Ozu: Color and pattern

I love researching color and pattern compositions, especially color pairings I've never thought of, or layered patterns that look interesting together. Simon and I also love watching films together. Especially after cooking up a nice meal on Saturday night, after working in the studio all day, it's the perfect way to relax. And we have a lot of fun discovering fascinating details in the movies we watch, from shot compositions, to costumes, to minor background details like wallpaper or props.

Over the last few years, we've been going through Yasujiro Ozu's filmography, particularly his color work. Ozu's films are wonderful, calm works that reward attention to the very things we like looking for.

The snapshots below are from The End of Summer (1961).

Ozu End of Summer bar sceneEverything about this shot is wonderful. I love the dark plum booths, the pink flower dress and the olive check curtains. Pure color harmony.

 Ozu End of Summer stripesThe contrast of these two patterns is so striking.


Ozu End of Summer yellow cupI love how your eye travels across this scene. It starts with the yellow cup, then the kimono, the curtains, the blue polka dots, then a smattering of blue (blue - especially a blue bucket - is a recurring motif).


Ozu End of Summer kitchen sceneWhat a beautiful shot! The vertical lines of the doorway, the lines of the wooden floor, the pink canister, and the pattern of the doorway linen.


Ozu End of Summer bath scene

“Sooner or later, everyone who loves movies comes to Ozu. He is the quietest and gentlest of directors, the most serene. But the emotions that flow through his films are strong and deep, because they reflect the things we care about the most: Parents and children, marriage or the life lived alone, illness and death, and taking care of one another.”

Roger Ebert



Comments (2)

  • Sara on Mar 01, 2016

    Hi Susan! We’re coming at Ozu from the other end – we’ve seen most of his color work but only a few of his silent films. I’m glad you’re enjoying his work! He is absolutely a favorite of mine. :)

  • Susan Toole on Feb 25, 2016

    Well Sara we are very in tune( I live in Australia),as I have been watching Ozu’s early films, silent and B/W, just discovered him….what a blessing. Last night I watched his silent film, A Story of Floating Weeds!

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