The personal interpretation of Ozu's films has been encouraged by two misleading circumstances: one, that we simply happen to know much more about Ozu than we do about earlier traditional artists, and two, that Ozu, unlike a Zen poet or painter, must use living human beings as his raw material. The characters on screen are experiencing life…. But the characters who are emoting on screen may be no more or less representative of the film-maker than a nonhuman shot of a train or a building. The characters' individual feelings (sorrow, joy, introspection) are of passing importance: it is the surrounding form which gives them lasting value. (p. 26)
Much of Ozu's approach is derived from Japanese culture...
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