Author Topic: Yasujiro Ozu  (Read 7432 times)

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cine

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Yasujiro Ozu
« on: September 17, 2003, 02:52:57 PM »
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I could've sworn I'd seen this thread before but I guess not. I bought Floating Weeds a couple years ago and loved it. The storytelling was what stood out for me as magnificent. I'm kind of ashamed to say that I haven't seen Tokyo Story yet, but will be buying it immediately once its released on DVD in october. After viewing it, his style in filmmaking will probably be a lot more apparent to me, as I've only seen FW. One things for sure.. he was one of the great directors of the cinema who clearly had an eye for his characters and knew how to tell a good story based on that.

cine

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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2003, 01:18:42 AM »
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Well, back again 2 months later. Got the Tokyo Story Criterion in the mail and have been watching it for a little while now. The quality to the picture is excellent (as the typical Criterions are) and the writing, directing, and cinematography are great. This 2 disc film is packed with great stuff on Ozu. Every fan of foreign cinema should blind buy this.
I'll likely edit this and add more once I'm finished the film.

classical gas

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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2003, 03:19:33 PM »
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I love "Tokyo Story".  Sad to say, it's the only movie by him that I've seen.  His films are so hard to find, I'd love to see "Floating Weeds".

godardian

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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2003, 04:27:37 PM »
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Quote from: classical gas
I love "Tokyo Story".  Sad to say, it's the only movie by him that I've seen.  His films are so hard to find, I'd love to see "Floating Weeds".


Good Morning is available on DVD.

My Tokyo Story thoughts from my blog:

"Iíve never seen Tokyo Story before; the only film by Ozu Iíve seen is Good Morning, a singular, inventive, and quite good comedy which nevertheless is hardly exemplary of Ozuís style or body of work. I have, however, seen quite a number of films by Robert Bresson and Carl Theodor Dreyer, both of whom Iím much more familiar with than I am with Ozu, and both of whose work I connect with Ozuís via Paul Schraderís Transcendental Style in Film, which Tokyo Story nudged me over the edge into purchasing (at Cinema Books, one of the few Seattle offerings I find unique and worthwhile).

Tokyo Story does, indeed, recall Bressonís austere, meticulous visuals, systematic asceticism, simple yet vast reverence for human subjects and a need to foreground them against their environment as a way for us to get to not the ďpointĒ of the people and their situation, but to the ďsoulĒ of it, to something elemental and usually hidden by the mechanisms of drama.

As Ozuís camera elegantly and with extreme restraint (the film consists almost exclusively of medium shot compositions, with virtually no camera movement), details them for us, the everyday intergenerational travails of an extended family- an elderly, rural father and mother visit their grown, urban children, the children unconsciously neglect them, the parents forebear, with the motherís eventual death forcing things into a sort of sharp, tender relief for the adult siblings- expose a sacred, as distinct from religious, element in daily human existence. The effect is sobering but delicate; thereís not a trace of heaviness."
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

modage

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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2004, 09:28:39 PM »
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Quote from: godardian
the film consists almost exclusively of medium shot compositions, with virtually no camera movement

you arent kidding!  god, i did not like this movie very much.  i didnt hate it, but it was boring.  not that the story itself was uninteresting totally, but the way it was shot.  there was about 3 camera moves in the whole film.  (i felt like i was watching a kevin smith movie.)  medium shot, cut, medium shot, cut, medium shot, cut.  goddamn did that get so old, so fast.  i've never seen a movie that was shot as boringly as this one.  is this part of ozu's 'style' or did he really just not have a fucking clue how to shoot a movie or what to do with his camera?  he seemed paralyzed to make anything interesting happen, and THIS was on the sight and sound critics list as one of the 10 best movies ever!?  the last 10 minutes of the film seemed to spell out everything that the film was about in two conversations with 2 different sets of characters.  "Life's disappointing isnt it?"  "Yes, it is".  there didn't seem to be much going on under the surface, and the story itself was just too restrained for my taste.  i cant see how this is so highly regarded.by the way, i hate doing this.  i hate not liking movies that are supposed to be good.  i swear.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

ono

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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2004, 09:50:46 PM »
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Quote from: themodernage02
by the way, i hate doing this.  i hate not liking movies that are supposed to be good.  i swear.

I love it!  :-D

modage

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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2004, 09:54:27 PM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
Quote from: themodernage02
by the way, i hate doing this.  i hate not liking movies that are supposed to be good.  i swear.

I love it!  :-D

haha, i believe it.  i really dont. i never set out to be a critic, nor do i get any pleasure out of being disappointed by something that other people really like.  but the more movies i see, the more i seem to have more defined tastes of what i do or dont like.  i used to just love movies, but i find myself now being sucked into forming opinions on them.  arghha, message board!!!!!!!

