The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Yasujirō Ozu Day *

* (restored/expanded)


‘What everybody notices first in Ozu is the visual form. He apparently decided at the very beginning of his filmmaking career to adopt his own cinematic language, an idiolect that is both conservative and radical.

‘It is conservative because the choices within his system are severely limited and because in some respects it is just a purification of the standard continuity system. Each scene follows the standard pattern: in, out, repeat if necessary. The scene begins with a long shot that establishes the characters, then moves into medium close-ups. If it is a lengthy scene, it will cut to the long establishing shot again and then back to the close-ups. At the end, it will return to the long shot.

‘The average shot length in his films adheres closely to the norms that prevailed in Japan and Hollywood, and Ozu keeps the duration of the shots within a film remarkably consistent: there are no long takes and very few noticeably quick shots. Most of the cuts are ‘return cuts’, to borrow Klaus Wyborny’s term – that is, they return to a shot already shown.

‘It has been written that Ozu pared down this system further by gradually eliminating camera movement, fades, and dissolves, but these figures appeared only exceptionally even in his first films. From this description an Ozu film might seem like a highly conventionalised TV series, such as Dragnet.

‘But he does everything wrong; he breaks every rule of conventional cinematic grammar. He always puts the camera too low, but he doesn’t angle it up, so the subject of the shot always occupies the top of the frame. The eye-line matches are always wrong.

‘A fundamental rule of standard continuity requires that the camera always stay on one side of an axis created by the actors’ gazes. Thus the camera may not be moved 180 degrees from one set-up to another; it must always stay within a semi-circle on one side of the axis.

‘Ozu doesn’t simply violate this rule, he overturns it: every cut crosses the axis of the gaze. Every cut is a multiple of 45 degrees, most often 180 degrees (especially when he cuts on an action match) or 90 degrees. The standard continuity system was developed to make cuts invisible, to the conscious mind at least. Ozu denaturalises the cuts, making them as noticeable as possible.

‘Then there are the shots of ‘empty spaces’: still lifes, unpeopled interiors, building facades and landscapes. They are Ozu’s trademark, the one part of his system that has been adapted by modern European and Asian filmmakers, and they have given his interpreters a great deal of trouble when they try to assign them a meaning.

‘In his essential book on Ozu, David Bordwell calls these empty spaces “intermediate” because these shots generally occur between scenes (although sometimes as cutaways within scenes). But they are not establishing shots, although some shots in a series may serve that function. They have an autonomy that led Noël Burch to call them extradiegetic, that is “on another plane of reality”, although they exist in the same space as the characters. Perhaps it suffices to define them simply by the absence of the characters and the suspension of the narrative.’ — Thom Andersen, Bfi



Aki Kaurismaki on Ozu

Claire Denis on Ozu

Wim Wenders on Ozu

Hou Hsiao-hsien on Ozu

Stanley Kwan on Ozu



OZU Yasujiro Story / 小津安二郎物語 #1

Video Footage of Yasujiro Ozu

Yasujirô Ozu – The Depth of Simplicity

Wes Anderson & Yasujiro Ozu: A Visual Essay

Visiting Ozu’s grave




Japanese actor Ryu Chishu remembers his great mentor

‘As I entered the film world in 1925 and Mr. Ozu became a director in 1927, I was given chances to appear in almost all his films, except The Beauty’s Sorrow (1931), a silent film, and What Did the Lady Forget? (1937), a talkie. For the first few years I was given only bit parts, and it was in 1930 with the film I WasBorn, But… that I played rather an important part for the first time. After that, I was lucky enough to have important parts in five of his pre-war films; and in his other films he never failed to give me the chance to appear in a few shots as a bit-player. After the war, I was cast as leading man in almost all his films.

‘As to Mr. Ozu’s way of direction, he had made up the complete picture in his head before he went on the set, so that all we actors had to do was follow his directions, from the way we lifted and dropped our arms to the way we blinked our eyes. That is, we hadn’t to worry about our acting at all. In a sense, we felt quite at home when we were playing in his pictures. Even if I didn’t know what I was doing and how those shots would be connected in the end, when I looked at the first screening I was often surprised to find my performance far better than I had expected.’


Interview: Donald Richie on Ozu
from Midnight Eye


It is now about 50 years since Ozu’s heyday. What relevance do these films still have for today’s generation of viewers worldwide?

