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Yasujiro Ozu

Friday, June 19 - Sunday, September 27, 2015

In honor of our 10th birthday, a reprisal of our first-ever Weekend Classics series!

Often called the “most Japanese” of Japanese filmmakers, Ozu (1903-1963) first began working in cinema in 1923 as an assistant cameraman for the Shochiku company-the studio where he would make all but three of his 53 films. He directed his first film, THE SWORD OF PENITENCE (now lost) in 1927, making a series of shorts, comedies and historical films before turning to the family dramas that would become his trademark from the 1940s on. Displaying a remarkable stylistic unity-elliptical narratives, an often low-placed and rarely moving camera, transitional shots of objects without people-and featuring a stock company of such actors as Chishu Ryu, Setsuko Hara and Haruko Sugimura, those films established Ozu as a distinctive and unique talent, winning him awards and acclaim at home. While virtually unknown outside Japan during his lifetime, Ozu’s work began to be screened abroad in the 1960s, bringing him fans around the world. Today, he is considered one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema, with such major filmmakers as Jim Jarmusch, Wim Wenders, Abbas Kiarostami, Mike Leigh, Aki Kaurismaki, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Pedro Costa and Claire Denis citing him as a profound influence upon their work.

Series Films