haha, i just read the title of the Tokyo Story review on imdb...
From the If-It's-Boring-It-Must-Be-A-Masterpiece school of filmmaking
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

cine

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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2004, 10:52:54 PM »
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Mod-age. I don't want to explode on you. I don't. You're nice but you don't read enough. I'm sorry. But you don't. If you want to go to IMDB and pick out shit to poke fun such as "From the If-It's-Boring-It-Must-Be-A-Masterpiece school of filmmaking" then maybe you should, oh I don't know, click on the link that talks about Ozu! Just maybe. Here, I've done it for you. Read it. Educate yourself. Maybe in the future I don't have to hear these ignorant rants. I mean, you KNOW you could just read up more on him instead of just asking stupid, stupid questions like "is this part of ozu's 'style' or did he really just not have a fucking clue how to shoot a movie or what to do with his camera? he seemed paralyzed to make anything interesting happen, and THIS was on the sight and sound critics list as one of the 10 best movies ever!?" ANYWAY, this is a portion of Leonard Maltin's description of Ozu:

"Ozu dealt primarily with the dynamics of middle-class Japanese family life and the subtle tensions between the generations. He planned his camera shots meticulously and focused almost entirely on compositions; he never used pans, fades in or out, and employed virtually no dollies or tracking shots. Chishu Ryu, who acted in many of Ozu's films, said, "By the time he had finished writing a script ... he had already made up every image in every shot, so that he never changed the scenario after we went on the set." Ozu's most famous shot-taken from the eye level of a person seated on a tatami, a Japanese floor mat-became symbolic of a Japanese person's "viewpoint.""

modage

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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2004, 11:01:07 PM »
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i did read that actually.  and usually when i watch a movie i'll try to ATLEAST go to my leonard maltin guide, imdb (film reviews AND filmmakers bio), amazon and here to try to get some well rounded opinions on the film.  so i think i try to read up on a movie after i've watched it, (especially if i didnt care for it), to see if there was something i missed.  if that's his style i certainly dont care for it.  i only posted the 'so boring its classic' headline, because i thought i was the only person who didnt like the movie, but reading that atleast let me know there are two different points of view on it (rather than 1. its great or 2. you dont get that its great).  i also read that kurosawa didnt like ozu's films and dismissed them as 'boring' too. but i still cant find an explanation of how this ranks with the best works of all time.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

cine

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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2004, 11:08:13 PM »
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Ok personally, I never understand how somebody could say "How did THIS make the Sight & Sound Top 10?" For somebody who says "Oh this is boring! Is this his style or what?? YAWN." I think somebody like you should just take their word for it, right? I mean, really...  :roll:

godardian

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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2004, 06:23:39 PM »
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Actually, modage, what you should read to at least give yourself a better idea of what people see as special and edifying about Ozu is Schrader's Transcendental Style in Film. The way I look at it is this: A very, very controlled restraint and measured tempo a la Bresson, Dreyer, and Ozu (and, to a lesser extent, what Bergman does in most of his films or Todd Haynes did in Safe) is as radical and provocative a stylistic choice as the more popular contemporary one of being a cocksure camera jockey. The reaction is meant to be reflective and contemplative, not adrenaline-pumping. One is not inherently superior to the other, but we get used to one definition of "style" and prefer it, which is a fairly arbitrary distinction in itself. Anyway, I think Schrader excellently and incisively digs into Ozu's means and methods, so that's the recommended-reading. I do not recommend ever trusting that Leonard Maltin. I wouldn't trust him any farther than I could throw him (notice I said him and not his pedestrian little book, as that traveled quite a good distance when I hurled it off my balcony in disgust :)  )
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SHAFTR

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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2004, 06:32:26 PM »
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Quote from: themodernage02
[ there was about 3 camera moves in the whole film.  (i felt like i was watching a kevin smith movie.)


Ha, see Kevin Smith is good.  He is the heir apparent to Ozu.
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Seraphim

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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2004, 03:57:19 PM »
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Tokyo Monogatari- such a beautiful film!
I like a lot about Ozu's style: graceful, pure, very subtle. The girl who plays Noriko in this movie really blew me away with her kindness...

Soshun was also worth watching, although not as good as Tokyo Story. Sanma no aji was better, his final film AND the first Ozu in color I saw. He disliked color in most of his career, but this film is such a beauty...very nostalgic use of colors, it reminded me a bit of for instance Fellini's Amarcord.

Want to see more from Ozu!
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SoNowThen

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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2004, 04:03:43 PM »
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Quote from: SHAFTR
Quote from: themodernage02
[ there was about 3 camera moves in the whole film.  (i felt like i was watching a kevin smith movie.)


Ha, see Kevin Smith is good.  He is the heir apparent to Ozu.


 :lol:  hahahahahahahahahahaha
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2004, 01:26:58 AM »
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I just had my first Ozu experience with Tokyo Story and Floating Weeds. With Tokyo Story, I was slightly disappointed -- I had in mind the entire time Roger Ebert's testimony that he's never heard more weeping in the theater as he did at a screening of this film. I thought it was a masterpiece of composition and emotion-by-way-of-restraint, but it didn't move me as much I had hoped. But the style is just amazing -- I don't know how Ozu did it, but his rampant breaking of the 360 degree line never jumped out at me. I wish I had been able to see it in the theater, though; watching it home, I felt too distracted by other things, and I think that may have been part of the reason I didn't get so wrapped up in it.

Floating Weeds didn't make me cry either, but that wasn't it's intent. I really loved this one; it's absolutely wonderful, and the relationships between the characters are so sad and warm and funny and gentle...I just loved them. The color scheme is magnificent, and again, Ozu's style really blew me away (no tracking shots whatsoever in this one, and the montages or rooms and other locations, devoid of people, were really poetic).

What next?

 

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