Well I think that the strongest appeal of Ozu is, certainly one of the things he was most concerned with, was character. The way he worked, the kind of films that he made – the major interest was people, how they react, how they don’t react. The way he made a film, for example, was that he and his fellow writer Kogo Noda would write the dialogue first, without even knowing who was going to say it. They wanted to create characters out of dialogue. Then they allocated the dialogue to the people who became the characters, and it was only later on that they decided the locations where this should happen. Usually most films are written the other way around: they get the settings and then they put the people in them and then they decide what’s going to be said. Ozu’s films are made completely backwards from that, so consequently there’s a rightness, there’s a logic, there’s an inevitability, there’s a reality about the character. The main thing we feel when we watch an Ozu film for the first time is that we don’t want it to end. We don’t want to leave these people. I’ve heard this from people over and over again. So since this is a universal thing, and since it never gets old-fashioned, and is the same thing we desire and look for in all films, no matter how new or old they are, I think that this is the strongest point. I don’t think anyone in Japanese film could create character as well as Ozu does, and I think that through the characters the films remain alive.

In terms of the aesthetic then, there’s nothing intrinsically Japanese about how the films look…

Certainly not when they were made, no. He was very careful. He hated locations. He liked complete control. Everything was a set. He did it because he wanted control to that extent. I mean when you compare the Ozu script with the Ozu film, there’s no discrepancy. The script is a blueprint. Everything is already decided. There’s not any room for spontaneity, or anything like that. It is going to be done exactly like it was in the script. So consequently he needed it to look as realistic as possible. And so, 1954, ’55, ’56 are there, preserved on the screen exactly as they are, forever. However, we’re now in 2003, and there are no more interiors like that in Japan, and there are no more people who act like that in Japan. The youngsters don’t act like that anymore. So what we have in Ozu appreciation in this country is a retro appreciation, like appreciating Andy Hardy or Doris Day or something like that. Abroad, it still doesn’t look as exotic as it does to the Japanese. The kids know what it is because they’ve seen pictures, but where they live looks nothing like where the Ozu characters live. They don’t have the tatami anymore, they don’t have fusuma [paper doors]. Today these features of Japanese architecture are not included any more, and so we don’t have that severity. So they can look at an Ozu film as a trip to grandpa’s house.

You have labelled Ozu a “modernist”. One thing that struck me, in terms of modern Japan, the surface details such as the costumes and the iconography seem to have changed, but the internal dynamics of the family are still very consistent with what Ozu was doing …

Remember that when Ozu started making films in the 1920s, this was the time that Europe, and consequently Japan, was becoming interested in the possibilities of the new way of observing, which is much less fussy, much less Victorian, much less Edwardian, stripped down through the age of the century of progress, the new silver bullet train in Chicago, new techniques of air resistance in design. Everything was being streamed down. Art as well, with Art Deco. Art Deco is self-conscious about its own design in the way that Ozu’s films are. Ozu was very fond of Art Deco. If you look at the number of his sets, they are very Art Deco, very modernist in their design.

He didn’t know anything about mainstream modernism, by which I mean James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, all the other people who were doing modernist literature. He knew mainly through what he observed about what came in from Europe and America, the kind of modernism which you could see in Japanese cafés in Ginza.

There’s this idea of cutting down, of restriction, of making things coherent by making them less, an avoidance of any redundancy and this great ability to make the continuity without all the links, leaving the audience the option, or the necessity to do this. In most Ozu pictures, for example, the wedding is left out. This idea of leaving out these links and testing your audience to make the links with you, or build the bridge halfway to you, these are all attributes of modernism as a literary form. And so, for these reasons, plus a tremendous influence of European photography – that is still photography, or art photography – on Ozu who would use these still lives to make something like he’d already seen in photographic magazines, all of this gives a modernist tinge to everything he did. So there are two things; he’s a traditional artist and a traditional aesthetician, because he knew Japanese aesthetics. At the same time he was a real modernist. He used the modernist visual vocabulary, and would very often take the plots of American films. A lot of his best films take their inspiration from films he had seen.



A Website Dedicated to Ozu Yasujiro
Missing Ozu
Ozu Teapot blog
Digital Ozu
‘Ozu’s Angry Women’
‘Yasujiro Ozu: an artist of the unhurried world’
Ozu vs. Avatar: This really is what cinema has come down to
Roger Ebert’s ‘Silence is Golden to Ozu’
‘A Great Auteur: Yasujiro Ozu
Ozu @ The Criterion Collection
Ozu @ Senses of Cinema
Ozu @ Strictly Film School
Ozu @ mubi
Ozu @ The Jim Jarmusch Resource Page
Book: David Boardwell’s Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema
Video: ‘Ozu – Color “Pillow Shots”‘
Ozu’s Lost Films
‘The Films of Yasujiro Ozu’
‘A modest extravagance: Four looks at Ozu’


