Seoul-Sajin

Tokyo-Ga = “Tokyo Images”

Wim Wenders says, “If in our century something  sacred still existed… if there were something like a sacred treasure of the cinema, then for me that would have to be the work of the Japanese director, Yasujiro Ozu.  He made fifty-four films.  Silent films in the Twenties, black-and-white films in the Thirties and Forties, and finally colour films until his death on December 12th, 1963, on his sixtieth birthday.

As thoroughly Japanese as they are, these films are, at the same time, universal.  In them, I’ve been able to recognize all families, in all the countries of the world, as well as my parents, my brother and myself.  For me, never before and never again since has the cinema been so close to its essence and its purpose: to present an image of man in our century, a usable, true and valid image, in which he not only recognizes himself but from which, above all, he may learn about himself.Ozu’s work does not need my praise and such a sacred treasure of the cinema could only reside in the realm of the imagination.

And so, my trip to Tokyo was in no way a pilgrimage.  I was curious as to whether I still could track down something from this time, whether there was still anything left of this work. Images perhaps, or even people… Or whether so much would have changed in Tokyo in the twenty years since Ozu’s death that nothing would be left to find.

Seoul-Sajin = “Seoul Images”

And so, my trip to Seoul was in no way a pilgrimage…

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