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 Post subject: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:41 pm 
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YASUJIRO OZU
1903 - 1963, Japan


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"Reduced to their plots, Ozu's movies are hokey melodramas, [but through his distinctive style Ozu's work becomes] a rich echo chamber of emotional comparisons and contrasts. [...] The American cinematic world of pushy people, assertive plans and goals, and powerful, personal 'agency', is replaced by the quietism and passivity of what takes place in films whose characters (or actors) would never presume to 'take over' their stories, films where the sequence of scenes and the comparisons and contrasts Ozu makes between the characters create connections, relationships, and meanings that the films’ characters not only do not force into existence, but which they are generally not even aware are being created around them."
- Ray Carney

"Ozu's most important characteristic in his way of watching the world. While that attitude is modest and unassertive, it is also the source of great tenderness for people. It is as if Ozu's one personal admission was the faith that the basis of decency and sympathy can only be sustained by the semi-religious effort to observe the world in his style; in other words, contemplation calms anxious activity. As with Mizoguchi, one comes away from Ozu heartened by his humane intelligence and by the gravity we have learned."
- The New Biographical Dictionary of Film


Filmography
1929 Days Of Youth (Wakaki Hi)
1929 I Graduated, But… (Daigaku wa Deta Kerodo…)
1929 A Straightforward Boy (Tokkan Kozo)
1930 Walk Cheerfully (Hogaraka ni Ayume)
1930 I Flunked, But... (Rakudai wa shita kerodo...)
1930 That Night's Wife (Sono yo no tsuma)
1931 The Lady and the Beard (Shukujo to Hige)
1931 Tokyo Chorus (Tokyo no Gassho)
1932 I Was Born, But... (Umarete wa Mita Keredo...)
1932 Where Now Are The Dreams Of Youth? (Seishun no Yume Ima Izuko)
1933 Woman Of Tokyo (Tokyo no Onna)
1933 Dragnet Girl (Hijosen no Onna)
1933 Passing Fancy (Dekigokoro)
1934 A Mother Should Be Loved (Haha o kowazuya)
1934 Story Of Floating Weeds (Ukigusa Monogatari)
1935 An Inn In Tokyo (Tokyo no Yado)
1935 Kagamijishi
1936 The Only Son (Hitori Musuko)
1937 What Did The Lady Forget? (Shukujo wa Nani o Wasuretaka)
1941 Brothers And Sisters Of The Toda Family (Toda-ke no Kyodai)
1942 There Was A Father (Chichi Ariki)
1947 Record Of A Tenement Gentleman (Nagaya Shinshi Roku)
1948 A Hen In The Wind (Kaze no Naka no Mendori)
1949 Late Spring (Banshun)
1950 The Munekata Sisters (Munekata Shimai)
1951 Early Summer (Bakushu)
1952 The Flavour Of Green Tea Over Rice (Ochazuke no Aji)
1953 Tokyo Story (Tokyo Monogatari)
1956 Early Spring (Soshun)
1957 Tokyo Twilight (Tokyo Boshoku)
1958 Equinox Flower (Higan-Bana)
1959 Good Morning (Ohayo)
1959 Floating Weeds (Ukigusa)
1960 Late Autumn (Akibiyori)
1961 End Of Summer (Kohayagawa-ke no Aki)
1962 An Autumn Afternoon (Samma no Aji)

Recommended First Watch: Early Summer


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:50 pm 
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Early Summer should be recommended first


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:51 pm 
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Agreed


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:46 pm 
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Tokyo Story may be my favourite film period. That movie touched me deeply.


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:18 pm 
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I think we may need a few more reds here.


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:58 pm 
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I Was Born, But... without a doubt. It's actually one of the more acclaimed silent comedies (and rightfully so) if you look in cinephile circles. But then, I may be biased because that's definitely in my top five silent films.


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:25 pm 
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honestly, i would red all his 50's material, but I'm really firm on redding the only son and even tokyo twilight.


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:48 am 
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Tier updated.

So I had never really considered the idea of Ozu in BluRay but when I went to download rips of Late Spring and Early Summer to rewatch them I noticed that they (and Tokyo Story) had BluRay rips. I had no idea how much the format would improve Ozu's films. It really allows you to see the depth of the compositions and helps you to get lost in the strange rhythms of his films, whereas otherwise you are in danger of simply attempting to intellectualize shots rather than feeling them.

But anyway: Late Spring. What a film that is. Why do you guys think Noriko doesn't want to move out? Is it simply because she has developed a strong bond with her father? Somehow I sense the reasons she actually gives ("Who will make you shave in the morning?") are distractions from the real problem, which is that she doesn't want to marry: but why? I like how her aunt guesses that she has a distaste for remarriage because she is too traditional, when really it seems more like her youthful and overly idealized notions of love keep her from being satisfied with the prospect of any marriage at all.

Also, I love the scene when her father and aunt are discussing Noriko's problems outside and how when the aunt runs into a flock of birds to make them fly away her overall pushy nature is reflected. I had grown to be annoyed with her throughout the movie but I wasn't sure if it was just cultural differences, so it was cool to see that Ozu shares my opinion of her at least in some way.


