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January 2009: Ozu > Ozu v Kurasowa

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message 1: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 362 comments OK I am having a discussion with someone. The statement was made that Kurasowa was the greatest and most influential director from Japan. I am not sure, I am reading/finding Ozu to be right up there. What is your opinion?

message 2: by Phillip (last edited Jan 20, 2009 12:21AM) (new)

Phillip | 10498 comments most filmmakers in japan pay homage to ozu. he's extremely well-known there, but he doesn't have the international reputation that kurosawa has.

i don't believe in artistic boxing matches, so i'm going to resist trying to compare them - as in "who is better"? i am a fan of both their enormous fan.

but in japan, kurosawa was criticized for being too "western". i don't have that criticism, but i'm not japanese. i think more people in japan find ozu's style to be more "japanese", but at this point, i think that's an older perspective.

there are so many young filmmakers today that are capturing the new japan and contemporary problems. in this regard many still feel ozu gave them a kind of self-examination school of filmmaking. it's possible his work has more influence...but maybe not. even maverick filmmakers like suzuki talk more about ozu than they do kurosawa, but i think it's hard to see ozu's influence in suzuki's work - which is a radical departure from ozu's stripped down style.

message 3: by Phillip (last edited Jan 20, 2009 12:28AM) (new)

Phillip | 10498 comments further, if you look at the influence on directors by kurosawa and ozu, i find that more american filmmakers talk about kurosawa (lucas, coppola, spielberg, ang lee), while more europeans (wenders, von trotta) and others (kiarostami - iran) tend to cite ozu as a prime inspiration.

to me, kurosawa has more stylistic range, he did films that are more ozu's style, like ikiru, no regrets for out youth, i live in fear. but he also had the whole sammurai thing, and an array of literary adaptations. he made noir (stray dog) and post-noir (high and low) and many other stylistic examples. in this regard, it seems more likely that american filmmakers would appreciate his work - if you think of directors like lucas, coppola, spielberg and lee, they also have left a wide stylistic berth.

when you think about ozu, he had a set narratives that he was concerned with (films about children, films about student life, films about young people merging out into the working world, films about family and films about old age) and his work reads more like a set of baroque themes with numerous variations. he was constantly revisiting themes and turning them round and round - over and over - and he came up with all these really finely tuned sets of variations. you can see why the europeans with their deeper respect and concern with some of the (neo)classical forms, would be more fascinated with his work.

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