15 of Yasujirō Ozu’s 53 films

An Autumn Afternoon (1962)
‘Yasujiro Ozu’s last film, about a middle aged man who gives in to his friends’ urgings to marry off his daughter, has me making associations with, of all people, Howard Hawks. Not only is the theme of individual desire subjected to communal duty typical of both directors, but this film delights in the nuances of human interactions much in the way of Hawks’ late masterpiece RIO BRAVO; both films seem to treat narrative as an afterthought for the sake of exploring and celebrating the ritualized behavior that blossoms when old acquaintances come together. The virtues of Ozu’s artistry may not be appreciated by most people, and even by those who do have trouble explaining his significance. It remains one of the great mysteries of the movies that Ozu’s seemingly light, commercial entertainments can contain such an abundance of human experience, enhanced by an assiduously developed style that demands extended contemplation.’ — alsolikelife





Late Autumn (1960)
‘A trio of old buddies intervenes in the affairs of their old college crush, now a recent widow, and her daughter. The daughter won’t marry, afraid to leave her mother alone; the guys attempt to arrange a marriage between one of them and the mother, with near-disastrous results. Ozu’s attentiveness to the pleasure of small moments shared between good friends is at its peak of perfection — as in all his best films, one forgets that they’re following a story and is just “hanging out” with the people onscreen. However, there’s much more to this film than a matchmaking lark — the pleasure that the viewer gets as a fellow matchmaker conspiring among the men gives way to the quiet pain of mother and daughter as they face imminent separation, leading to an ending every bit as heartbreaking as that of LATE SPRING.’ — alsolikelife




Good Morning (1959)
‘The story, which at times feels incidental, centers around two boys who refuse to speak when their parents refuse to buy a television set. What appears at first to be a lightweight effort is actually a remarkable meditation on human communication in all its forms: the “good mornings” of the title, insidious gossip, fart jokes, hand signals and awkward romantic conversation all figure into the cavalcade of brilliantly rendered interactions between parents, children and nosy neighbors.’ — alsolikelife





Equinox Flower (1958)
‘Ozu’s first color feature, following the harsh, pessimistic black-and-white worlds of EARLY SPRING and TOKYO TWILIGHT, returns to the more whimsical disappointments of domestic life, and the use of color adds to the film’s soothing quality and delight in everyday details vibrantly observed, qualities that Ozu would continue to develop in his remaining color films. A father butts heads with his oldest daughter when she refuses to comply with his wish to arrange her marriage. Another quality to this film that Ozu would develop to better effect in his later works is a movement away from overt narrative — things happen in this film in a static, almost incidental manner, which seems to reflect the experience of the father, insisting on things being the same as always, and yet perceiving gradual shifts almost in spite of himself.’ — alsolikelife

the entire film


Tokyo Twilight (1957)
‘A deeply, uncharacteristically dark film, even among other “dark” Ozu films (i.e. A HEN IN THE WIND, EARLY SPRING) that may require a theatrical setting for the viewer to be fully absorbed in the strange, dark textures of the world Ozu presents. I myself was pretty alienated for the first 1/2 hour or so until the wintry chill of the mise-en-scene (brilliantly suggested in the slightly hunched-over postures of the characters) found its way into me instead of keeping me at arm’s length. And from there this story builds in unwavering intensity as it follows a family on a slow slide into dissolution: a passive, judgmental patriarch (played by Chisyu Ryu, subverting his gently accepting persona in a way that is shocking), his elder daughter, a divorcee with a single child (Setsuko Hara, playing brilliantly against type — who’d have thought the sweetest lady in ’50s Japan had such an evil scowl?), and his younger daughter (Ineko Arima, a revelation), secretly pregnant and searching for her boyfriend, get a major shakeup when their absent mother, who the father had told them was long dead, re-enters their lives. A masterpiece, without question, one that throws all of Ozu’s depictions of modern society in a beautifully devastating new light.’ — alsolikelife


The entire film


Early Spring (1956)
‘Ozu’s longest feature is a tricky one to read, and quite possibly one of his best works. The running time would indicate some kind of epic statement being made, and Ozu is certainly aiming high by offering a comprehensive examination of how the corporate salaryman mentality has deeply affected the lives of ordinary Japanese people. The film, which centers around a frustrated salaryman, his failing marriage, his dalliance with a younger co-worker and his co-workers increasing concerns, is often solemn and staid but not humorless in the least; in fact I can think of few Ozu films that do a better job of capturing communal ritual in all its highs and lows, which the 2 1/2 hour running time accomodates splendidly. Typical of Ozu, the story moves in a ritualistic pattern through interactions between friends and family, in homes, offices, bars and group outings. There is the recurring instance of a group getting together to eat dinner, often breaking out into song as they celebrate each other’s company — these scenes for me are clearly a highlight of the entire Ozu oeuvre, they shine with spontaneity.’ — alsolikelife




