical about this movie.

xelab, Friday, 4 September 2015 19:57 (five years ago) link

there is a joke about taking "vitamins" for sexual potency.

new noise, Friday, 4 September 2015 20:09 (five years ago) link

I figured they had substituted some Japanese herbal word with viagra and it isn't a problem, but it was also a really rough sub-file and most likely a DIY jobbie.

xelab, Friday, 4 September 2015 20:17 (five years ago) link

Funnily enough the subtitles on the BFI blu of An Autumn Afternoon are also poor, mainly because they're very difficult to read

I find the totally static scamera in AAA a little distracting - almost oppressive - but the colours are very beautiful throughout (and do look good on that blu)

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Friday, 4 September 2015 20:26 (five years ago) link

"the colours are very beautiful throughout" - absolutely yes!

xelab, Friday, 4 September 2015 21:44 (five years ago) link

Watched this @ BFI w/a friend of mine who is no longer around (moved away from the city) brings a lot of fond and sad memories.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 4 September 2015 22:35 (five years ago) link

Inspired by this recent revive, I watched Late Autumn (1960) at the weekend, another late one in colour with a resolutely locked camera. Again, the palette (all browns and light blues) and framing of the image (so many 'unmotivated' shots of empty offices, bars, streets, corridors, breezes blowing through them, light rippling, filmed from bizarre angles and with the camera placed very very low) are masterful. The contrast between such radical mise-en-scene and the conventional family drama being played out (this time, a variant on Late Spring, the superior film) reflects back on the film's 'conflict' between old and new Japan (there's a mention of 'That Presley' at one point), and feels utterly distinctive and Ozu-like. Film is too long at over two hours and the ending - so devastating in Late Spring - is almost thrown away here: I guess it's Ozu resisting melodrama in favour of a more placid (or serene) acceptance of loneliness and separation.

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Monday, 7 September 2015 10:59 (five years ago) link

having still only seen Good Morning I added some Ozu to my boo's Hulu+ queue so we are going to watch 1. Tokyo Story 2. Late Spring 3. An Autumn Afternoon, those are a good 3 intro Ozus right?

Y Kant Max Read (Stevie D(eux)), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 00:21 (five years ago) link

Wow, I rewatched An Autumn Afternoon an hour ago: a return to the Late Spring material with more humor but still bleak ending.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 00:23 (five years ago) link

Good Morning might be the best introductory Ozu.

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 01:28 (five years ago) link

two months pass...

The news broke yesterday of Setsuko Hara's death in Sept, I guess the family wanted to keep it quiet. She was 95.

mitch bagnet (MaresNest), Friday, 27 November 2015 21:34 (four years ago) link

eleven months pass...


clouds, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 14:41 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

And of course the ending shot, of the waves, has been subjected to numerous interpretations but I suspect that like the waves of grain at the end of "Early Summer," it has a more local (i.e. specific to the film) meaning than has commonly been accepted. But I'll have to look into this.
― amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, November 24, 2003 4:23 PM (fourteen years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

the daughter has left home and the tide has gone out

flappy bird, Sunday, 11 March 2018 07:03 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

Excited for summer revivals here - lots of Ozu, including a 35mm print of Early Summer, which I've never seen. Watched An Autumn Afternoon tonight and was again transfixed - not the gut punch of Late Spring, closer to this quote from Ebert: "He is a man with a profound understanding of human nature, about which he makes no dramatic statements. We are here, we hope to be happy, we want to do well, we are locked within our aloneness, life goes on."

flappy bird, Sunday, 3 June 2018 04:18 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

Lost Ozu film found, restored, screening soon:

flappy bird, Wednesday, 5 December 2018 18:29 (one year ago) link

A brand-new 4k restoration of Yasujirō Ozu's heartbreaking THE FLAVOR OF GREEN TEA OVER RICE opens @FilmForumNYC Friday!

— Janus Films (@janusfilms) December 11, 2018

flappy bird, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 04:53 (one year ago) link

Fun fact: the DCP was held up in customs by the FDA as they feared we were importing a food supplement.

— Janus Films (@janusfilms) December 11, 2018

flappy bird, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 04:53 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

A screening of I Was Born, But... (1932) that was originally scheduled for the Freer Gallery this weekend has been transferred to AFI Silver ( AFI has offered me two free tickets, and I was curious if anyone else wanted to go.

