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Yasujiro Ozu’s trademark style — the low camera angles, the straight cuts, the actors talking at the camera in medium closeup — has inspired book-length studies and earned him a lofty place in the directorial pantheon. It also inspired homages such as Jun Ichikawa’s “Tokyo Kyodai (Tokyo Siblings),” but Ozu, a hermetic genius whose aesthetics were a closed system, has produced no school of disciples.

For the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2003, the Shochiku studio, where Ozu spent his entire career, planned to release a tribute film with eminent directors from around the world contributing segments. One, the Taiwanese Hou Hsiao-hsien, wanted to make a feature, not a short, however, and Shochiku, which had written and distributed several of Hou’s films agreed to finance it.

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