Wes Anderson & Yasujiro Ozu: New Video Essay Reveals the Unexpected Parallels Between Two Great Filmmakers

At first blush, Yasu­jiro Ozu and Wes Ander­son would seem to be miles apart. Ozu is the “most Japan­ese” of all direc­tors. His films are small, qui­et, fine­ly cal­i­brat­ed works that doc­u­ment the slow reorder­ing of the fam­i­ly unit in the face of Japan’s rapid mod­ern­iza­tion. Anderson’s movies are twee and whim­si­cal, filled with wry humor and a shock­ing amount of vio­lence against dogs.

Yet video essay­ist Anna Cat­ley in her piece Wes Ander­son & Yasu­jiro Ozu: A Visu­al Essay makes a pret­ty com­pelling case that these two auteurs are more sim­i­lar than you might think. Both film­mak­ers have a clear and high­ly styl­ized man­ner of con­struct­ing their movies: Ozu’s films are char­ac­ter­ized by sym­met­ri­cal com­po­si­tions and an unmov­ing cam­era that remains about two and a half feet off of the ground. Anderson’s movies are marked by sym­met­ri­cal com­po­si­tions, long com­plex cam­era moves and lots of over­head shots. Both Ozu and Ander­son have a sta­ble of actors that they work with repeat­ed­ly — Chishu Ryu and Set­suko Hara for Ozu, Jason Schwartz­man and Bill Mur­ray for Ander­son. Both film­mak­ers’ movies are about the com­plex, often fraught, rela­tion­ships between par­ents and chil­dren. And both direc­tors often employed the point of view of chil­dren to high­light adult hypocrisy and dis­ap­point­ment.

Ozu’s movies, how­ev­er, were rel­a­tive­ly free of Cat Stevens songs.

You can watch the full video above. It might just make you watch a dou­ble fea­ture of Ohayo and Moon­rise King­dom.

via Indie Wire

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch 7 New Video Essays on Wes Anderson’s Films: Rush­moreThe Roy­al Tenen­baums & More

Wes Anderson’s Favorite Films: Moon­struckRosemary’s Baby, and Luis Buñuel’s The Exter­mi­nat­ing Angel

Watch Wes Anderson’s Charm­ing New Short Film, Castel­lo Cav­al­can­ti, Star­ring Jason Schwartz­man

Wes Anderson’s First Short Film: The Black-and-White, Jazz-Scored Bot­tle Rock­et (1992)

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow. And check out his blog Veep­to­pus, fea­tur­ing lots of pic­tures of vice pres­i­dents with octo­pus­es on their heads.  The Veep­to­pus store is here.

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