Parallels can be made between pretty much every filmmaker and the unconventional director, namely the work of the French New Wavers like Jean-Luc Godard, but what about Yasujiro Ozu? If you read that and responded with an audible, "Whaaaaaaaaat," we know. The comparison is an unlikely one.
In this fantastic video essay by Anna Catley we get to see the cinematic worlds of both directors side by side, not in an attempt to suggest that Anderson was influenced by Ozu, but simply for the sake of "playing with some parallels."
As Catley explains, the cinematic approach of both directors is quite different. Anderson's approach is more chaotic, casting a critical eye on the artificial, whereas Ozu's is serene, celebrating the simplicity of nature. Stylized action sequences: Anderson. Slow, melodic realism: Ozu. The visuals of both directors are strikingly similar, though. Both directors like stylized compositions, as well as symmetry.
'Equinox Flower' (Ozu, 1958)
'The Royal Tenenbaums' (Anderson, 2001)
So, no -- maybe Ozu didn't influence Anderson's work necessarily, but the similarities between them are interesting to explore. And if you want to explore more of Catley's videos, head on over to her Vimeo channel. Her blog CINECATic is also full of great thoughts and musings on film, and I highly suggest you take a gander.
What kinds of connections did you make between the two directors? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Source: Anna Catley