Kogonada’s video essay showcases the similarities of the multiple films Yasujiro Ozu made in his lifetime. Ozu created a genre of his own – a way of filmmaking that was cultivated and nourished throughout Ozu’s career as a filmmaker. Focusing on the subject of home, family, and the everyday life. Throughout the video essay, three films are playing simultaneously showcasing similar scenes from different movies. This includes scenes about cooking in a kitchen, crying women, and eating dinner. What this does is allow the viewer to see the deep connection Ozu had with showing the normally mundane and boring to most – in a new light. Ozu’s films are predominantly in black and white and thus were made in an era before color film. This era is when Hollywood was what everyone made, however, Ozu’s creations are antipodal to what was popular. Ozu’s showing of the normal life, makes the viewer think about their own lives and routines. What we go through most of our lives are moments that seem dull and highlighting these in film can bring up instances of nostalgia. I learned that Ozu, like many artists, in general, have a niche. This niche is not the only form the artists’ works in – but it is what they are best at.
A poetic form of videoessay, Kogonada is able to navigate the viewer through a structured lesson utilizing no form of voice-over or text on screen. The use of three simultaneous screens can come off as a lot of video for one to see, however, using Ozu’s films, this allows for the viewer to directly see and then break down the meaning for the similarities and what the subject matter Ozu films is about. The sound of the piece is done in a way where you don’t quite know which film the sounds are coming from – a further inclination of the way Ozu as a filmmaker has crafted and mastered a unique way of filmmaking. I learned that I lean more to this side of video essay making – and to begin to understand how these are made can only begin through watching and then creating my own.