Watch: Yasujiro Ozu’s Glorious Repetition

Watch: Yasujiro Ozu’s Glorious Repetition

If you watch enough of the films of a particular director, be it Martin Scorsese, Jane Campion, or Robert Altman, you will begin to understand the code in their work: the way shots are framed, the way characters tilt their heads, the way figures move through a space, all come to mean something. These configurations become a visual language that works alongside the language of a script, at times helping to tell the script’s story, at times telling an entirely different story. In kogonada’s most recent outing, he examines the work of Yasujiro Ozu. Three frames, side by side: three couples eating together; three women, head in hands; three men staring broodingly into space. These visual displays, compiled from 24 different films, have as much of an effect on us as the words of the screenplay might, but they speak to us differently, accessing a subconscious "eye," if you want, that is different from the two eyes we use to watch the film. kogonada’s piece strikes a quiet, offbeat chord, and should serve as an excellent way into the work of this Japanese master     

Watch: How Wes Anderson and Yasujiro Ozu Are Very, Very Similar

Watch: How Wes Anderson and Yasujiro Ozu Are Very, Very Similar

When you think about it, the influences of Wes Anderson are hard to trace, as much as he might be discussed and re-discussed–if you had to find one director he was "quoting," it might be slightly difficult. His influences, such as they are, are more easily found within visual art and literature (Joseph Cornell, Franz Kafka) or even music (Serge Gainsbourg, for instance). Similarly, it’s hard to find a director Wes Anderson is "like"–he cultivates a meticulous distinctiveness that makes it tricky to compare him in the same way you might compare, say Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, or David Fincher and Christopher Nolan. Nevertheless, Anna Catley, who has posted memorably at Vimeo, has waded in and made a strong, fascinating comparison between Wes Anderson and Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, perhaps most famous for his 1953 film ‘Tokyo Story.’ Catley finds many points in common, such as strong repertory casts or a love of complex interiors, as well as many thematic overlaps, which make the comparison seem wholly logical–and might make one wonder why it hadn’t popped up before.