What an incredible tribute to Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu by one of the great German directors in film history, Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire, Tokyo-Ga). Watch this video as Wenders reminds us that great storytelling through film can come from others places than America’s Hollywood. American films dominate the global market in quantity and reach, but they do not dominate in quality. I just watched Tokyo Story (東京物語 Tōkyō Monogatari) and was mesmerized by its simplicity, sentimentality and universal messages: life is beautiful, life is too busy, life is disappointing, and life is far too short.
I watched Tokyo Story a long time ago. What I remember was it was such a sentimental family story. We live and we see the world from our point of view only. I see things from my point of view and you see things from your point of view. So it’s easy to forget that we are all involved and all of us have different thoughts but we all have to associate with each other everyday to live. In this movie he uses his original camera work which is called low position or Ozu cyo. This promoted the themes of family and boundaries very well as well as it gave the kind of sad feeling too, so that people have a hunch about the ending.
Ive seen “Paris, Texas” by Wim Wenders before but at the time I did not know that he got influenced by Yasujiro Ozu. I haven’t had a chance to see any of Ozu movies, but they are always on the lists of best movies of all time. I really think I should watch his movies, especially “Tokyo Story.”
I have watched Ozu’s movies, BIjin-aisyuu, Bansyun, Sanma-no-aji etc. One of his distinctions is the angle of the camera, which is set on the tatami, and he did not change the position of the camera. It is because in Japan people used to sit on tatami (not a chair) so the angle of actors and actress is low. Besides, people who watch the movie feel comfortable. I think recent film directors seem to focus on 3D in order to create “more beautiful” films.