Wed Oct 1 20:28:37 EDT 2003
Announcing a New Book on Ozu Yasujiro
translated by Kyoko Hirano and Daisuke Miyao
?A rare opportunity to read a distinguished auteur discussing the work
of a truly exceptional film artist with discerning eyes and feelings of
affection. Yoshida Kiju?s book is permeated with a sense of sorrow,
respect, and above all love for Ozu, who simultaneously believed in
cinema?s possibility as an art form and revealed its fundamental
Associate Professor of East Asian Studies
New York University
?Yoshida Kiju?s book on Ozu Yasujiro, a colleague and mentor of
Yoshida?s at Shochiku Studios, is rich in originality, genuinely
challenging, and full of restrained emotions.?
Yoshida starts his award-winning Ozu?s Anti-Cinema with a story about
his trip to Ozu?s deathbed. Yoshida writes that a dying Ozu whispered
to him twice, as if speaking to himself, ?Cinema is drama, not
accident.? These cryptic last words troubled Yoshida for decades, and
throughout this book he examines Ozu?s films and tries to uncover what
Ozu really meant. The book?s main discussion concerns Ozu?s films, but
it is also Yoshida?s manifesto on films and filmmaking. In other words,
this book is Yoshida?s personal journey into Ozu?s thoughts on
filmmaking and, simultaneously, into his own thoughts on the nature of
cinema. Every page displays the sensibility of one artist discussing
another?this is probably a book that only a filmmaker could write.
Within Yoshida?s luminous prose lies a finely tuned, rigorous analysis
of Ozu?s films, which have rarely been engaged as closely and
personally as here.
Yoshida Kiju, a key filmmaker of the Shochiku New Wave cinema, entered
Shochiku Studios as an assistant director. He worked primarily for
director Kinoshita Keisuke, but he also found himself in close
proximity to Ozu Yasujiro. Yoshida started directing films in 1960 and
went independent in the mid-1960s. Over the years he has made many
films and television documentaries. His most celebrated film is Eros
Plus Massacre (1969).
Daisuke Miyao is a Postdoctoral Fellow in East Asian Studies at
Columbia University and a contributor to the Japanese film magazine,
Kinema Jumpo. Miyao received his Ph.D degree in Cinema Studies from
New York University. He has published widely, and he is currently
working on a book on Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa and his silent
Kyoko Hirano is Director of the Film Center of the Japan Society, New
York City. After studying film at the University of Tokyo and the
University of Belgrade, she finished her Ph.D. at New York University.
For her publications and her work on introducing Japanese cinema to the
United States, she has won the Japan Film Pen Club Award and the
Center for Japanese Studies Press
The University of Michigan
202 S. Thayer St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608
Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies
CLOTH: ISBN 1-929280-26-2, $55.00
PAPER: ISBN 1-929280-27-0, $22.00
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