Yasujiro Ozu (1903-1963) was one of directors that lead the Japanese film industry's output following World War II
. Along with Akira Kurosawa
and Kenji Mizoguchi
, Ozu's films analyze the conflict between the system of democracy imposed on Japan by the West immediately after the war and the lingering pre-war feudalism. While his peers used medieval Japan as the backdrop for the majority of their films, Ozu set his scope upon the modern era. His post-WWII films are known for examining the same subject, the domestic affairs of the bourgeois family; the movies he filmed before the war study the social struggles of Japan's lower-class denizens.
The films of Yasujiro Ozu include:
- Tokyo Chorus (1931)
- I Was Born, But... (1932)
- Passing Fancy (1933)
- A Story of Floating Weeds (1934)
- The Only Son (1936)
- There Was a Father (1942)
- Late Spring (1949)
- Early Summer (1951)
- Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952)
- Tokyo Story (1953)
- Early Spring (1956)
- Tokyo Twilight (1957)
- Equinox Flower (1958)
- Floating Weeds (1959) - Remake of the 1934 film.
- Good Morning (1959)
- Late Autumn (1960)
- The End of Summer (1961)
- An Autumn Afternoon (1962)
Ozu's films contain examples of:
- Author Filibuster: Subverted. Ozu's goal when making his movies was to never manipulate any aspect of the film to explicitly suggest his attitudes towards the subject, hence why he abandoned many of the camera and editing techniques that he believed attributed to him making any sort of statement to the audience.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara being most notable among the number of performers that consistently appeared in his films, often playing similar characters.
- Signature Shot: Several:
- Shot/reverse-shots used for many dialogue scenes between two of his characters.
- The camera raised three feet from the ground, from the perspective of someone kneeling on the floor in the traditional Japanese manner.
- Still lifes of various objects, often called "pillow shots" by critics.
- Trains — most of his films contain shots of them or at least have characters that make reference to them.
- Slice of Life
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Usually conversed and/or deconstructed within the context of the role of females and their relationships with family members in the post-war period.