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:53 pm 
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There’s a lot of more pessimistic and even twisted conclusions you could surmise to why Noriko doesn’t want to move out, so I can only give you what I feel personally about it and how it kinda mirrors my own experiences in life. Most people I know as well as myself who still live with their parents during marriage age are content with staying at home with their parents, as Noriko said in that beautiful scene with her father before her marriage. I think it’s somewhat dependency (although I still feel simultaneously independent in a way as well as Noriko comes across) and I guess some kind of close bond you can’t shake off (I don’t think I’m even that close with mine), but mostly I stay at home because there’s a purity and innocence that’s maintained at home for me. Ozu was a very asexual being, and when you’re at home, you aren’t bombarded with the sex-driven societal and capitalistic forces swallowing you up like a hot load. And although the more familial bonding aspects are emphasized for dramaturgical purposes of the film, what lies in between the frames, what’s not really shown but you could absolutely sense, is that Noriko wishes to maintain that asexuality and purity because it is a big part that defines her and what makes her feel like an individual, her own self-truth.

Your assessment on why she doesn’t want to marry is a good one and holds more truth I think than the sociological underlinings of the film. Noriko is offered men, one of which we’re shown her going on some kind of date with, only to find out he’s engaged, an excuse Noriko latches on to, even though she does seem into him. Another thing with that though is that second date he invites her to, only to be stood up, so maybe he is a possible prospect? Ozu knows how to structure things to keep us in contemplation. I actually know a very sheltered, very idealist girl like that irl who has pretty much impossible standards of the opposite sex that’s keeping her single indefinitely. And I do think that’s a part of asexuality, which I don’t think is really a choice per se, but more of a result of life decisions made, like you’re stuck in a place of very particular standards because you grew up so sheltered at home (solace from sexual forces/obligations) and you’re content with self gratification fulfilling primal needs of being human. So yeah I think Noriko doesn’t want to be married because it’s an outside societal obligation that disrupts this equilibrium from this asexual hole she’s so deep in that she wouldn’t mind spending the rest of her life in.

I don’t even really know if that makes sense drew or even touched anything really, but you can tie the knots, you’re good at that.


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:23 pm 
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i haven't seen the movie in question, but, for what it's worth, i wanted to remark that in many/most non-american cultures, living with your parents is considered normal... there are many reasons for this... in lands without material abundance and available social services, people are more dependent on each other, and thus tend to live in bigger family units - often several generations and extended family under the same roof (or as neighbors) - people has to take care of elder members of family, younger members benefit from the wisdom and constancy of the elders, young parents can continue to work and support the family without being overwhelmed because the grandparents look after the grandchildren (you may've noticed that a lot of people in those cultures were raised largely by their grandparents)... and if you own land, it is especially beneficial to stay close to it and be together... of course, with urbanization and westernization trends, this is all changing; not only is it often impractical to live together but there's a stigma attached to living with your parents. as anything, though, it's merely cultural.
on the other hand, you're also very right, jake, in that in many cases there's also a lot of psychological dependence on each other, and a crippling inability to break out of it if/when it is necessary.

as for young and fertile women who aren't interested in marriage (or at least seem to be), it is indeed an interesting phenomenon... i think you may be right about some of the possible reasons...


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:02 pm 
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yeah i was actually gonna comment on the more family-dependent non-american values, but I did want to kind of stay within more micro interpretations of the film, but alas it's hard to isolate since it covers so many surfaces all at once. I've always had an attachment to Japanese and I guess just non-American (or most non-western) values when it comes to family because the dependency does relate to the conflicts and struggles (well emptiness more) that I face with Americanized, more capitalistic ways of thinking when it comes to familial values. It reminds me of when I read American Pastoral like a year ago, and how this innocence and the white picket fence American surface ideals were broken down and shattered because of how American society influenced the Swede's daughter into valuing more of the ugly but necessary real American values of total independence, breaking the conflicting counterpart of the supposed safe haven of family life. And I think if we do go more on the socio-economical macro level of Late Spring and other Ozu films, the real gut of the drama comes from those conflicting and opposing forces duking it out, that Westernized way of thinking fucking with tradition, social/familial values fighting individual values. The great thing about the world is that we live with other people. The tragic thing about the world is that we live with other people.


Jake the socialist? perhaps perhaps


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:11 pm 
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Hey you should rank the Ozu you've seen.


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:35 pm 
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please do, wanta. I must watch more and need rankings to see what I'll go with.


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:31 am 
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Okay so wanta I think I'm going to have to steal your favorite filmmaker.


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 Post subject: Re: Yasujiro Ozu
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:56 am 
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it's all good bro, i'd figure he would finally rise in your eyes. What director is more warm and human AND maintains rigorous aesthetic formalism? Very hard to do.

I'll have a ranking soon, I've actually been re-watching a lot of his late eclipse set and trying to find the ones I haven't seen, but not to leave you guys in suspense, Tokyo Story will surely be at the top.


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