Tokyo Story (1953)
‘Each of the three times I’ve seen this film I wonder more if there is a more perfect film out there. My latest viewing once again filled me with a dual apprehension: that this film in its two hour span states everything on my mind that I would want to say in a movie, so that there’s nothing for me to say, my job has been done; and that I still need to say something anyway, but it will have to be in a way that stands apart from this flawless work of human beauty. No one can use the word derivative to describe director Yasujiro Ozu’s style. His way of assembling a slowly unraveling series of carefully selected, unmoving camera shots explores film space in a subtle but powerful way that brings attention to the spaces between people and comments on the physical nature of human interactions. He sets a lofty standard for original, meaningful filmmaking.’ — alsolikelife


The entire film


The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952)
‘An unassuming husband finds the nerve to employ non-violent resistance against his contemptuous wife after hanging out for an evening with a rebellious niece who skipped her own interview with an arranged fiance. I really could have cared less about the story as the characters were so lovingly drawn and their interactions were a joy to listen to, and that’s really where the action is in Ozu movies, the sounds and spaces between people as they repeatedly bump into each other and modify each other’s state of mind in ways both large and small.’ — alsolikelife

The entire film


Early Summer (1951)
‘I can attest that not only are no two Ozu movies the same, but that each marks a notable development along the continuum of one of the most formidable artistic visions in film. This mid-career masterpiece is no exception — its unique qualities lie partly in its assiduous exploration of interior space in an ingenious opening sequence, beautifully capturing the rhythms and choreography of a family household as they go about their morning routine. It’s no wonder that this is the favorite Ozu movie of formalist film scholar than David Bordwell — Ozu frames and re-frames his compositions, reinventing spaces with each cut and shot, turning an ordinary house into a cinematic funhouse — only PLAYTIME, IVAN THE TERRIBLE and LAST YEAR IN MARIENBAD have offered similar wonders as far as I’m concerned. Neither is this style for style’s sake: as we follow the story of how this family is pressured by social convention to marry off their daughter, the inevitable disintegration of this family makes the synchronicity and synergy of that marvelous opening sequence all the more poignant. In between, there is a rich variety of interactions between three generations of families and friends as they meet their fates, individually and collectively, one exquisite, fleeting moment at a time.’ — alsolikelife


the entire film


Late Spring (1949)
Late Spring provided a chance for me to collaborate with Noda Kogo. Not since An Innocent Maid did such an opportunity present itself. If the director and the scriptwriter are always at odds with each, their work relationship is bound to collapse at some point. Say if one were an early to bed, early to rise type, while the other happened to be a night bird, they’d never strike the right balance, and would just let each other down. Whatever Noda, Saito and I did were in sync, even down to when we chose to take a break or have a drink. This was very important as Noda and I tended to think through every line or dialogue together when we wrote the script. Even without discussing details on props or costumes, there was an unspoken rapport between us. There was never a problem of disagreement, even when deciding to use an “oh” or an “ah” (wa or yo) in the dialogue. It was incredible. Naturally, there were times when we clung to our own opinions. After all, we were both rather stubborn and wouldn’t compromise so easily.’ — Ozu Yasujiro



the entire film


Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947)
‘Ozu’s first film after the War is a moving and highly effective piece whose plea on behalf of the underprivileged feels remarkably akin to what the Italian Neo-Realists were doing contemporaneously. Choko Iida gives a marvelous performance as a dour widow who finds herself in custody of a stoic orphan boy with a nasty bedwetting habit. For much of this film Ozu is at his best, when narrative concerns take a back seat to the unbridled joy of witnessing the rhythms of human interaction with all its quirky mannerisms: you’re no longer following a story, you’re watching life unfold before your eyes. Towards the end, the social agenda upsets this rhythm somewhat, but the last shot of numerous orphans lying about in a playground has a deeply troubling quality that lingers in the memory.’ — alsolikelife




Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (1941)
‘The family atmosphere here is similar to that of The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice. For this very reason, I paid special attention to making material love the dominating theme. The final scenes were shot hastily. The company said, “if we don’t wrap up the film today, we will miss the screening schedule.” “Today” actually meant “two hours!”. I had to resort to a long shot to finish up. Although this was not the most ideal way to film, one could not tell from the composition. If everyone got on well and had a good time during production, then I would become fond of that film, irrespective of the end result. In that respect, Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family is a work I’m pleased with. I worked with Saburi Shin and Takamine Mieko for the first time. By the standards of those times, it was a classy production which perhaps explains why it become a box office hit and refuted the theory that my films could never sell. Ever since then, my films had started to perform better at the box office.’ — Ozu Yasujiro

