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Shochiku to restore Ozu quartet

Shochiku took advice from Japan’s National Film Centre on which Ozu classics to restore.

Japanese studio Shochiku is planning to digitally restore three more of Yasujiro Ozu’s colour movies following An Autumn Afternoon, which screens in Cannes Classics on Thursday.

In total, Ozu made four colour films at Shochiku – Equinox Flower (1958), Good Morning (1959), Late Autumn (1960) and An Autumn Afternoon (1962), which was his last film. He made two other colour movies, Floating Weeds and The End Of Summer, for other studios.

The restoration project marks the 110th anniversary of Ozu’s birth. A restored version of Ozu’s black-and-white Tokyo Story screened at this year’s Berlinale.

Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda and China’s Jia Zhangke, who both have films in Cannes competition, will introduce An Autumn Afternoon when it screens on May 23 in Salle Bunuel.

“Our goal is to revive audience interest in Ozu, especially the younger audience who are not accustomed to watching black and white films,” said Shochiku general manager of licensing Kaz Moriguchi.  

Shochiku took advice from Japan’s National Film Centre on which Ozu classics to restore. Ozu’s assistant DoP Takashi Kawamata and producer Shizuo Yamanouchi also advised on the restoration process of the films.

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