The Anatomy of Ozu

An afternoon of illustrated talks and discussions exploring some of the elements that make the world of Ozu’s films so rich and distinctive, including his meticulous style, recurring use of domestic spaces, and a sharp eye on the family structures in post-war Japanese society. Our invited speakers will also discuss his key collaborators, consider the use of humour in his work as well as look at the immense impact his oeuvre has had on generations of filmmakers.



Life Imitates Art: Ozu and His Collaborators
Kate Taylor-Jones

Ozu Menu: Food for Thought in Yasujirō Ozu’s Cinema
Becca Voelcker

Q&A with Kate Taylor-Jones and Becca Voelcker chaired by Ian Haydn Smith

Lunch break

Understanding Ozu through War (pre-recorded)
Woojeong Joo

‘A Place to Be Loved’: Architecture, Design, and Dwelling in the Films of Yasujirō Ozu
Jennifer Coates

Persistence of Humour in Ozu’s films (pre-recorded)
Junji Yoshida

Ozu and ‘Ozuesque’
Jinhee Choi

Comfort break

Ozu’s Legacy: Laura Waddington on Ozu (pre-recorded)

Ozu’s Legacy: Conversation with Jinhee Choi and Kate Taylor-Jones chaired by Ian Haydn Smith


Jinhee Choi is Professor of Film Studies at King’s College London, UK. She edited Reorienting Ozu: A Master and His Influence(Oxford University Press, 2018) and is the author of The South Korean Film Renaissance: Local Hitmakers, Global Provocateurs (Wesleyan University Press, 2010). She co-edited Cine-Ethics: Ethical Dimensions of Film Theory, Practice and Spectatorship (Routledge, 2014) and Horror to the Extremes: Changing Boundaries in Asian Cinema (Hong Kong University Press, 2009). Her essays on the representation of gender and urban space in East Asian cinema have been widely published in journals and as chapters in edited volumes. She is currently finishing her monograph on girlhood and contemporary South Korean cinema (contracted with Oxford University Press).

Jennifer Coates is Professor of Japanese Studies at the School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield. She is the author of Making Icons: Repetition and the Female Image in Japanese Cinema, 1945-1964 (Hong Kong University Press, 2016) and Film Viewing in Postwar Japan, 1945-1968: An Ethnographic Study (Edinburgh University Press, 2022), and co-editor of War Memory and East Asian Conflicts, 1930-1945 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023, with Buchheim, E.), Japanese Visual Media: Politicizing the Screen (Routledge, 2021 with Ben-Ari, E.) and The Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture (Routledge, 2019 with Fraser, L., and Pendleton, M.). Jennifer is a AHRC Innovation Scholar and recipient of the 2021 Philip Leverhulme Prize for Visual and Performing Arts.

Ian Haydn Smith is a writer, editor and broadcaster. He has written and spoken widely on cinema and the moving image. Formerly the editor of the International Film Guide, Curzon and BFI Filmmakers Magazines, he is currently BFI Publications Editor, the editor of Sheffield Doc/Fest programme and an advisor to London East Asian Film Festival. He is a regular interviewer for the BFI and BAFTA, most recently hosting the Screen Talk with Alejandro González Iñárritu at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival and the BAFTA Screenwriters Lecture Series event with Hirokazu Koreeda. As a writer, publications include The Short Story of Photography, A Chronology of Film and, most recently, Well Documented.

Woojeong Joo is a research fellow at the Center for Transregional Culture and Society, Nagoya University in Japan. He received his PhD at University of Warwick with his thesis on Yasujirō Ozu, which was published as a monograph titled, The Cinema of Ozu Yasujirō: Histories of the Everyday. The book was also translated into Japanese in 2020.

Kate Taylor-Jones is Professor of East Asian Cinema at the University of Sheffield. She is the author of Divine Work: Japanese Colonial Cinema and its Legacy (Bloomsbury Press) that explores the interplay between the Japanese Empire and the cinema of East Asia.