The entire film


The Only Son (1936)
‘Ozu enters William Wyler terrain with a somber upscale family drama about a mother and daughter who are shuttled in unwelcome fashion from one family member’s home to another following the death of the family patriarch. The thematic elements of displacement within a family unit anticipate TOKYO STORY — there’s even a bedtime scene between the mother and daughter that echoes one in the later film. There’s a startling lack of music in this film, esp. during Ozu’s normally music-filled transitional shots, that contribute to an overall sense of tense unease that touches on what might have been the general wartime state of mind among Japanese at that time.’ — alsolikelife

The entire film


A Story of Floating Weeds (1934)
‘Remakably similar in structure yet different in tonal effect to Ozu’s more famous 1959 remake, this story of a travelling troupe’s last days in a seaside village was one of Ozu’s first forays into a quiet, rural background, though it still feels brisk compared to the more staid and sumptuous remake. The depictions of stage life are more slapstick-oriented than in the remake (most notably in Tokkan Kozo’s hilarious turn in a full-sized dog costume), but are counterbalanced by sensitive portrayals of all the characters, especially the great, dignified lead performance by Takeshi Sakamoto. The romantic interludes are as powerful as in the remake, though without employing the overt sensuality of on-screen kissing; instead there appears to be the use of a filter or gauze to give the scenes between the young couple an otherworldly effect, which gives more emphasis of the idea of the actress employed to seduce the troupe leader’s son enacting a “performance”.’ — alsolikelife

The entire film


I Was Born, But… (1932)
‘Put in simple terms, this is one of the greatest silent movies ever made. Though the film was intended to be screened with live voice-over by a benshi narrator, this masterpiece works stunningly well without sound, because Ozu’s unparalleled sense of visual rhythm, choreographed movement, and humor keep one’s eyes dancing in delight. The story concerns two boys who fight their way to gain status and respect among the local bullies, only to realize that their father is a bottom-feeder among the adults. As such it’s loaded with acute observations of Japanese society, and not without Ozu’s penchant for subtle but potent criticism. For people who are used to the “slow” Ozu of the 50s, this film will be a revelation, inspiring speculation as to how and why he changed a style that already was exceptional.’ — alsolikelife



the entire film



p.s. Hey. ** Mark, Hi. The French post is notoriously unreliable, I have no idea why. Anyway, I am going to investigate and see what I can come up with. Ha ha, I would obviously be totally down for that Santa event with David. We used to be friends years ago. I like him. I have friends who count Santacon as the single worst human manifestation ever, but I have no idea why. I think there’s some kind of frat boy + alcohol issue. I’m pretty sure Paris doesn’t have a Santacon, but I’ll find out. Santa its not the giant star of Xmas here. Right, the Elgin Marbles scandal. I don’t really see England having a case? Have a swell, very LA weekend, man. ** Zak Ferguson, Well, hello there, Zak! How ultra-nice to have you here. The post-production is proceeding well albeit with enormous financial difficulties. All I’ve been up to is the film. We’re on a deadline right now, so it’s a morning-to-night proposition at the moment. And you? I follow your progress on Facebook, of course, but what have I missed? Huh, I just checked and I haven’t done a Saramago post before. How bizarre. I’ll fix that post-haste. I like his work, yeah. Thanks for the reminder. I’m the wrong person to ask, but, yes, I do suspect that purchasing the new UK edition of ‘Closer’ is a wise move for some reason.  I think the only double books I have in my collection are owning both the hardcover and softcover of a few top priority authors. Thanks a lot, pal. Again, awesome to see you. Respect galore. ** Dominik, Hi!!! My friend showed me an episode of ‘Roar’. Kind of medieval/ fantasy kind of deal, if I remember. I think the only reason one would watch it would be to gawk at the young Ledger if one found him fetching, as I remember. Thanks, yes, that’s basically it with the haunted house section. It’ll take us a couple of months to get right, so we just have to try to give it an attractive seeming bandage at the moment and hope the festivals are swayed. New SCAB! Crazy, yes, great crazy. I could definitely use that. Yay! Oh, yes, that public cutter was interesting, wasn’t he? I had so many questions. Love convincing Nature to change its plans and not give Paris another spell of high heat starting tomorrow because I am really not in the mood, G. ** Tosh Berman, Oh, cool, on the timing. Jeff gets all the credit. Well, maybe the timing is my doing, okay. Lucky lucky lucky you about the Japan trip. As soon as the film is finally locked into place, Zac and I are going to get there one way or another. ** Nick., Hey, Nick.! I’ve gotten reasonably good at sussing out the good natured people after a brief audition, but it’s hard, yeah, because the bad ones make me so curious. I hope your weekend leads you somewhere quite inspired. ** _Black_Acrylic, Holy crap, that’s a remake/remodel there. Do you think the players they’ll replace are suitably expendable? ** Corey Heiferman, Hi, Corey. There is a lot of generically artsy and homoerotic old stuff out there getting overly lionised by ‘good old days’ nostalgists. Safe trip home and then on to Frankfurt. Envy on the experimental film festival. Frankfurt is not the loveliest place in the world, I have to warn you, unless you’re a fan, and those do exist. Thanks about ‘I Wished’, man. No, I’m afraid our post-production problems are just huge problems. The lesson is to be much more careful and discerning about who we work with in the future. But that is a big lesson. Thanks! ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. I wondered if you would catch wind of the repost. Thank you, and it seemed to have done the trick again. I was almost sure I had done a Heiner Muller post, but a quick search of my archive says no. Huh. So I’ll make one, fresh. Great idea! Oh, man, I’m so sorry about the stem cells conking out on your elbow. Fucking hell. Yeah, so sorry. But at least you’re still headlong into the novels. I, at least, will take comfort there. The editing is very pell mell at the moment because we need to get the film into viewable shape for a festival deadline in three weeks. The editing goes very well. Everything around it is pure hell. We have no funds to help us find people to put in the special effects and to clean up the sound, etc., which we desperately need to make the film presentable. So we’re doing what we can on our own and basically praying. The producer has gone beyond being mere garbage. He is nuclear waste. His ugliness as a human, not to mention as a ‘producer’, is shocking, not to mention very destructive. But enough about that. I did see ‘Asteroid City’, and I totally loved it. My favorite since ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, I think. Fantastic! Great to see you, and love back, and I think I’m safe in saying Zac sends his love too. ** Steve Erickson, Yes, I read this morning that AGGRO DR1FT got massive walkouts and boos, which only excites me more about it no end. Nice: you on ‘The Mother and the Whore’! Everyone, Steve has written about Jean Eustache’s great, classic film THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE here. Should be a fascinating read. Thanks. I hope your weekend is chill too, should you crave that vibe. ** Cody Goodnight, Hi, Cody. I’m still a bit stressed and burnt, but for very good reasons mostly. Editing is exhausting for sure. I watched ‘Beavis & Butthead’ back when, yes. Didn’t they do a recent revival of it? Did you see it? I’m suspicious. Have the very, very best weekend! ** Okay. I’ve restored an old post about the sublimely great filmmaker Yasujirō Ozu for you. Know his work? I think it’s as great as it gets. See what you think, and I’ll see back on Monday.