I Feel Bad About My Butt (, Friday, 11 January 2019 22:17 (one year ago) link

That URL should be:

I Feel Bad About My Butt (, Friday, 11 January 2019 22:18 (one year ago) link

six months pass...

Now showing: YASUJIRO OZU's A STRAIGHTFORWARD BOY. A Japanese master's enchanting silent comedy short about a child happy to be kidnapped – so long as his captors are willing to endure his company. Screening with 8 lost minutes restored, this week only on

— Le Cinéma Club (@lecinemaclub) July 19, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 20 July 2019 17:15 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Watched the Criterion of The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice, a satire-drama of a rustic-born salaryman and his cultivated wife teetering on the edge of mutual alienation. Immaculately framed as usual, but the range of performing styles seemed wider than usual (to the good). Also has the clear antecedent feature What Did the Lady Forget? from the late '30s. Set aside a few hours for both + David Bordwell and others on the extras.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 16:51 (one year ago) link

yeah, the tonal mismatches helped it.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 16:56 (one year ago) link

it is one of Ozu's "most active films" ("there are car rides, and they go to a baseball game!") yes, but I was surprised how much he used the dolly in this one. I liked it but didn't know what to make of it afterward, maybe bc it didn't have a totalizing moment where the whole movie comes to a head (like Late Spring, Tokyo Story, Tokyo Twilight).

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 October 2019 17:13 (one year ago) link

does the CC release have What Did the Lady Forget?

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 October 2019 17:13 (one year ago) link


a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 17:14 (one year ago) link

i thought the titular snack was the totalizing moment!

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 17:14 (one year ago) link

Bordwell breaks down the use of the dolly in his segment.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 17:15 (one year ago) link

Lol oh yeah

Caught it at a rep screening in June, sorta foggy on it

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 October 2019 17:16 (one year ago) link

six months pass...

after, what, 4 years? there's another BFI Ozu dvd in the works

also Tokyo Story in 4k a month later.

(last time i saw Green Tea it came with a bonus disk with Story Of A Tenement Gentleman which was great and i'd love to see again but, no...)

koogs, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 12:41 (five months ago) link

one month passes...

directors as architecture fans is my favourite thing, Ozu, Hitch, Argento

hotwire my scampo (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 27 June 2020 11:11 (three months ago) link

love some Ozu, the best kind of cinematic escapism.

calzino, Saturday, 27 June 2020 11:22 (three months ago) link

big tick

hotwire my scampo (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 27 June 2020 11:22 (three months ago) link

Also 'passageways'...

Maresn3st, Saturday, 27 June 2020 17:54 (three months ago) link

Saving 'The End of Summer' for... the end of summer. There aren't that many left that I haven't seen. I think that might be the last one left in color.... F

anyone check out the bonus film included on the Green Tea Over Rice disc?

flappy bird, Saturday, 27 June 2020 23:03 (three months ago) link

The two bonus things aren't by Ozu (if you're talking about the new bfi release) but are thematically similar

The Mystery of Marriage (1932, 34 mins): educational filmmaker and pioneering female director Mary Field draws peculiar and poignant parallels between the mating rituals of humans, animals and mould in this eccentric, entertaining educational film

The Good Housewife “In Her Kitchen” (1949, 9 mins): the fourth wall is shattered in this imaginative public information film, filled with good advice for kitchen users - whether they have a refrigerator or not

koogs, Sunday, 28 June 2020 06:11 (three months ago) link

three months pass...

there are a shitload of full Ozu movies on Youtube at the moment, Hara Setsuko is my current asmr dream guide

1000 Scampo DJs (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:20 (five days ago) link

There is a YT channel called 'modernrocksong' which has a few dozen great old Japanese movies from the '30s, Shimizu Hiroshi's 'The Masseurs and a Woman' is especially good.

Maresn3st, Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:36 (five days ago) link

thanks, i'll check that

1000 Scampo DJs (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 15 October 2020 22:42 (five days ago) link

Pretty much all Shimizu is great--just watched Japanese Girls at the Harbor the other day, some great tracking shots that presage Mizoguchi.

flappy bird, Friday, 16 October 2020 04:25 (four days ago) link

He's a bit of a blank spot with me I guess cause his movies seem hard to come by - Region 1 Criterion boxes - but I love Mizoguchi, Street Of Shame is one of my favourite films.

Maresn3st, Friday, 16 October 2020 12:14 (four days ago) link

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