Becca Voelcker is a film historian and cultural critic based at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she lectures on art, film, and ecology. Becca earned her PhD at Harvard University in 2021, writing a global history of ecopolitical cinema. Much of her work focuses on Japan, where she has conducted research over the past ten years, initially as a Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation scholar, and an art critic for Frieze. Becca contributes to BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking programme, and the BFI’s Sight and Sound. Her writing has also appeared in Screen, MIRAJ, e-flux, and ArtAsiaPacific. She is currently writing her first book.

Laura Waddington makes films, books and other projects with a particular focus on issues of migration and statelessness and experimentations with form. Her films have been shown at numerous international film festivals including Locarno, Rotterdam, New York Video Festival, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Montreal and London, and in museums such as The Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, The Jeu de Paume, Paris, The Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis and The Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, Havana. Focuses on her work have included at the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, the Pesaro International Film Festival, the Pompidou Center, Paris and the Austrian Film Museum, Vienna. She is the recipient of several awards including the ARTE Prize for Best European Short Film. She has spoken in locations such as the European Parliament, Brussels and has lived around the world.

Junji Yoshida is an assistant professor at Chapman University (Orange, California) where he teaches Japanese language, film, and literature.

Tokyo Story (Tōkyō monogatari)
From Fri 1 Sep
I Flunked, But… (Rakudai wa shitakeredo)
Sat 2 Sep 16:15; Wed 13 Sep 20:35
Tokyo Chorus (Tōkyō no kōrasu)
Sat 2 Sep 18:30; Sun 17 Sep 16:00
An Autumn Evening with Yasujirō Ozu
Mon 4 Sep 18:15
I Was Born, But… (Umarete wa mita keredo)
Mon 4 Sep 20:30 (+ intro by Jinhee Choi, King’s College London); Fri 15 Sep 18:30
Tokyo Twilight (Tōkyō boshoku)
Thu 7 Sep 18:00; Wed 27 Sep 20:15
The Only Son (Hitori musuko)
Fri 8 Sep 20:40; Sat 16 Sep 18:10 (+ intro by season curator Ian Haydn Smith)
A Story of Floating Weeds (Ukigusa monogatari)
Sat 9 Sep 11:50; Sat 23 Sep 16:00
Good Morning (Ohayō)
Sat 9 Sep 18:10; Sat 30 Sep 20:40
Floating Weeds (Ukigusa)
Sat 9 Sep 20:30; Sun 1 Oct 11:30 BFI IMAX; Mon 2 Oct 18:00
Late Spring (Banshun)
Sun 10 Sep 12:15 (+ intro by season curator, Ian Haydn Smith); Fri 22 Sep 20:50
Early Summer (Bakushu)
Sun 10 Sep 15:00; Wed 13 Sep 14:30; Sat 23 Sep 20:35
Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (Todake no kyōdai)
Mon 11 Sep 18:00; Sat 30 Sep 18:20
There Was a Father (Chichi ariki)
Mon 11 Sep 20:40; Thu 28 Sep 18:20
City Lit at BFI: Ozu: Cinema of Everyday Life
Tue 12 Sep – 3 Oct 18:30-20:30
Record of a Tenement Gentleman (Nagaya Shinshiroku)
Tue 12 Sep 20:30; Wed 20 Sep 21:00; Sat 23 Sep 18:30
Early Spring (Sōshun)
Thu 14 Sep 20:10; Sun 1 Oct 18:00
The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice (Ochazuke no aji)
Fri 15 Sep 20:45; Sat 30 Sep 15:30
The Anatomy of Ozu
Sat 16 Sep 12:00-17:00
Late Autumn (Akibiyori)
Sun 17 Sep 18:20; Sat 30 Sep 12:30
Equinox Flower (Higanbana)
Thu 21 Sep 18:00; Sun 1 Oct 15:10
An Autumn Afternoon (Sanma no aji)
Sun 24 Sep 18:25 (+ intro); Tue 3 Oct 20:45

Influence and Inspiration
Make Way for Tomorrow
Sat 2 Sep 12:40; Sun 24 Sep 15:50 (+ intro by season curator Ian Haydn Smith)
Sun 3 Sep 14:00; Mon 2 Oct 20:45

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Programme notes and credits compiled by Sight and Sound and the BFI Documentation Unit
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