Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Untitled — but not unsigned

原 節子:The name above the title

I begin to see why you left the business.


  1. I know less than you do about this. Guaranteed.

    But I was of the belief it had something centrally to do with the transition of Ozu into a different place.

  2. I know no more than anybody else, but it would seem likely that if Ozu had not died in 1963, he and Noda would have continued to devise films for Hara, and she would have been in them.

  3. I quoted this somewhere: “At the hospital, faced with his body, I didn’t feel like crying at all. Just as my eyes met Hara-san’s, I burst into tears. Looking back, that’s the moment when I realized his death.” — The night of the wake, from Quotes from Yuharu Atsuta

    So yes, something in addition to Ozu died in 1963.

  4. Watching one of his silents now, passing fancy from 1933. UNLIKE any other silent film director!

    I do feel he is regaining popularity in a very big way.

    And this very small filmmaker was so inspired by his style and a zoom out approach to editing that I paid homage to some of his techniques and SURELY others will try to recreate his humour and framing and genius in our own very small ways.

  5. By at least 1931-32 he was making his own kind of films. What, in your opinion, makes him UNLIKE any other silent film director? Perhaps you could write an essay; it would find an interested audience, small or large.

  6. I have only seen perhaps three of his silent films. I do need to see more and am glad I will be seeing his fantastic I Was Born But once again, only on a big screen.

    One notable thing about Passing Fancy is his repeated use of match cuts, which is astonishing to see so early in the annals of cinema.

    But I would say the lightness and humour distinguish them, although how his approach differs from Lloyd and Chaplin and Keaton would definitely be worth further study!

    But yes, in this 1933 film, one cannot tell by the second scene that it is an Ozu film, but certainly within six or seven minutes the telltale signs appear!

  7. His pacing seems to be his own. One is curious about the music that accompanied his silents.

  8. Well, Ozu was not an actor, so he did not have to "perform." Is this obvious or insightful? To me the great Ozu actor is Tatsuo Saito. But perhaps after a time actors like Tatsuo Saito and Tokkan Kozo could no longer be fitted into Ozu's "frame".

  9. So much to learn!

    I think for me one critical difference between Ozu and almost all other silent filmmakers is something that Dziga Vertov argued so forcefully against.

    Vertov argued that film is a completely different medium than theatre; there is so much more you can do with the medium. You can never really have match cuts in theatre very well or really convey slow motion or other concepts at all well in a theatrical setting.

    Yet Vertov noted that SO MUCH of silent film was precisely oriented around bringing a "play" or a "theatrical presentation" to the screen.

    So when I think of so many classical silent films, I think of those standbys like plot, tension, narrative and the like.

    But with Passing Fancy for example, it is a completely different FEEL to the film.

    It seems much more of a slice of actual life than carefully staged formalisms. There are clothes on the clothesline, men scratching themselves, farting, etc.

    It's hard to convey, but although Ozu clearly carefully arranged his set and characters, there is a more relaxed feel to it all, as if we just happened to walk into the lives of these characters, as opposed to being told their story by another person in a regimented manner.

    Still, obviously, rather vague!

  10. Yes, and yet Ozu liked to present stage performances in his films. But as I think you are saying, there is a "there-ness" in Ozu's scenes and people that is not trying to impress or to express to an audience but exists for themselves, as in some scenes where a character enters a place and then leaves it, while the place remains.

    I want to see where goes in his discussion.