The Film Forum in New York is gearing up for an absolutely massive Yasujiro Ozu series starting on June 7th and running to June 27th. Why you ask? Well aside from being the 110th anniversary of Ozu’s birth, the series is being specifically put on as a dedication to the life and memory of film historian, writer, and filmmaker Donald Richie who recently passed away and who ostensibly introduced the West to the genius of Ozu’s films.
Richie’s 1977 book “Ozu: His Life and Films” remains a definitive look at the Japanese master director, and though as a Criterion Collection favorite he appeared on the supplemental material of countless releases from Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai to Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses (documented here by CriterionCast’s own Ryan Gallagher) he will be perhaps best known to the Criterion faithful for his astute appearances on the Ozu releases, giving viewers knowledgeable insights into the director’s methods and techniques.
Film Forum is screening the obvious heavy hitters in Ozu’s oeuvre like Late Spring, Good Morning, and Tokyo Story; but perhaps the most interesting aspect of the series is they have prints of selected Ozu films only available online through Criterion’s Hulu Plus page including Days of Youth, The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice, Walk Cheerfully, An Inn in Tokyo, Record of a Tenement Gentleman, A Mother Should Be Loved, Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (Todake no kyodai), What Did the Lady Forget, Where Now Are the Dreams of Youth?, and That Night’s Wife.
All of the films will be screened in 35mm prints – save for Kagamijishi which is being screened in 16mm – and there’s even live piano accompaniment for all silent features including I Was Born, But…, A Story of Floating Weeds, Tokyo Chorus, and Dragnet Girl. The Film Forum will also hold a memorial for Richie in June, but check back on their website for updates and details.
If you live in New York, do yourself a favor and click over here for the full lineup. This is an absolute cannot-miss series for fans of Ozu and Richie alike.