This film, a well-composed documentary tribute to Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu (who died in 1963) by Kasuo Inoue. Inoue, uses interviews, film clips, photographs, and audio recordings of Ozu to form an excellent picture of the man -- and Japanese cinema as well. When Ozu first began shooting films in his own meticulous, carefully stated style, it was 1929 and the era of black-and-white silents. By the time his career ended in the '60s, modern technology had expanded the screen, the capacity of cameras, and the quality of color -- but did not change Ozu's love of traditional Japanese themes. Ozu was never as internationally acclaimed as the late, better-known Akira Kurosawa, perhaps because his films stay closer to Japanese culture and values. Themes such as the poignancy of impermanence, especially mirrored in the changing seasons, were popular in Ozu's films. For viewers interested in Japanese film history, this overview of Yasujiro Ozu and his oeuvre makes an engaging contrast to Kurosawa and his films, and also an interesting comparison to Shohei Imamura, another director who emphasizes Japanese culture in his work, but from a definitely grimmer perspective.
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