Yasujiro Ozu

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1), edited by James Quandt

I am interested in the relationship of the lower part of the human body and the lower part of the social structure. Shohei Imamura is a compilation of reflexive, analytical, and appreciative essays on Imamura’s idiosyncratic and critical, yet compassionate films that examine the dichotomy of human behavior in the structured, conformist, and highly ordered… read more »

Reframing Japanese Cinema: Authorship, Genre, History, edited by Arthur Nolletti Jr. and David Desser

Reframing Japanese Cinema provides a comprehensive and varied perspective on Japanese cinema through a series of essays on a director’s signature style (authorship), culturally representative film genres, and historical evolution of the Japanese film industry. Of the three sections on Authorship, Genre, and History, the articles on Authorship provide the most revealing insight into the… read more »

Ozu by Donald Richie

“I always tell people that I don’t make anything besides tofu and that is because I am strictly a tofu-dealer.” – Yasujiro Ozu In the book Ozu, Donald Richie examines Yasujiro Ozu’s films by following the common steps for constructing a film: the script, shooting, and editing. Of the three elements, Ozu places primary importance… read more »

Nippon Modern: Japanese Cinema of the 1920s and 1930s by Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano

In Nippon Modern: Japanese Cinema of the 1920s and 1930s, Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano presents an insightful, multi-faceted analysis of Japan’s interwar cinema within the context of Tokyo’s rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 (even as the process of industrialization had already been underway), in particular, the output of Shochiku Kamata… read more »

Japanese Film Directors by Audie Bock

Audie Bock presents a collection of perceptive, knowledgeable, and comprehensive critical essays on the most influential and distinctive filmmakers of Japan in Japanese Film Directors. Bock chronologically explores the personal influences and cinematic contributions of several acclaimed film directors, and in the process, provides an intelligent observation on the profound effects of changing political, social,… read more »

Notes from Yasujiro Ozu: International Perspectives Conference – The Place of Ozu Within Japanese Film History (with panelists Richard Combs, Keiko McDonald, Tadao Sato, Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto)

Keiko McDonald Professor McDonald cited her favorite Ozu film as Floating Weeds, and examined several stylistic aspects of the film that depicted the filmmaker’s thematic distillation and visual economy, specifically: (1) the pausive function of the isolated, blue lantern shot after Komajuro’s departure (a ‘nothingness’ that signifies a great weight), and (2) the recurring shot… read more »

An Autumn Afternoon, 1962

Shuhei Hirayama (Chishu Ryu) has settled into a complacent, domestic life of a widower with his adult children – his son Kazuo (Shinichiro Mikami) and daughter Michiko (Shima Iwashita) – in postwar Tokyo. Michiko is his only daughter, and has naturally assumed the role of lady of the house after her mother’s death. Upon hearing… read more »

Late Autumn, 1960

On the death anniversary of the Miwa family patriarch, Miwa’s gracious and noble widow Akiko (Setsuko Hara), their 24-year old daughter Ayako (YĆ“ko Tsukasa), and brother Shukichi (Chishu Ryu), host a reunion with Miwa’s longtime friends for a memorial service and intimate reception at a seaside resort. The three middle-aged friends, who once competed in… read more »

Ohayo (Good Morning), 1959

Ohayo is a clever, humorous, and lighthearted glimpse into contemporary Japanese life, as seen through the eyes of the Hayashi brothers: Minoru (Koji Shidara) and Isamu (Masahiko Shimazu). In a close knit suburban village of 1950’s Japan, there is only one television set in the neighborhood, and the children religiously make an after school pilgrimage,… read more »

Floating Weeds, 1959

A panoramic, low angle opening montage of an idyllic Japanese coastal province defines the understated, cinematic poetry of Yasujiro Ozu: a lighthouse framed against a tranquil sea; docked boats undulating with the sweeping waves; villagers weaving lackadaisically through local shops, as much for social interaction as for commerce. A struggling, itinerant acting troupe arrives into… read more »