This week is the anniversary of the birth of one of my favourite filmmakers. Yasujiro Ozu is one Japan’s greatest and most influential directors.
His films examined the basic struggles that we all face in life: the cycles of birth and death, the passage from childhood to adulthood, and the rhythms and tensions of a country trying to reconcile modern and traditional values. The titles of his films often emphasize the changing of the seasons, a symbolic backdrop for the journeys of the human experience. His films are some of the most enlightened visions of family life in the history of cinema. Although the Western world discovered Ozu relatively late, his trademark style – static shots, often from the viewpoint of someone sitting low as on a tatami mat, the gentle composed pacing, moments of such poetry and purity often represented in the quiet beauty of everyday objects has been vastly influential among filmmakers.