  1. Dominik


    Yeah… I don’t think even a young Heath Ledger could make me watch a historical fantasy series, haha. But… you know. Stranger things have happened, so…

    I really hope the festivals will see and understand the potential of both the haunted house sequence and the film as a whole. I believe they will. Please do keep me/us posted!

    Yes! Same. I had to go back for the public cutter because he’d piqued my interest, too. I also loved the single comment under his post: “I caved.” So many possibilities.

    Oh, no… I hope love manages to change Nature’s mind. Another heat spell sounds like… well, it just sounds nasty at this point. Love changing the subject every time you ask him when he’ll stop pretending to be lust (or maybe the other way around?), Od.

  2. David Ehrenstein

    Ou;s gayness is well known in Japan but not at allelsewhere,

    His films are all virtual perfection, My fmy faves are “I Was Born But” and “Record of a Tenement Gentleman”

  3. Tosh Berman

    Ozu is great, as great as can be. And Donald Richie is equally fantastic. I recommend his book The Japan Journals. He was at the right spot and at the right time. He knew all the great 20th-century Japanese writers (Kawabata, Mishima, etc.), and of course, his knowledge of film is pretty magnificent as well.

  4. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Hey there. Yes, Alcaraz is doing the U.S. Open. He’s the number one seed, though he dropped to number two in the world behind Djokovic when the latter won his first match here. All to do with points and such and carryover/loss from last year. He’ll probably be number one again when this is over or shortly thereafter. So far, it’s been a fun tournament. Lots of Americans doing well for once. But it’s still a race between Alcaraz and Djokovic. :'(

    Yep, Labor Day weekend. It’s gonna be 80ish today and then hit 93 tomorrow and stay at 95 and above through Thursday. Summer’s last gasp. But I ain’t care, I’ll take 95 over 35 anytime nowadays.

    I think I may have mentioned it, but Lil D and I are supposed to “play” tennis today. He thinks he’ll be better this time because he’s watched so much this year. I suspect I’ll just be chasing tennis balls all over the place, but we’ll see. I just want to get on the court and hold a racquet and hit some balls.

    Hope your weekend goes well.

  5. Steve Erickson

    The Daily Beast’s negative review of AGGRO F1RST actually made it sound great, like playing GTA while extremely baked. I can see Travis Scott playing a hitman prowling Miami strip clubs becoming obnoxious (he’s the king of empty vibes), but at least Korine is doing something about the decline of standard production methods as a way to get films made in the US.

