This year's Tokyo International Film Festival, which concluded Nov. 1, went all out to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the birth of Yasujiro Ozu (1903-63), one of the most influential directors of all time.

In addition to screenings of his films newly restored in the 4K format and a selection of his work reimagined by Japanese directors, there was a symposium featuring three world-class filmmakers discussing Ozu's contributions: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Jia Zhangke and Kelly Reichardt.

Being Japanese, Kurosawa's familiarity with Ozu's work was taken for granted, and Jia, the most representative director of China's “Sixth Generation,” said he studied Ozu while at the Beijing Film Academy. As for Reichardt, who for 30 years has been acclaimed as one of the most vital independent filmmakers in the United States, the connection wasn't so clear, even to her.