A Critique: Ozu's Reductionism In 'good Morning' By Director Yasojiru Ozu

1378 words - 6 pages

This is an 'Art of Film' critique of (Japanese director) Yasojiru Ozu's 'Good Morning'.My critique is called 'Ozu's Reductionism', and focuses mainly on how Ozu uses reductionist techniques in his filmmaking style, such as lowered camaera positioning, and his empty spaces. Three (3) footnotes are used as sources.Yasujiro Ozu is probably Japan's most talented directors, but unfortunately one of the least known ones by the public. He succeeded in producing many films, all which deal with the study of the Japanese family and how it operates, changes and evolves as a unit. He has been labeled "the most Japanese of all directors"2, and is known to have left a very influential mark on Japanese cinema. In Ozu's "Good Morning", it deals with two overlaying plots, one in which involves two young brothers who take a oath of silence until their father gets them a TV set, and another which deals with misplaced money, in which the neighbors start to point fingers accusingly. The title "Good Morning", reflects the story in a way which it refers to the over politeness exaggeration that is typical, and engaged consistently in Japanese society, and which drives a neighbor to think something is wrong because the boys didn't say 'Good Morning" due to their oath of silence. In this critique, I shall discuss the techniques that are used in the film, and what they contribute to the imagery produced.I formulated my own directing style in my own head, proceeding without any unnecessary imitation of others... for me there was no such thing as a teacher. I have relied entirely on my own strength.1Yasojiro OzuOzu insisted that he had no support of influence as other directors do in filming, instead relied simply on him-self to formulate new ways of capturing film. As his film style evolved, he started to 'reduce' his techniques, and in turn creating his own individual style, which is seen very clearly in "Good Morning". It is important to point out that Ozu always used the fifty-millimeter lens in the shooting of this film. This lens is known to be the closest one to represent the human eye, and his reason for using it is quite obvious. He wanted the viewers to be observers, simply spectators looking in, and be somehow part of the lives of the characters, which is another reason that we never see any close up of any character through out the film. Ozu also uses quite a unique and surprising technique, which is always placing his characters in the center of the frame. If one happens to fast-forward any scene in the film involving characters, one notices how they are all placed in the same place! It is quite artistically appealing, and to me represents properness and organization, for if we have a table and want to place a vase of flowers on it, where do we place it in order to be neat and organized; In the center. But to Ozu, his centered shots also represent something else, for through them the off-screen disappears, and the viewer simply forgets everything around the...

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