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#635: Burying the Lead

October 20, 2011

Notes from the Manager

We’re finally about to start filming, but we won’t see any “footage” for another week (just in time for Halloween). I like slow pacing. What can I say?

Yasujiro Ozu is one of my favorite directors. He’s one of Japan’s most revered filmmakers, with a career spanning from 1927 to 1962. While many of his early films have been lost, I believe all many of his sound films are available in Criterion Collection DVDs or Blu-Rays, and almost all of them are beautiful, understated (“boring,” to many people) films. Unfortunately, none are available on streaming at Netflix, but they're all up on Hulu Plus.

I have a few reviews of Ozu’s films up at the Deleted Scenes blog (originally published at Gapers Block, back in the day). His best-known film is Toyko Story, and that’s as good a place to start as any.

As Jason says, Ozu’s trademark style involved low camera angles (really, a low camera height, not low camera angles, but it’s described that way all the time), an almost motionless camera, and relatively little cutting. It’s a beautifully poetic style, and I would shamelessly rip it off if I ever made a film.

Do we have any Ozu fans out there?

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