Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Floating Weeds (Ukikusa) – Yasujiro Ozu – 1959

I must admit that looking at Yasujiro Ozu’s style from a more critical perspective has left me a bit disorientated. Ozu was famous for dispensing with typical cinematic conventions in his films and developed his own distinctive style to the nth degree, rarely ever straying from it. Floating Weeds for example has apparently the only occurrence of a moving camera movement in all six of his colour films. His camera is often placed extremely low down to mimic the idea of viewing the film from a kneeling down position. Often when dialogue is spoken the viewer is placed directly in front of the speaker as if he is speaking directly to you. Other times dialogue is spoken with the speakers back turned from the viewer.

Much like Robert Bresson who he is often compared too, his films style could be described as highly simplistic. Simple story, simple dialogue, simple music, low-key acting, no camera movements etc By removing typical Hollywood techniques of creating of melodrama Ozu is also almost able to tap into the subconscious of both the characters in his films and also that of the viewer.

Not that I dislike his style of filmmaking, when you watch his films and become involved in the lives of the characters you begin to discover why his style works so well for what he trying to achieve. He is able to create drama through film in the purest most human form.


Alan Postings said...

I also believe Ozu was one of the first film makers to link location to location using objects - Two sets of telegraph poles for example to connect the cut.