Holidays with Yasujiro Ozu

JAN. 7, 2014

I finally finished watching the Yasujiro Ozu retrospective at The Pacific Cinémathèque. I feel fortunate and blessed to be able to see 13 of Ozu’s talkie films in a cinema; projected in 35mm.

I spent all December and early January watching his films. It was a tough a go and a considerable amount of work in getting used to Ozu’s sensibilities and understanding his filmmaking voice. But I have to say, Ozu has earned my admiration and I can proudly say he is now on my list of my favorite filmmakers of all time.
My favorites in the 13 films I have seen in the retrospective are:

– Tokyo Twilight
– Early Spring
– The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family
– A Hen in the Wind

Here’s a very good video providing an idea of how you would feel watching Ozu’s films. Even though the shots are from his color movies, his works in Black and White should not be discounted. In fact I prefer his Black and White works than to his color movies.

What stood out for me was how he presented ordinary mundane life with beauty and grace and at the same time giving it profound weight and gravitas. How a shadow falls on the face; the silhouette of someones back; the music flowing over the scene; the quiet gaze of Setsuko Hara; all creating moments for me that reach transcendence.

Anyway, I hope you take the time to check his works out.