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A Curated Ozu

ByMatthew Gasteier

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Yasujirō Ozu was, above all else, a director of popular, mainstream films. Akira Kurosawa, the only Japanese filmmaker who bests Ozu in terms of popularity and renown outside of Japan, is often considered to be the more accessible and Western-friendly of the two filmmakers. Yet Ozu’s career sprouted out of a deep love of American silent films in the 1920s; he never abandoned his early slightly sardonic tone even in his most dramatic later films; and his famous stance as a “tofu maker” underscored his devotion to craft above art. Kurosawa’s many message pictures, deep artistic departures, and experiments within his signature chanbara genre represent much more adventurous and personal work than Ozu’s career demonstrates. If the story of film is the push and pull between entertainment and expression, it is Kurosawa who strives for auteur status, while Ozu’s films are defined by the former. This book, a curated program suggesting an order to explore the director’s entire surviving catalog, is designed to highlight this consistent but often obscured truth about Ozu. Through more than three decades of work, Ozu produced college comedies, gangster pictures, domestic dramas, social message pictures, comedies of manners, and straight melodramas. While his camerawork became more recognizable and his storylines more intertwined in the final decade of his career, he never entirely abandoned the concerns or tones of his earlier pictures, and he often stretched to try something different, speak to a new moment in time, and above all entertain the moviegoers who were his contemporaries.


Publication Date
Jul 31, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Matthew Gasteier


Linen Wrap
Interior Color
Black & White
US Trade (6 x 9 in / 152 x 229 mm)

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