    I really liked Emma Seligman’s BOTTOMS, an anarchic queer comedy that I saw yesterday.

    We’re supposed to have a heatwave from Sunday through Thursday, so I’ll be spending most of the next few days in my air conditioned apartment writing album reviews.

    Santacon is fucking awful, so much so that I try to stay inside the whole day when it takes place. Bros drunk off their ass by noon, spending the day stumbling around, is not a recipe for a pleasant time. Experiencing it in New York would make you want to bring Prohibition back. Not to mention that one year, one of the “Santas” punched me in the face in the Times Square subway station for no reason!

  6. Nick.

    Hi! Day was great thanks for your help! Hope yours was just as good if not better. Many revelations all at once but also slow enough to get them all for once really odd but in the best way explainable! talk more after I sit in it I guess! be well and what’d you have for dinner I had rice and grilled chicken and veggies a bunch in different settings the whole day which is boing but great cause they were all different but good.

  7. John Newton

    Hi Dennis,

    Please keep me updated about your film.

    Thanks for blogging about Julio Cortázar. I liked his book hopscotch but I like his book about Paris more as I have traveled to Paris and am more familiar with it than Argentina. I do drink Cruz de Malta yerba mate as an alternative to coffee and tea. The euphoria from the yerba mate lasts a long time it has Xanthines like chocolate, and the caffeine also lasts awhile like longer than coffee does for some reason. I used to drink 2-3 liters of it daily, no that isn’t a typo. I lost almost 15 lbs from doing this but I was eating less. It sounds crazy but after I would drink it I had no desire to eat food. I had to force myself to eat. I read this is normal but neither Dexedrine or coke did this to me. Now I just drink a small glass or two of yerba mate about once a week or every three days or so when I don’t want to drink coffee or green tea.

    Ozu’s film “I graduated but…” reminds me of how I was after graduating college. I had worked at a college lecturing and helping a professor out with research and editing but that ended. I went to a job fair and the IRS was interested in me, but my dad worked there at the time and I am horrible at math, sometimes read or see numbers backwards and from being from Gen X who would want to work for the government or IRS? I didn’t want to work at the same job as he did, or with him as he can get argumentative. Instead I worked at a pharmacy. No I didn’t get any free pills or drugs. There were cameras everywhere. I thought it was funny how they left some black colored super high dose oxy pill sitting out on the counter in a bottle because some customer had supposedly dropped it. The main pharmacist naively believed people only wanted to steal and take oxy and nothing else. I also worked for a funeral home with death certificates. I never went into the embalming area as the owner told me he would embalm the clients’ bodies and come out coughing up blood. No I personally probably would not donate my body to that exhibit, what is the gaurantee they will use anyone’s donated body?

    Have a good weekend. I am busy working on my mother’s death taxes and it is frustrating.

    I agree with you about the online slaves. A lot live in fantasy worlds as does a gay friend who likes sugar daddies. He used to go on websites and apps to hook up with lots of men but now he just stays on the apps all day long and just chats with guys, does nothing else, and seems to be addicted to it?

  8. ellie

    Really loved the post also, the art deco connection is really interesting. Do you have a favorite of his stuff? I watched Late Spring but like in high school so I’m sure most of it went over my head. It was kind of hard to watch in a way, I feel like it’s not supposed to be difficult from the acting or whatever but for some reason it was overwhelming.

    • ellie

      Oops I don’t think my last reply sent: Hi Dennis! Hope you had great weekend. I’ve been doing well thanks for asking/wondering. I’ve mostly been focusing on a job with a 3-person publishing house that only puts out books on psychoanalysis, I’m not sure if I’ve told you about it before. I mostly read about Freud in French and correct and file things and take dictation for emails and etc. It’s boring-relaxing, like needs a lot of focus and you need to be strict about things, but in a way that’s easy to zone out to.

    • ellie

      Other than that I basically got out of K’s magazine stuff but he’s releasing an anthology that seems interesting. I’m still working on the pieces on my own and adding music and collages and just posting them on tumblr? I like this one enough to show you (I put the link in the website thing). Excited to hear things are going okay with the movie! Films look impossibly hard in general to make, so I hope last stretch goes smoothly and everything turns out as great as it’s supposed to. Do you have any plans for showing it anywhere yet? xx

