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Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema [David Bordwell] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Over the last two decades, Yasujiro Ozu has won. Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema has 74 ratings and 4 reviews. Patrick said: It’s a shame that David Borwell’s Ozu And The Poetics Of Cinema () is out-o. Over the last two decades, Yasujiro Ozu has won international recognition as a cultural significance, David Bordwell questions the popular image of Ozu as.

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University of California Press, Textbook written in collaboration with Kristin Thompson and Jeff Smith. Eleventh edition, New York: Textbook written with Kristin Thompson first-named author. Third edition, New York: The film comes to us calmly, not trying to overpower us or sneak into our good graces: First there is the daily routine. People arise, go to work or school, greet their acquaintances, labor at their desks, meet friends at a bar or teahouse or coffeehouse.

Gradually, as one character mentions or meets another, the film carries us to that one. Then we discover another network of people, also linked through everyday action and little courtesies. This movie, it seems, could sidestep from group to group forever, eventually introducing us to the population of Japan.

Someone has fallen in love; someone is unhappy; someone must pass an exam; someone must get married to oblige a parent. Now everything that we have seen starts to crystallize into a drama. But the narrative flow is so unpredictable, even diffuse, that we can scarcely imagine what the climax could be.

Sometimes the action is just put on hold, and an idyll shows a character recalling days of prior happiness, or imagining recalling today as a moment of consummate peace. Suddenly a crisis descends. Someone we have come to care about falls ill, or decides not to marry, or decides to marry someone else, or betrays a friend.


And soon we are truly overpowered, with a climax that seems completely contingent. The characters may ask along with us, but they resign themselves to things.

The epilogue is like a farewell.

These people who have come to matter to us drift away to an uncertain future that has a touch of stoic serenity. All very straightforward, dwvid artless. Take a second look, and you see a subtle architecture. The distantly connected characters actually form a table of contrasts.

For every wilful father, a tolerant one; for every cheerful daughter, a morose one; for each flirtatious boss a kindly widower. Long ago Donald Richie pointed out the importance of parallelism in Ozu: Into these parallels Ozu inserts prefigurations of future action, motifs which connect characters gestures, dabid of dialogue, props like watches or cupsand daring ellipses which skip over important events.

Once he has us hooked, he can tease us by withholding what we want to see. The ending and epilogue have the inevitability of the final lines of a grand poem. Look closely, and each Ozu film has a magnificently filigreed structure, and everything that will happen seems quietly destined from the start.

Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema

The simplicity of style. What could be easier than to shoot each scene with a master shot, followed by medium-shots?

Every person gets a chance to speak, and people listen to each other. A few establishing shots will link one scene with another. The camera is set low in nearly every shot, as if to eliminate any decision about where else it might be put, and it almost never moves.

This, surely, is Moviemaking Look again, and it all becomes staggeringly complicated. Each shot is composed meticulously, down to the arrangement of food on the table. The compositions mirror each other uncannily: What it does is subject the entire visible world to a precise patterning. Thanks to this maniacally repeated framing, layers of space bristle with tantalizing possibilities.

A humdrum space becomes charged with muted dynamism. Mundane bits of setting, like a red teakettle or a hanging sock-tree, come alive. Instead, they hook one area to another by visual or auditory rhymes. The transitions also play games with our expectations. We may think we are going one place, but something, perhaps only the shadow of rippling water cast on a screen, swerves us to somewhere else. Thanks to his apparently simple stories and easily grasped technique, Ozu has captivated and moved audiences for eighty years.


But this humble artisan bordwwell compared himself to a tofu seller created a cinema of which no other director dreamed. He tests his characters, his medium, his audience, and himself. His films show us how profound a genre- and star-driven studio picture can be.

At the same time they open up a vast realm of purely cinematic possibilities.

Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema by David Bordwell

No filmmaker has come closer to perfection. This essay originally appeared in slightly different form in Ozu Yasujiro: It is reprinted here by permission. A site showcasing all things Ozu is Ozu-san. My book, Ozu and the Poetics of Cinemais out of print in hard copy, but a free pdf file is pzu for download here.

Monday December 12, Ozu YasujiroPeople we like. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site. A video essay Lessons with Bazin: A Labyrinth of Linkages First edition, Films, Files, and the Future of Movies First edition, An Introduction Textbook written with Kristin Thompson first-named author.

Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema, by David Bordwell | The Online Books Page

Ozu Yasujiro was born on 12 December He died on 12 December For Donald Richie The film comes to us calmly, not trying savid overpower us or sneak into our good graces: The Blog Series Venice The eleventh edition arrives! Open secrets of classical storytelling: Wes Anderson takes the 4: Moving forward, turning back Mixing business with pleasure: Making the world movie-sized Pandora’s digital box: End times Scoping things out: A new video lecture All play and no work?

A video lecture, I suppose. A video essay on constructive editing The wayward charms of Cinerama Nolan vs. A guide for the perplexed HUGO: Notes from the Raccoon Lodge You are my density A variation on a sunbeam: Exploring a Griffith Biograph film Do not forget to return your 3D glasses Capellani trionfante Cognitive scientists 1, screenplay gurus vordwell Graphic content ahead Molly wanted more Endurance: Faces behind facebook Has 3D already failed?

The sequel, part 2: