. Wim Wenders
gives the world a humbling film. He visited Tokyo because of Yasujiro Ozu
, someone he never met, but to whom he feels an unexplained familiarity. A student and a mentor. Wenders never met Ozu in the sense that we understand meetings to have taken place. He met him through watching his films, over and over again. He called them treasures. Wenders says that his first visit to Tokyo was a visit to an uncannily familiar place. Before that, he says that in Ozu’s characters he sees his mother, his father, his brother, and many others whom he knows so well. Wenders was in Tokyo in 1983, but Ozu passed away in 1963. Twenty years after his passing, Wenders finds Ozu’s Tokyo unchanged. Unchanged means continuously changing, just as Ozu captured it.
In one scene, Wenders shoots an alley with the same camera he uses throughout the movie, and then shoots the same scene, from the same camera position, with a 50 mm lens. Ozu only used 50 mm lenses. Looking at the second scene, Wenders, with humility, says that “another image presented itself, one that no longer belonged to me.” He understands where his work comes from.