Spring 2021

Ozu Crossing Borders

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-430  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-430


Timothy J. Van Compernolle (Section 01)


(Listed as ASLC-430 and FAMS-430)

Ozu Yasujiro (1903-1963) was almost completely unknown outside Japan until the early 1970s but is now considered among the most important artists in cinema history. He spent his entire career in a major Japanese studio, where he developed a signature style that some have called an “anti-cinema.” Ozu’s career began in 1929 with comedies inspired by Hollywood slapstick and ended in the high-growth era with the contemplative films for which he is best known. This course will use this remarkable body of work to tell an Ozu-centered history of the cinema. Weekly screenings of select films spanning the late silent era to his final film in 1962 will acquaint students with Ozu’s oeuvre. A variety of readings will help us position these films within broad aesthetic, cultural, and historical contexts. Students will work in small groups to help trace the lines of influence that reached Ozu in the beginning of his career and the lines that reach outward after his death, crossing borders to the rest of the world. Coursework includes a final project.

The course will operate on a remote learning model.

Requisite: A prior course in FAMS or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Van Compernolle.

If Overenrolled: priority given to FAMS majors then to Asian Languages majors


Online Only, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021