  9. Zak

    Hey, hey. Yasujirō Ozu has not gotten as much love restoration wise in the UK, but, the BFI seem to be in the motions of changing that, so I am excited to own some of his work on Blu-ray, rather than watching his work solely online. Being able to acquire his films have often been hard. I’m so glad his work is being restored and highlighted for a new generation. Great blog, as per. Oh man, sorry to read about financial difficulties for post production. I think I can recall you mentioning this in a previous comment section, maybe I assumed things had gotten better on that front. My bad! (DERP!) As someone whose had a hand in a few small, micro indie productions, that’s the nature of the bastard Beast, when making independent art. Is there any way your fanbase can help? I know opening up a CrowdFunder sometimes can dirty the waters, on a business level, or makes one’s skin crawl and feel filthy, but is there any way for people to help? I bet I’m not the first to suggest this. Talking of me, I’m back in the publishing seat, after a long extended break. I have a few books lined up already. For myself, I’m still editing SOFT ISSUES, which is my favourite piece of writing, so I’m being ultra nurturing with this one. I’ve moved with my partner to a nice apartment/flat, sadly we have psychotic neighbours downstairs, whose behaviour, and odd dialogue will no doubt be used for a future project. Also I’m making a very, DIY, abstract experimental horror movie, merely using my Android phone and editing apps at my disposal, entitled SHEET, that I’m hoping will become a solid 80 minute feature, and something that I can have ready for festivals next year. It is a team effort, many people have reached out and offered their virtual services (sounds kinky!) which is humbling and awesome. Do you know of any experimental film festivals that take films of this nature and length? Anyway, great to be back! Wishing you the best D, much love and respect.

  10. _Black_Acrylic

    Think I will play it safe and add Tokyo Story to my DVD rental list. Sadly some of the more interesting titles are not easy to find, as is so often the case.

    • _Black_Acrylic

      I’m sure that he is a genius but what is the best way in for an Ozu neophyte?

  11. Sypha

    Hey Dennis, just sending a missive from a lakeside cabin in Bridgton, Maine… yes, it’s that time of the year, the annual Champagne family Maine vacation. My online activities this week will be sporadic, but as I have the last few years I’ve taken along my laptop so I at least have some contact with outside civilization, and if you saw the locals, you’d understand why this was important (seriously half the people in this town look like Capital rioters, we even saw a guy wearing a “Black Guns Matter” T-shirt today)… and suddenly I feel less bad about my teeth. Though in the local supermarket yesterday there was a cute twink cashier who had a bit of a Troye Sivan thing going on.

    Anyway today we went mini-golfing at our usual spot, Steamboat Landing in Naples(yes, after all these years the place is still open). We had to go today because it’s the last day they’re open for the season (they close after Labor Day). It used to be run by this crazy Christian survivalist libertarian guy, but I guess it’s under new management now as the religious tracts and anti-government pamphlets were gone, a pleasant younger woman was now manning the counter, and they even had Madonna’s “Material Girl” playing on the stereo, which I saw as a good omen for my game. Last year I came in last place, but this year I placed 2nd (okay, technically third as my dad and one of my brothers tied for first). Hell, I even got a hole in one. I mention all this because every time I go mini-golfing you’re like the first person I instantly think of… I know you have complained that European mini-golf courses tend to be on the bland side. It was great weather for mini-golfing, though a bit buggy (one cool thing I spotted on the course: a giant slug). Anyway, hope all is well with you!

  12. David Ehrenstein


    Adieu Jane

  13. Corey Heiferman

    There’s a scene from Tokyo Story that I think about all the time. After the young doctor’s parents see that he works in the slums rather than in a prestigious hospital, he despondently tells them “there are too many people in Tokyo”.

    I once saw Katz’s deli, of all places, overflowing with drunken Santas.

    Iberia Airlines lost my suitcase and says they’re looking for it. At least there’s nothing particularly precious in it.

    I’m trying not to go into Frankfurt with too many expectations. It looks like there are some nice museums and parks there to see in between screenings. I’ve never been to an experimental film festival, or any European festival, besides Temenos. I’m intrigued to see Beavers’ films and also those of Amy Halpern, whose acquaintance I made last year at Temenos and has since died. Amy lived in LA for a while, did you ever cross paths? She had a fiery spirit.

  14. Cody Goodnight

    Hi Dennis.
    How are you? I’m ok. I’m sorry about the burn out. It’s never fun. Hope you feel better. I’ve never watched an Ozu before. Would you recommend Late Spring as my first? I really love Beavis & Butthead. It’s a very clever and funny show that many people misunderstood. I prefer Daria however for really feeling like high school. Also like King of the Hill. They did do a revival, yes, although I haven’t seen it. It doesn’t look great. Today has been eventful. Went shopping and bought copies of the Nausicaä manga by Miyazaki, as well as a Tim Burton art book. Listened to Karma by Pharaoh Sanders and adored it. Absolutely arresting. Have you listened to it? Currently eating lasagna at an Italian restaurant and will screen Sternberg’s The Scarlet Empress tonight.

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