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Sunday, February 21, 2010

WJAAS (related) - Yasujiro Ozu-san, 無 (Mu) and 物の哀れ (Mono no Aware)

My love for Japan had this very afternoon an highlight while watching at "Tokyo-ga", Wim Wender's hommage to the late Yasujiro Ozu, the Japanese film-director whose use of fixed camera (a Mitchell) and a 50 mm lens always at seated actors height were a statement of pure "nihon-jin-ness" vs. Hollywood and its dogmas and characters, all well afar from the pre-Hiroshima, virgin Japan in the '20s, at least.

This H.C. Bresson of cinema - beside through a different medium, the Leica M for HCB, they both shared this human-like lens - was also very... I'd say, full of "compassion"... a Buddhist/Zen sense of partecipation and brotherhood for humankind, through his Tokyo-only stories, characters and, again almost exclusively, humble, "normal" family scenes and situations: the relationship between father and son, the departure, death...

Through Wim Wenders' "Tokyo-Ga", this old world and care for the detail, down to the humblest - so Japanese - is well represented, remembered and (sort-of) glorified...

A young Wim searched for Ozu's most famous actor, Chishu Ryu and for his life-long assistant and director of photography/camera operator, Yuharu Atsuta...

The interviews (with the support of a translator) are really a masterpiece.

Can't imagine my emotion while listening to a so passionate, humble treatize in Japanese-way-to-cinema, friendship and loyalty!

Wim Wenders has been so... clever: in a dream-like, stream of consciousness, he compares Ozu's aesthetic to Western's through his own feelings and let old Ozu's partners to rememeber and commemorate him...

Ozu on Wikipedia

Much impressive is thinking to the debit many modern film-makers owe to Ozu, a man whose grave in a Japanese cemetery only bears the "MU" syllable (無).


A man who had a "chronometer" custom built for him to measure film length and shooting time, while during co-writing movie scripts he an his partner used emptied sake bottles enjoed to arrive to the end of writing as another kind of chronometer... a sakemeter?;-)

A true Dadaist... better: Mono no Aware sensei-san!

Like at Paris' Pere Lachaise cemetery, on Jim Morrison's grave, people often leave some drinks... "Kampai" to Ozu-Sensei-san.

Thanks to Wim Wenders and to my friend Luci who lent to me "Tokyo-Ga" on DVD.

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