German director Wim Wenders travels to Japan to explore the world of one his “masters” in cinema, Japanese celebrated film director Yasujiro Ozu. Sequences of Wenders’ view of Japan alternates with encounters and interviews with crew and cast-members of Ozu’s films.
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Such a moving and mysterious film. Ozu really was the greatest of the great: not just for the films he made, but also for the profound effect he had on those who worked for him. What emanates from this film (and from the people interviewed in it) can be surmised in one word, and it is also the one word which best describes Ozu's cinema: compassion.
No.16 - A wonderful and interesting film, my first 5 star rating this year. A film essay that portrays abstract elements of modern Tokyo against the the brilliant films of Ozu and touching interviews with the people that worked with him.
Wonderful personal essay from Wenders, and portrait of Japan in the mid eighties. The interview with Ozu's cinematographer Yuharu Atsuta is very moving. Great documentary camerawork by Ed Lachman throughout.
I enjoy the tangents that Wenders explores the most; the wax factory, kids playing stickball, greasers dancing, etc. Avoiding a strict documentary format makes the film feel looser and, I think, adds to the context of the surroundings that influenced Ozu. The soundtrack is killer too, dreamlike.
I felt warm air breathing out of the screen onto my face...one of the best homages to a director I've ever seen. And the Herzog words are always funny and insightful...love seeing him speaking German for once...I always felt like if you turn on a film camera anywhere in Japan a film will get shot regardless of you trying. Maybe it's stupid, but that country just has a special landscape I don't know...cameras <3 Japan
Wim Wenders doing his best Chris Marker impersonation. With the help of Ed Lachman´s recognizable cinematography (those wet images, the colors at night). And still, with Ozu´s crew, with Tokyo in the eighties, still it doesn´t work. It lacks construction or simply a direction. Wenders wants to be spontaneous, or maybe he thought the film would appear at once if they start and just shoot. There are no such miracles.
Would make a fine quadruple bill with Sans Soleil, Cafe Lumiere, and an Ozu of your choosing. Throw in an extra Wenders feature (The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, perhaps) and you'll have exquisitely killed yet another all-too-deserving night or day. I could hardly believe the soundtrack wasn't by Haruomi Hosono; its melodies and sonorities alike evoke memories of nights on galactic railroads.